Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hyde Park Blast Results!

This weekend was the Hyde Park Blast in Cincinnati, OH~ and Kyle's FIRST race! yayyy!
Making people crazy runners, one race at a time!
<-- Photo: Kyle & Stephanie in front of the Hyde Park Square Fountain

I won't do a full race report because this was not a marathon. BUT, it was a VERY fun race. It's a 4-mile run through the streets of Hyde Park-a posh neighborhood in Cincinnati where EVERYBODY seems to run! This race had some major hills for such a short distance-- poor Kyle! But he did very well, beating most of the pack-- making us regular runners look pretty bad!!! TONS of free stuff at the end and great great tech T's! Yeah, for a 4 miles race, can you believe it????

This was a full day of events which included some serious bike racing. I didn't understand much of it, but apparently there were all these tiers in bike racing and the 1/2 tier were the best-- and they were FAST! Very cool to watch.

Funny fact... there were significantly more women than men!!! This wasn't designed to be women or men exclusive so I can't tell what's driving this change.

And here are Kyle's results. Mine are pretty much the same as I ran with him for the race, but my place was ONE ahead of his... his listened to my warning in the last post! GOOD JOB KYLE!

Friday, June 26, 2009

This week's good and bad of running

So today there were 2 things I wanted to write about- 1 being very good and exciting and 1 being well.... there's no better word for it but a "rant." Well, here we go...

The GOOD...
Today is a "drop down" week for our long run -- NOOO that isn't the good news-- but for our drop down week we'll be running the HydePark Blast-4 Miler (HPB) here in Cincinnati, OH! The extra exciting part is that this will be Kyle's very first race!!! The naturally (what looks like) 1% body fat Kyle has no need to ever run. So he's been training very hard for the past 2 weeks! He's going to do great but if he beats me I'll be forced to trip him at the finish line in front of thousands of spectators... Do you hear me Kyle???

The Bad...
Today I went for a morning run so that I have my evenings free to go see transformers 2 (so excited) and something happened that realllllly irked me! MEN! That's what happened!!! Dirty, no good, perverted men! Can SOMEBODY please explain to me why when women look: 1) Blotchy 2) Sweaty 3) Dirty, 4) Out of breath, 5) De-Make-up'ed, 6) Unshowered (AKA running) do men feel the need to Ogle, Yell, Slow their cars down, and essentially use women's bodies for their on voyeuristic pleasures!?!?!
First off, WHY???? We look DISGUSTING and second WHYY? What you're doing is very noticeable and rude! You don't stare at women in your office like that. You don't blatantly slow down your cars to stare when you're walking into the office do you? It's rude and on top of that VERY scary! FYI.... when people slow down, stare, and are not intimidated by the object staring back then it seems like they're dangerous!!! Also, EW! I say we all pick a morning and call it "baseball bat run day!" All women can carry baseball bats and men get ONE chance to look away. If they continue to stare or if they honk or yell, women have the right to shut them up!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Marathons are in Season!!!

The summer has started and so brings a new string of marathons!!! Summer running sounded great back in the winter when bulky gloves and multiple layers were necessary, but now that heat, humidity, and VERY early morning (or very late night) runs can get a little annoying. I'm still a few weeks off from my next marathon so I wanted to dive a little into summer marathon training, upcoming races and injury prevention!

The summer months are difficult to schedule races due to the heat and humidity, but thanks to Marathon Guide and to the Marathon Maniacs Race Calendar, I think I've found a few that are manageable and in states I haven't completed yet! For my full schedule please go to the "Upcoming races" link above. Currently I have planned for about 2 races per month for the next 4 months. Ideally, I would like to space them out so I have 2-3 weeks between races.

After the string of marathons in the past month, I'm back on a regular training schedule. I'm going to continue to do 1 day of speed, 1 day of hills, 1 day of race-pace, and 1 "long run." I've also started toward my Post-50 marathon, goal: Triathlon training! Well, I've started to build a base so that when I DO decide to start training it isn't too hard. I've begun a beginner program for swimming that has me in the pool 3 days a week! I will also be taking 1 day completely off from working out-- HEAVENS NO! Ok, well I'll TRY and take a day off here and there!

Speed: Yasso 800's. This is my favorite type of speed work for distance running. The idea behind Yasso 800's is to get your target marathon pace through this mathematically-base speed work plan. Essentially you do 800 meters at your target marathon pace turned into minutes and seconds. So, if my target is 3 hours and 40 minutes, my target pace for my Yassos will be 3 Minutes and 40 seconds. I started doing these by taking 10 seconds off so that's what I still do. You then jog for that same length of time (obviously not going quite the 800 meters). If you can do 10 sets of these, you should be able to do a marathon at the targeted pace! If you've done these are would like to try them let me know how it goes! I've never worked up to 10 before but I'm planning on it before my August marathons.

Status: I was up to 7 before my string of marathon last month. I'm back up to 6. I'll up 1 a week, except marathon weeks.

Hills: I run on Wednesdays and some of my long runs with the local Cincinnati Galloway Group! Wednesdays for this group have been hill repeats. I'm pretty sure this is not ACTUALLY part of the program, but it definitely helps build hill tolerance-- especially for long graded hills. You start at the base of a long hill (preferably on a non-busy street) and you do sets of hill runs at your 5K-10K pace. A "Set" consists of 3 x 30 seconds up the hill with 1 minute job back down between. Followed by 1 X 60 seconds with a 2 minute jog. So it will look like this...
  • 30 Seconds up (5k-10k pace)
  • 60 Seconds down (jog)
  • Repeat 2 MORE times then...
  • 60 Seconds up (5k-10k pace)
  • 2 minutes down (jog)

Status: We're up to 8 sets (~ 6.5 miles with a moderate warm up before)! We get to 10 and move onto tempo runs, but I think I'll start alternating between hills and speed work when we stop doing them as a group.

Long Runs: I hope to have my marathons scheduled so I'll have to do very few non-race long runs. But, in between races I like to do 1, 13-18 mile run, depending on how much time I have between. If I have less than 3 weeks the long run is unnecessary.

I'll follow up tomorrow with a post on injury prevention!

(Note: No Runners- or stars- were hurt in the creation of this post)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Advice on Blog Layout...

As you can see, my blog has been under a bit of construction. I've managed to figure out how to add a navigation bar above using HTML. I was fairly impressed with myself considering I've taken 1 class in computers 6 years ago and only passed because of the guys in my class who did my projects for me (it helps that I was 1 of 2 girls in the room).

I've also altered my picture above and added a snappy phrase (borrowed from some site I found in google image). Now I need some input...

1. Does this navigation bar help??? Those same links were posted in the upper right hand corner before, but I thought the Nav bar would be more like "normal" website and people had a better idea where to look for things.
1b. ... Was it better the way it was before? Links in the upper right hand corner?

2. Is the picture/page header too big??? It looks bit to me, but a lot of that is because I'm the site owner and it gives me the "edit" picture.
2b... if you think its too big, do you think it would be better where it was? Right above the blog posts, shrunk to fit between the left margin and the right menu?

3. Snappy Phrase... with or without the runner foot & wing? Whatcha think?

4. Any other thoughts? Additions? Deletions? Something you would like to cover? Anything! Just let me know...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hatfield-McCoy Marathon Race Rating and Results

Overall Race Rating (weighted): 4.8/5.0
Average Calculated Rating: 4.5
~ This was a great race overall. It has been officially rated SFMC Small Race of 2009! I plan on going back again next year to make it my Kentucky marathon. Since this race runs in both Kentucky and West Virginia it can be counted as 2 states for the 50-state challenge!

Organization: 4.5/5.0
~ The organization of this race was phenomenal... for the most part. The start went off with a shotgun (literally) without a hitch. The mile markers were all perfectly marked both on the road and on the side of the road. There were little blue hillbilly feel that marked the way. Water stops were frequent and had both water and powerade. There were "carb-boom" stops (which we all know how I feel) but at least something was provided. 1/2 marathon split off was not only clear, but was exciting to run through. At the end you received an ice cold towel immediately and the mason jar with your place (loved it)!

The bad side... the CARS! When we were on the road 1 lane was open, which is understandable with such a small group of runners. But many of the cars were FLYING through and would have to go to the runners side to move out of the way of oncoming traffic. Very dangerous! Also, my fellow blogging friend didn't receive his mason jar! :( Apparently there was some confusion and his was given to somebody else. Boo...

Course: 5.0/5.0
~ UNBELIEVABLE course! I loved it! I put pull details about the course in my Post Race Thoughts entry. But to sum it up... the course had a little bit of everything, you were shaded most of the time, very scenic... I would recommend this run to anyone!

Spectators: 4.5/5.0
~ This is a scaled score because of the size of the race. There weren't a TON of spectators-- but u can't expect that when you're in the woods and on long roads without houses. There WERE water stops every mile or so with people so you weren't without. Most of these water stop were "themed." And you voted at the end which was the best. I'm not sure what they received but there were a few cute stops... I liked the hillbillies (so apropos). Besides, you didn't really need a ton of people because the river, mountain, woods, were so pretty to look at!

Pace Group: DNE and didn't need...

Runner/Corrals: 5.0/5.0
~ No corrals of course, but the runners were SO nice! I think this is a big race for people trying to qualify for 50 states and for the marathon maniacs... both very social groups, and you could tell in the runners! I made friends with a 50-state-attemptee who was going about the same pace as me. I saw a very tall maniac taking lots of pictures and still keeping a sub 4:00 pace-- so jealous of those long legs! I also made friends with some guys at the end who were walking when I came up... I got them running and then one beat me!!! How rude!!! JK they were all very nice.

Expo: 3.5/5.0
There wasn't an "Expo" for a marathon this size so I'll put the packet pick-up under here. I didn't get my packet until race morning because we got in so late. We got there pretty early... only about a dozen or so people were there and when I went to the table to check in and get my packet and t-shirt I was handed only a t-shirt and no packet! I pre-registered so you would think they would keep enough packets aside for those people who would pick them up on race day.

Also, lets talk tshirts. Now I KNOWWWW this is a small race without a ton of $$ HOWEVER, the t-shirt was both cotton AND ugly. Now I've seen the nice tech tee's with a really ugly picture and I've seen a cotton t-shirt with a really pretty shirt but I've never seen a cotton T with such an ugly picture... of a PIG... a large pig. That's pretttty much it. I'll post a picture of the shirt later. They still got a 3.5 because the packet pick-up and start was in front of a friendly grocery store that had hot breakfast items for the non-runners... aka Kyle! He claimed it was good... it looked sort of creepy to me, but I didn't have to eat it! I was also able to get bandaids that I had forgotten!

Results... Results are finally in!!!!!

Place: 52 Overall (Uh oooh gonna have the play the mason jar switcharoo game!)
Gender: 10/63
Division: 2/7 ~ Apparently if you got top 3 in your age group they will send us plate for the back of our mason jars!!! Laura even got 2nd... Yay New York!!!! (Ok I know it says Cinci, but I spent 22 years in NY and 2 years here so I still call myself a New Yorker!!! Oh and Brittany, a fellow marathon blogger got 6th in our age group as well! You DID beat someone and you made great time! Good Job to all!!!

Who needs rest??? ... This IS a challenge to everyone reading!!!

Soooo I signed  up... for another marathon. I can't seem to "Just say no." 

Dances with Dirt Devil's Lake marathon. But I'm STILL getting my much needed rest. I'll be getting 4 weeks of rest between races rather than 6. Hey! for me that's a lot! I was literally NOT sleeping because I was so worried about taking a whole 6 weeks off. Really I'm going to get better rest BECAUSE I signed up for the race... yes, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

THIS IS YOUR CHALLENGE (if you choose to accept it!)...
You know I'll give the "RUNdown" as we get closer to the marathon, but for advertising purposes I wanted to give ya a little background. I'm hoping SOMEBODY I know signs up! No maniacs are doing it and it wasn't listed in the Daily Mile as an event. I think I'm going to make it my personal obligation to get at least TEN people to sign up!!! So between the maniacs, blogspot, and Daily Mile there have to be TEN people out there that are up for a challenging trail marathon!!!

What?: Dances with Dirt (DWD) Devil's Lake Marathon
Type: Trail
Distance: They offer an ultra, marathon, half marathon, and relay (I say marathon!)
Why: This race looks hard core. According to the "Head Goat" (yes I was apparently emailed by a goat) "it's a very tough single track trail marathon." Why does this sound so exciting? READ the name of the blog... CHALLENGE! I've never done a trail marathon, so this is even more exciting!
DOES it COUNT?: It's NOT a Boston Qualifier (BQ) but it does go toward the 50 states (acc. to the goat)
*Also, I think I booked a 2 bed hotel so if any ladies decide to do it, it's not as costly! Let me know!!!

So... c'mon, dust off those old sneaks (cause you KNOW you don't want to run with any kind of new white shoe) and sign up!!! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Need advice!!! STAT!

Hello, my name is Stephanie and I'm a marathon-a-holic (chorus: "helllooooo Stephanie")

Ok... does ANYBODY know ANYTHING about the Dances with Dirt Marathon in BARABOO??? I know there is a lot out there about the other ones (Hell, MI, etc.) but I need to know about Baraboo on July 11th.

Ok I know JUST 2 days ago I said break until San Fran but being the addict that I am I have an ongoing spreadsheet of upcoming marathons and the airfare to get there. Yes, it's sad but I'm in finance so I use that as an excuse to find an inappropriate number of uses for excel spreadsheets-- and the price for the flight went WAY down (gotta love Wednesdays when you're looking for flights!). Anyways!... This is all I know about DWD Baraboo..

1) It was rained out last year! Yes that's right RAINed out! Its a trail marathon (I believe) and the rain washed away the trails orrrrr something... IDK
2) Not one maniac has it on their list (bad sign? good sign? scary sign? sign pointing left?)
3) It looks like a kick-butt marathon... literally I attached the elevation chart below AND they tell you that you may get lost and the only downside they address is "It may take longer to finish"-- AWEEEESOMEE!

Now... what I need to know...
1) Will it count toward my 50 states??? (It doesn't say anything about being certified but that wasn't a problem for counting Hatfield-McCoy so I'm guessing its ok???)
2) Is ANYBODY running this race? Is it still on? I know there are other races at the same time
3) Is this a good race??? Any trail runners out there? Anybody doing the ultra??
... If you have anything leave a comment or send me an email.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hatfield-McCoy Marathon Race Rating and Results

Nothing yet! They STILL haven't posted the results. I'm not too sure whats taking so long, considering they had to have the results available to give awards at the festival on Saturday.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hatfield-McCoy Marathon~ Post Race Thoughts

Hatfield-McCoy Marathon ~ SFMC's Best small Marathon of 2009!!!

On Satuday I completed the Hatfield-McCoy Marathon with an estimated time of 4:07 (my garmin died in the first few miles and they haven't put out the official results yet so I'll update later). I've officially proclaimed this "SFMC's Best Small Marathon of 2009!" -- at least at this point in the year. This marathon was very well organized, had an interesting volunteer group putting the race on, and had a little bit of everything on the course~ Your big Hill (mile 6-8), your flat, your rolling, a little on the road, a little off the road... anything you could imagine.

The course was very scenic starting with a climb in the fog enclosed mountains for the first 7.5 miles. Followed closely by a winding DROP for the next mile. Then we made our way through (what appeared to be) somebody's backyard with a sign that said "YES, this way -->" written on the road, to a what appeared to be an ATV track running along a river that looked like it came out of a huck finn book. As we crossed into West Virginia there were large signs welcoming the runners and spectators cheering! The marathoners ran through where the half marathon finish was and (reluctantly) we continued the run for another 13.1~ with or without hostile feelings towards the half marathoners lounging, drinking, and FINISHED running for the day (nothing personal half-marathoners, you made a smarter choice!). The half-marathon finished looked like an old western film set (but it was real!)... ok maybe it wasn't THAT bad, but I've sure never seen anything like it in real life!

The course wasn't dont yet! We crossed over a long wooden bridge that undulated as we ran over. To top it off there was a little drop as you came off the bridge and right as you make your "oh crap! big drop, sore legs!" face there is a photographer at the bottom- Thank you Mr. Photographer, I'm sure that'll be a pretty pic! (I'll update later this week with pictures!) We continued onto a trail~ Yes a trail! Nobody told me about this so of course I wore my new WHITE (not so white anymore) shoes. All in all great course with constantly banking turns so you 1) Never got bored and 2) didn't see the hills as you came up to them.

As you finished you received ... 1) Iced towels... YAY!, 2) SEATS to sit on... and with so few participants you actually got to sit!!! 3) A pretty medal and ... (This is my favorite)... 4) A mason jar with a piece of wood and a placard with your overall place (51)!!! This definitely went with the theme of the race and was much appreciated!!! (Pictured below)

I didn't make great time (for me) but I thought it was pretty decent for having run 3 marathons in 4 weeks! Also, I made my marathon maniac goals for the race- I'm now at the "gold" level with 3 spinning stars next to my name!!! Yayaya...
My next marathon won't be until July 26, 2009- San Francisco Marathon! I'm already getting itchy about taking that much time off but I have to keep telling myself it will be good for me for 2 reasons... 1) I can get back to training and prevent injury and 2) I can get my time back down to Boston Qualifying (BQ) pace! Over the next 5 weeks I'll get back to my workout of... 1 Maintenance workout (7+ miles), 1 speed workout, 1 hill workout, and 1 Long Run. I'm hoping to also add in swimming to my routine and see how that goes! More on that to come soon... keep an eye out over the next few weeks. As soon as results are posted I'll submit my official marathon rating... as you can tell from the first line of this post it will be a good one :)
-Happy Running ;)

Friday, June 12, 2009

2 Marathons, 1 Week... Part 2! Hatfield-McCoy (#9) The RUNdown

The Challenge, Part 2...
With Sunburst marathon under my belt (and under 4 hours) I have the second half of my challenge coming... race #2: The Hatfield-McCoy Marathon. If you read last week, this will be my first back-to-back marathons weekends and they'll be following only a 2 week break from the marathon just prior (Vermont City). The downside... this is NOT a certified course and thus, NOT a Boston qualifier. It DOES, however, count for the 50 states club! Although, I can't try for Boston, this is a big race for a number of reason, let's take a closer look...

1) This will be my first back-to-back weekends of marathoning! Once I get this under my belt I'll feel more comfortable about attempting to do 2 in 1 weekend in October!

2) If you've read about my Marathon Maniac Goal List then you'll already know that this marathon will allow me to pass into the "Silver" level of Maniac-dom with 6 marathons in 6 consecutive months! ~Disney (Jan), ING Georgia (Mar), Nashville CMM (Apr), Vermont City (May), Sunburst (Jun), Hatfield-McCoy (Jun).

3) This will ALSO allow me to pass into the "Gold" level of Maniac-dom!!! That's right, 2 levels in one week! Gold is 4 marathons in 4 US states in 8 weeks (51 days). That will include the ladder part of the list above.

4) This is a small race and typically the winner women's' times have been right around 3:40! Although it will be unlikely I'll run THAT pace, I could place and win my first marathon... and a trophy!!!

5) After this I have (planned) a MONTH off before the next race... SAN FRANCISCO!!!

6) This is Kyle's first marathon experience-- and he's going to KILL me for putting this on here so shhhh nobody tell and maybe he won't notice. ;) But, I always run better when there are people there cheering me on! Thanks Kyle!!!

The RUNdown...
Date: June 13, 2009~ 7:00am
2008 # Finishers: 210 (68 Female) ~ Smallest race I've ran to date
Expected # of Runners: 300-500
2008 Female Winning Time: 3:36:06
My Age Group: 20-24 (Last year there was ONE person in my age group, 3 in 2007 and 4 in 2006)~ I know they'll be at least 2 this year since Laura will also be running.
Course: "There is one hill between miles 6 & 7 while the rest of the course is flat to rolling..." - David Hatfield, Director. Hopefully these really ARE rolling!!! I hated the flat last weekend...
Weather: It looks like the race will be in the 60's and 70's with a little bit of clouds. I'm banking on the clouds staying longer than expected...
Race Provisions: This race has 25 water stations (about every mile) and I wrote to David (the race director) about "GU" or other Gel provisions. UNfortunately there will be "Carb Boom" provided. I HATE that stuff!!! I'll bring my own GU and if I get desperate I'll think about the Carb Boom.
Race Plan...
Run how I feel tomorrow. With so many marathons in the past month I'm a little spent, but who knows how I'll feel tomorrow. If I have it in me, I'll still try for a 3:40 pace... knowing my luck I'll make it when it CANT count for Boston! Also... i'm gonna try to race fast to get OUT of the hills. This race is based on a festival of the feuding Hatfield-McCoy families in the hills of WV/KY. From the picture I've seen this can be a really interesting area for a girl from NY.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sunburst Marathon (#8) Race Rating...

Post-Run Thoughts...
Marathon #: 10
State #: 8
2009 Marathon #: 5!

This was my 5th marathon of 2009 with the shortest rest time (2 weeks) between the last marathon. We started the run at the College Football Hall of Fame. By mile 6 I could feel that I was a lot more tired than I normally am so early on. A lot of that I attribute to not putting a lot of rest time between attempts to "race" the marathon instead of running. Racing a marathon-- trying to go for a goal pace-- takes a lot more out of you and a lot more recovery than just running. However, I was bored (an stubborn) and decided to try and race it anyways. I stayed pretty on pace until about 19 then I had to slow down.
Hopefully I held back enough, and will spend enough time recovering this week so that I can stay under 4:00 for the marathon this weekend... #9 Hatfield-McCoy! That is one of my new goals. I was purusing the new message board on MarathonManiacs.com (my new home) and I found a new goal... 50 Sub 4! This is a group similar to the 50 States club, however its a 50 states in <4>
Lessons Learned:
~ DONT attempt to race less than 3 weeks apart (4 would be preferable)
~ DO run smaller events as they're more organized and less distracting
~ My new goals... plan your races so you can get sub 4 for most. Ie. if I know I have a race in a week, hold back so that I can make BOTH under 4 instead of one great one and one slow one.

Overall Race Rating (weighted): 3.0/5.0
Average Calculated Rating: 3.2
~For a small race it was decent. They need to work on the merging of other races with the marathon. It should be noted that the announcer tried to announce EVER marathon runners name as they came onto the field from the football tunnel that was playing the Notre Dame fight song. This was a good way of highlighting the marathoners and it was a nice ending to a race!
Organization: 5.0/5.0
~This race was very well organized, especially considering they had to start and finish 4 other races while the marathon was going on! There were only about 600 runners so this wasn't much of a challenge. They had MULTIPE GU stops (always a plus!) and a water stop just about every mile. Also ~*and if you're a race director and want to get an immediate 5 on SFMC pay attention*~ They had POPCICLES AT THE END!!! Also, right when it started getting hot and you were out of the shade, they provided frozen towels. These were VERY much appreciated!

Course: 2.0/5.0
~The course was FLAT-- NOT my favorite thing, but most runners apprecaite it. It did have a pretty run along the river and apparently you ran right in front of "Touch down Jesus" where they snapped your picture-- but they brought you at an angle that you may not have notice (I sure didn't!). I found out when Brightroom sent out the pictures from the race (see below!). Also, while the race was going on there was also a Half Marathon, a 10K, a 5K and some other run started. This would have been fine if they had planned for the shorter distances having SLOW walkers. This led to a course CRASH!!! Anyone at an 8:30 pace or below (possibly even higher) ran RIGHT into the other races and had to run THROUGH them. It was messy and if you had headphones on you COULD have gotten caught up and assume you were supposed to join their mass.

(Left: MB running in front of TD Jesus, Right: Steph apparently Hopping in front of TD Jesus)

Spectators: 3.0/3.0
~For a college campus AND reunion weekend you would have thought the spectators would have been better. They did have a couple of cute stops where people were dressed up. They also had a lot of water stops with a ton of people. I gave it a 3 because well... there were only 600 runners- you can't expect THAT many spectators to come out!

Pace Group: DNE and didn't need...

Runner/Corrals: 2.5/5.0
~No corrals were needed, but they did have people hold up pace signs a few minutes before the start. Suprisingly, runners LISTENED!!! You saw a wave of people move backward. In fact, the 5-7 min/mile areas were practically empty! This does NOT happen in large races where walkers sometimes sneak their way up to the 7 min/mile pace group. Hate that! This section got docked a little because of the OTHER racers. At the end of the marathon you merge with the 5K, 10K, Half marathoners and they were often across the road 5-7 abreast. If marathon RUNNERS are trying to RUN through, you get out of the way! Just a thought. Also, runners weren't particularly friendly in this race at all. Apparently MB had a different take on this... making friends with the mustache man-- but the runner around me kept to themselves and didn't even say good job to the winners when we passed them in the opposite direction!

Expo: 3.5/3.0
~There technically was an expo, but again with a small race you can't expect much! You could get your GU and sports beans, and any last minute/forgotten race items, but there wasn't much past that. It was good for such a small race!


Thursday, June 4, 2009

*Race Review of the Month!!!*

*New* Each month Stephanie will pick a race rating submitted by one of her fellow marathoners. The review will be picked based on...
~Insight into the race provided
~Runner's Stand-out performance (i.e. a PR)
~Unusual sites, sounds, experiences during the race
~Writing Style/Effort

The May race review of the month is...
SACCO's take on the 2009 Vermont City Marathon!!!
(Congratulations Sacco and keep up the good work!)

Sacco gave the Vermont City marathon a 5.0 out of 5.0!!! The first in SFMC history!!! WOW!!!

Review Preview...
"~ I really enjoyed this experience, it felt much more personal than other races I've participated in!
Organization: 5/5~Packet pick up was easy. Getting to the start was a little confusing, I knew where it was, but was unsure where to line up (which side of the start banner).

Course: 5/5
~Loved it!! Beautiful course. I did notice that medical support persons were on bikes along the course, this was nice. Better than one tent at the half way point and finish only."

For Sacco's full review of Vermont City please follow the link here...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

2 Marathons, 1 Week... Sunburst (#8) & Hatfield-McCoy (#9): The RUNdown

Steph's Challenge #1: 2 Marathons in 1 week (7 days)... All marathons are challenging, but its fun to add a little something more to spice it up.

This week will be my most challenging to date... I'll be running 2 marathons in 1 week, with the first just 2 weeks following my last marathon (Vermont City). So far, the shortest time I've put between races was a month. I'll now attempt to split that in half and run Sunburst Marathon (IN) this weekend then split that in half again and run Hatfield-McCoy in just a week.

The RUNdown #1... (#8) Sunburst
When: Saturday June 5, 2009
Where: South Bend, IN (Notre Dame Campus)
2008 Field: 465, Females: 129, Females 0-24: 20
2008 Avg. Finish Time: 4:16:43
Anticipated Field: 650 Marathoners (+5,200 Half Marathon, 5K + 10K Participants)
Course: Flat! There are a few grades, but very flat compared to my most recent races.
Weather: Current race day forecast shows cloudy, in the 50's to 70's with few showers. This sounds just like Vermont and in that case it looks good! However, Friday is showing more of a Sunny forecast and in the 70's. Hopefully that weather doesn't stick around to the next day.

Race 411:
~The Course... The course is still young and changing. It seems to be "getting better" but there seems to be a lot of out and back. It's also very flat, which I usually hate.
~The Finish... Apparently the 5K and 10K go off while the marathon is taking place, meaning we may be finishing around the same time. Apparently this takes some hype off the marathoners, however if it weren't for the extra 5,000 of 5K and 10K runners there probably wouldn't be many fans at the finish anyways. So, we'll let them slide... I just better get a bigger medal!
~FANS: You would figure being so close to a campus there would be a lot of support, however most students are home for break and besides them I don't think South Bend has much going on.

Race Plan:
The small, flat course, small number of participants, and timing from my last marathon aren't the most ideal conditions. However, the weather looks good right now and I'm determined to hit my time. Of course, it will depend heavily upon the weather. I don't want to push too hard and not be able to do H-M next week.

I'll follow up with the H-M details after Sunburst...