2010 ING Georgia Marathon

It’s been a fun all ING Georgia weekend. It got started with a trip to the expo on Friday afternoon with my good friend who talked me into running marathons (honestly it’s not hard when I’m running. I loose brain cells when I run), followed by another trip to the expo Saturday morning to help at the Team in Training table with one of my Nike mentees, and then the race. It’s all ING Georgia, all the time :-).

look what I got at the expo!!!

I thought about the race all week. I’ve been getting faster. Would I be able to run my new pace for 13.1 miles? Would I finally get to the 2 hour mark? And then it occurred to me that a plan might be a good idea. This would be my third ING Georgia ( full in 2008, half in 2009). I know the course well. So, I decided that I would treat it like a Fartlek run. Beg your pardon, a what? See fartlek runs are awesome in my small opinion. Pick a distance, short or long, and pick up the pace, then relax once you’ve gotten to the object you’ve picked. Lots of people like to pick an object like a tree, telephone pole, etc. and run like the wind.

So, how did my little plan go? he he he, well it turned out to be more of a tempo run. I found my friend and fellow Team in Training Laura in our corral (it’s the first year I’ve actually been able to find my corral!!). It was great having someone to run with! We settled into a nice 9:30ish pace, backing off a little on the uphills, and going with flow on the downhills. I have to say that I’ve never seen the early miles so full of people before. It was packed until the 1/2 seperated from the full, which is where Laura and I parted (she ran her first full!!). I was a little worried that I had gone out too fast, and thought about easing off a little, but once I started grabbing a water cup to toss over my head to keep from over heating I stared feeling much better. That and it started to move from a drizzle to rain, which didn’t bother me one bit. I was glad to get rid of the humidity. In the back of my head a small voice was saying you need to take some salt and a few sports beans. By mile 10 I was cruising at a run time of 1:30 when I knew I needed salt in a bad way. So, I had to stop and walk for a minute to fish out a salt packet and crack open the sports beans (fruit punch is not my favorite now). I wish I had paid more attention. I know I lost important time for my poor planning, but it couldn’t be helped. But once it all started to work into my system things got much better!! I finally made it to the finish in 2:05:13 (a PR by 6 minutes), just 5 minutes off my goal and an incredibly hilly course. I’m pretty happy about it since it’s even faster than I ran the first 1/2 of my marathon last month. I guess all of those squats, lunges, sit ups, and push ups are working! I have a 5k in May and a 10k in July to work towards and training for Chicago officially starts for Team in Training in May. Why wait though? I want to keep working on my speed and keep getting stronger for Chicago, and use my shorter races as a way to see how things are going. If it’s not broken why fix it right?! I feel like I’m moving in the right direction. I have some biomechanics to straighten out (left ankle it would be so nice if you stayed in line with my foot and knee!), but after a week of working on my form I’m already seeing results. On to Chicago!! Watch out, here I come!!

Running on Memories

There were balloons in our Sunday School class on Sunday. Balloons aren’t really my favorite thing (the noise they make when the pop scares me), but one of the guys thought it would be really fun to bust one open for the helium. Announcements definitely would have been interesting. My first reaction was my Uncle use to do that all the time. I remember my Grandmother’s birthday the summer after my 7th grade year. We always went to the same Chinese restaurant across from some of the UVA fields in Charlottesville. My Uncle Clyde’s wife Leysia had walked over to talk to my sister and I, noticing how beautiful my smile was now I that I no longer had braces. She turned her back, and my uncle got his hands on the balloons. I never knew my Uncle really well, so I was surprised when he started opening balloons and talking after a mouthful of helium. It was hysterical. The more I’ve heard about my Uncle, the more I’ve come to discover that this was just his way. Fun loving, a little bit crazy, and enjoying life. I really admire that. I loved hearing stories of the crazy things he did at his memorial service. I learned a lot about him that I never knew.

This weekend would have my Uncle Clyde’s birthday. It seems fitting that I’m running a half marathon this weekend. I run a lot of races in memory of my Uncle. It just seemed like the right thing to do after he lost his very brief battle with cancer. This weekend also marks another anniversary. A year ago I was on the way to the same race (ING Georgia 1/2 marathon) when I learned that a friend unexpectedly passed away the day before. She loved to run even if she didn’t run as much as she wanted too. I often find myself wanting to tell her something I think will make her laugh, or wanting to send her a note to see how she’s doing only to remember that she isn’t here anymore. I can’t bring myself to take her out of my address book. She reminds me of my Uncle Clyde. Always smiling, bubbly, and full of life. So on Sunday I’m running the ING Georgia half marathon (I so wish I had time to run the full) in memory of Clyde and Jen. I hope it will be a day full of fun and laughter. I think they would have enjoyed that.

Left to right: Kim, Jen, Peter, & myself