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Marine Mike's Blog

May 2009

This race was my first HM since October of last year.  It was also the longest race I have run since my calf injury.  I honestly did not know what to expect from this race in terms of how my calf would react.  I knew the course was hilly so I had planned to run an easy pace and walk the major inclines and through the water stops.  My goal time was between 2:20 and 2:30.

 

We got underway for our 3 hour trek to "The Fred" earlier than expected which was a nice change to the chaos we sometimes face getting everyone out the door on time.  The drive was not bad until we hit some 2 lane stretches of the 64 where some drivers forgot that the left lane was a passing lane.  After many "WOOSAAAAH's" we navigated the traffic successfully and arrived in "The Fred" earlier than expected.  I had requested early check in at the hotel (where did I stay again?), but our room was not ready yet, so we headed off to the Expo to pick up my bib.  Oh yeah, we were staying at the Residence Inn by Marriott.

 

 

The expo was not too bad and did not seem to be overly crowded.  I texted my fellow MCHH'ers that I was at the Expo and proceeded to pick up my gear.  We were wandering through the vendor area when Dennis texted me that he was at the Expo as well.  Dennis and I met and stood around talking for a while.   I said goodbye to Dennis and took the family to Ryan's buffet for lunch.   Our room still was not ready so we headed up to the Marine Corps Museum.  The Museum is quite impressive and I really wish we could have spent more time there to at least walk through all of the exhibits.  After a couple of hours my legs and temperament were starting to show signs of fatigue from a combination of the drive and walking around I think so we called it a wrap and drove back to the hotel.

 

 

We rested for a bit then turned around and were off to dinner with the gang followed by Ice Cream at a local parlor.  I thought I had prepared everything as well as I could have Saturday night before hitting the rack at 10PM.  Starting at 3AM I began waking up occasionally to glance at the clock to make sure I didn't oversleep.  My alarm went off at 5am and I got dressed, grabbed a power bar and headed out the door.  About halfway to the start, I realized that I had forgotten my gels in the fridge, cr@p!  We had to turn around.  Kotoko, dropped me off and I walked to the start area.  It was raining, so I had my jacket on.  I began to stretch and tried to decide whether or not to run with my jacket on.  I decided to run with it and checked in my gear bag.

 

 

I really was hoping to see some of the crew prior to the start, and it wasn't looking like I was going to until I ran into Craig shortly before the start.  Chris and I had talked a bit about running together and I was a little disappointed that I couldn't find him prior to the race, sorry Chris it would have been fun.   The race started and I began to navigate through the traffic.  I saw the 1 mile marker and checked my pace, WTF? Mr. Garmin says .75 miles!  I hear some of the other runners saying the same. 

 

 

Mile 1 - 10:55 slower than I wanted but considering the traffic, not bad.  Mile 2 - 9:56, OK let's not get too happy.  Mile 2 I also removed my jacket and tied it around my waist (note to self- trash bag works just as good) I decided to start walking the inclines around mile 3.  I began to walk and heard the Theme song from Rocky.   I said, "Who can walk when Rocky is playing?"  I noticed some other walking runners began to run again when I did.  My times for miles 3 - 7 ranged from 10:05 to 10:29.  Mile 8 I went sub 10 with a 9:54 I believe do to hearing the awesome bagpipes on the course.  Mile 9 was back at 10:24, the calf was beginning to get tight.  Around mile 10 it became apparent that I was going have to deal with those pesky Browns, do I ignore them and race through to the finish or do I answer the door?  Mile 11 I found Facilities with no lines and took care of business I was back on the road for the finish.  Miles 10 - 12; 11:27, 12:16, 11:13. I passed the hospital, ambulance and EMT crew as they were attending to the down runner around mile 11.    As I was coming up at that last hill I looked up and saw Jerry and Charlie.  Charlie ran alongside me the rest of the way to the finish.  I picked up my pace and finished mile 13 in 9:14 (now if I can only do that for an entire race).  My chip time was 2:21:05.  Thanks for bringing me in Charlie.

 

 

My calf did not feel too bad and I believe I was having more tightness in my quads and hamstrings that anywhere else.  I met my time goal but am a little disappointed because I had way too much left at the end.  

 

 

It was great seeing you and meeting some of you for the first time.  It was also great to finally be able to run in a race with some of you.  Charlie, considering we work in the same building, we need to get together more often.  Holly, I am sorry things did not go as planned.  Dennis, some of us are talking about Madison in 2010: are you in?  Chris I am sure we ran by each other at some point in the race, next time we will coordinate better.  Ruby next time bring the kids!  Carl it was great meeting you.  Craig as always, it was a pleasure seeing you again.   Jerry, you made Irene's day you are one awesome dude, thank you.

 

 

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Race Report - Knights of Columbus Run for the Heart 10K, Newport News Park, Newport News VA

 

I found out about this race from the runner I sold my Swamp Stomp bib to. I had a planned 6 or 7 mile run for this weekend so it kind of fit right into my training plan.

 

 

The weather forecast for today was sunny with a high of 71.

 

 

The race was in Newport News, which is about an hour drive from my domicile in Virginia Beach. Start time was 0830 so my plan was to hit the road at around 7. I woke up at 6 and took care of the 3 S's followed by a breakfast of fig newtons washed down by some low cal Monster. I know, not the ideal breakfast but I neglected to ensure the spousal unit was aware we were out of bread and bagels. Following breakfast, I stretched then was out the door at about 0715.

 

 

The directions on the registration flyer were spot on and I rolled into the park at around 8, registered, attached my bib and was ready to go. This was going to be another trail race. I am really beginning to like these things. There were maybe 100 runners when the horn sounded.

 

 

Being slow has advantages as I started in the rear of the pack and followed the runners in front of me. The course was 90% off road with some wood bridges along the course. The route was shaded mostly with some spots of direct sunlight. There were about 4 or 5 decent hills that gave me some were actually fun getting up. Negotiating runner traffic was bothersome initially once we hit the trails as people still insisted on running side by side but overall not bad after the first mile.

 

 

I started this race trying to keep the pace slow, why is that so hard? Glimpses at my HRM told me that wasn't in the cards today. My AHR was 162 with a max of 175. My pace only varied 27 seconds from my fastest split to my slowest, so all in all I guess it wasn't too bad. My average pace was 45 seconds faster than what I had planned on running. I still had more than enough left in the tank to have a good kick the last 3/10 of a mile. My finish time was good enough to place me last in my AG, 20/20 baby! It wasn't a DLF so all is well.

 

 

The calf is sore from the workout, but I won't run again until Tuesday so it will be fine with continued use of the stick and ice. Tomorrow will be rest/lawn mowing followed by XT on Monday. I am still not 100% confident that my calf is ready to go all out yet. It is coming along nicely and should be near 100% at MCHH. Time wise it would be nice to be back to where I was, but I have got a ways to go there.

 

 

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The race was held at Fort Story in Virginia Beach, VA. Another great race for a great cause.

 

We started the week thinking Sophia (10) & Lindsay (8) would be running the 1 mile. After last week's tumble, Lindsay had been really looking forward to redemption this weekend. Irene and I were signed up to run the 5K. Unfortunately Sophia came down with strep and could not run today.

 

 

The skies opened up last night and I went back to sleep wondering how sloppy it was going to be. Weather today was 69 degrees and mostly cloudy. I wasn't overly concerned about the humidity but I was aware of it. It felt like a great day to run. We all woke up on time and had a decent pre race breakfast. I got some great stretching in after breakfast. We were out the door and on our way a little after 7.

 

 

5K Race time was 0830 and it took us about half an hour to get to Fort Story. I kept Lindsay entertained and Irene embarrassed by driving through every deep puddle on the way there. We arrived on Fort Story at 0740 parked and picked up our registration packets. We dropped our gear back off at the truck and walked back to the starting area to stretch and make sure Lindsay would be OK, as her start time was at 0915, while Irene and I did the 5K. On our way back from the truck, we met up with Rob (whom I met at the 5K last week) and assumed or respective starting positions. There was a field of roughly 100 runners.

 

 

The horn sounded and we were off! We went into today with no goal other than to improve on last week's performance. I could see Irene was going to have problems with her wardrobe as she was wearing a full zip sweatshirt that was half zipped and caused her to keep adjusting it. About mile 1 she started to cramp. My guess was this was due to her mechanics possibly being affected by the sweatshirt, from it being heavy on her shoulders to her restricted arm swing. We eventually ditched the sweatshirt around the halfway point and her running became less labored.

 

 

There are some decent hills (for this part of VA anyway) and Irene got to learn a little hill strategy and how to run them easier. We came up to the water stop shortly after mile 2 and stopped to walk and drink our water. I think mentally hitting those water stops really gives Irene a boost and gets her through the final mile. Mile 2 was our fastest mile and we rolled into the final mile. We hit a good hill going into mile 3 that took the starch out of Irene's sails. We started our final kick to the finish and I went a little ahead of Irene to pull her along. WTF? The next thing I know Irene kicks right by me! Sh!t I had to get the bus in gear to catch her. We both hit the finish in full stride (she beat me again) and almost 30 seconds faster than last week. SWEET. We finish completing our time cards, get some water and I head over to the 1 mile start area for Lindsay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lindsay is ready to go with the exception of the thick sweatpants that she doesn't want to take off. Oh well she will learn on her own. Lindsay attempts to get to the front, forgetting what happened last week in the excitement of the moment. She moves toward the back and get ready to go. Nice and slow Lindsay, nice and slow. The horn sounds Lindsay takes off at a blistering pace. I reel her back in and we slow it down. The course was made up of 1 smaller loop followed by a larger loop. On the first turn the headwind hits us. I put my fat a$$ to use and have Lindsay run behind me. As we enter the large loop and make another turn into the headwind again, Lindsay says, "Can we start walking now Daddy?" I had to laugh, "No honey" on we went. We made the final turn and I thought we had a shot at a sub 9 mile but the headwind wasn't helping us a bit. We crossed the line in 9:15, not a bad time for her first race.

 

 

The Lions club provided Burgers, Chips and soda post race. The SWAG included a decent pair of running glasses (Lindsay is wearing them in the pic). We hung around for the awards and at the very end were pleasantly surprised to see that Lindsay took first for the 1-14 girls AG for the mile! Irene placed 6th in the 1-14 AG and I had a DLF for my AG.

 

 

All in all a great day! We felt bad for Sophia as she would have brought home hardware if she had been able to run today.

 

 

As for my calf, a little sore but it is a good sore.

 

 

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Note to self - when doing a race report, write it in word and then cut and paste to the post. I just lost my RR! Learn something new every day. Now I will give the Reader's Digest condensed version.

 

Weather was great in SE VA. Hit the 70's with partially cloudy skies. 5K start was 1PM with the mile at 2PM. The race was to raise funds for Sophia and Lindsay's school playground. The school is a two minute drive from the house and a good portion of the course was right across the street from our house. It was a no brainer to enter.

 

The 5K started on time and we got off to a typical fast Kottmer start. Irene had some pacing issues but that will get better as she runs more. I had no problems backing off and letting Irene set the pace, making sure she didn't push herself too hard. I had 0 calf pain as we really didn't push the pace much. Mile 1 - 10:23, Mile 2 - 12:01, Mile 3 - 11:19. Irene followed my lead with the final kick and ran past me to finish in 34:02. Not bad for her 1st 5K in a year and considering she has only been running again since Shamrock.

 

 

Sophia (10) finished her mile in 8:20, not bad for her first real race. She looked pretty comfortable and will continue to improve with time. Lindsay (8) had a problem near the start. I had told the girls that they should line up in the back of the group. Lindsay insisted on lining up in the very front. You all can imagine what happened. She got bumped and knocked down right after the 1st turn and did not want to go on. I didn't want to push her either. Lesson learned.

 

 

All things considered it was a decent day.

 

 

Our next race - 28th Annual Lion's journey for sight 5K & Mile Run/Walk, Fort Story, Virginia Beach VA

 

 

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The race was another put together by the Tidewater Striders and held in the neighborhood surrounding Independence Middle School. Shortly after midnight last night we had some pretty good thunderstorms here. I went back to sleep wondering if the race would go. I awoke at 0630 to sunny clear skies.

 

 

Sophia (10) and Lindsay (8) were already awake, dressed and ready to go. At 0700 Irene (13) joined the morning pre-race rituals. I have been getting the girls in the habit of laying everything out the night before to prevent a race day SNAFU prior to getting out the door. We all made heads calls and were out the door around 0800. It was a smooth 10 -15 minute drive to the middle school and we got there 45 minutes before start time. We got our bibs and began some light stretching.

 

 

For Irene and me, the 5K started at 0900. Sophia and Lindsay hung out with the other New Energy runners as the mile didn't start until 1000. We ran into my friend Rob and his family in the process and we eased the pre race jitters with some great conversation. We made our way to the start and awaited pre race instructions. Irene and I "lined up" in the back of the pack and got off to a smooth start and settled in at a 10:06 1st mile. I had a sub 30 in my head for a good goal so we were sitting good.

 

 

I had decided a while back that I would continue to run with Irene at her pace until she becomes more confident as a runner. I can see she is gradually getting more and more comfortable each race she runs. We hit the water stop shortly before the turn around, made the turn and finished mile 2 @ 10:26. Not too bad considering we had the turn around and the water stop (which we walked through) to slow us down.

 

 

We began our kick at 2.8 miles and hit mile 3 @ 10:07 and we continued to push it through to the finish. We crossed the "tape" at 31:03, a PR for Irene! He times have been dropping each and every race and today was a surprise as she really wasn't feeling 100%. My calf once again felt tight and a little sore, but bearable. I found a curb and stretched it some which helped greatly. OK, 20 minutes until Sophie and Lindsay's race, where is the freakin water?

 

 

We got the milers stretched out and the head coach took them out on a short warm up run. I told promised Sophie that I would run her mile with her today and that Lindsay would be on her own. I figured I should be able to see Lindsay and give her a verbal push if she needed it.

 

 

The horn sounded and we were off. Sophie took off like a bat out of he!!, I had to catch up to her to slow her back down. Lindsay was right where she needed to be. Lindsay looked really comfortable from the start, "what got into her today?" I wondered. All three of us started to pick it up at 7/10 and kept on pushing. Lindsay passed Sophia right at the finish for 8:11 and 8:13 finishes. A mile PR for both Sophia and Lindsay!

 

 

We hung around after for the awards. I like to hang around after for the local races as it allows us to enjoy additional camaraderie without pre-race distractions. Irene ended up getting a nice medal for her AG 2nd place finish in the 5K. All in all a great day that was topped off by a visit to A&W for chili dogs and root beer floats.

 

 

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MikeDaMarine08

MikeDaMarine08

Member since: Aug 14, 2008

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