Saturday, September 08, 2012

Race Report--Kauai Marathon: Marathon #24/State #23

Quick 'n dirty: Kauai Marathon, Sunday, Sept 2, 2012.  6:55:53, marathon #24, state #23

OMG. If you like hills, heat, hills, humidity, trade winds, hills, pop-up showers, beautiful scenery, hills, feral chickens, hills, Dean Karnazes, hills, counting smooshed frogs on the road, hula girls, tribal drummers, and big-ass friggin' HILLS, this is the race for you!

After doing tourist stuff in Honolulu (one island over, for those unfamiliar with Hawaiian geography,) wandering around Waimea Canyon, the Kauai Coffee plantation, Kilauea Point (not to be confused with the volcano on the Big Island,) and hanging out at beaches looking for sea turtles (saw 5 swimming around) and monk seals (saw one snoozing on the beach in the middle of dozens of people,) lunch with Maniacs, and dinner with Penguin/Dead Larry James and his wife, we had to take a break from honeymoonin' to get up and run a marathon (half-marathon for Ron. He's not as dumb as I am.) We were bused a couple of miles down to the shopping center that served as the start line. After standing around for a while (they had a great spread there: coffee, sports drink, water, bagles and shmear,) Ron and I separated to our respective places in the pack. I found one of the new Maniac/Fanatic friends I'd met the afternoon before at lunch, Maureen, who decided she would get me to the turnoff point, which was mile 10.8. Those miles went the fastest out of my whole day. Our first ginormous hill came between miles 5 and 6. Ron's Garmin said it was at 13% grade. We got our first of two rain showers of the day around the same time Maureen and I hit this hill. It rained moderately hard for about half an hour. Wet socks aren't fun for me. We went into the Tunnel of Trees, which would have been nice to block the sun if we had needed it. It kept a little bit of the rain off of us for a mile or so.

The next big hill I specifically remember was a bit after 10 miles. At about 10.5, Maureen, who chats with everyone when she runs, asked a random girl if she was doing the half or the full. The girl replied, "The half. We're ALL halfers--the full marathon turned off up the road." Ummm, NO. She insisted it was so. Luckily, I had stuffed a copy of the course map/directions in my waist pack, and it confirmed that I was still on course, after finding out what road I was on from a local. Panic receded, heart rate returned to normal. I sadly turned right as Maureen turned left at the split, and proceeded to climb another big ass hill that went on for about half a mile. I got to see the fast people, including the lead female, coming down the same hill as I was going up since this was part of the out-and-back (with a lollipop in the middle.) Everyone was awesome, giving us thumbs up. I mostly walked that hill. Had a nice downhill around mile 13ish, when I heard in front of me, "Go Maniac!! All right!!" It was Dean Karnazes, one of the race ambassadors. So I hollered, "Go Dean!! Wooo hooo!" because I am a dork :) Some more downhill, and then came Mile 15, the start of the lollipop section.

I honestly did not think I was going to make it up Mile 15, mentally or physically. It. Just. Kept. Going. Up. It was long. It was steep. It was painful. I gave up any pretense of running and walked up. I stopped a few times to stretch out my back and my hamstrings and calves. I squatted down a couple of times to stretch my quads and catch my breath. I ended up sitting on a guard rail for about 5 minutes, trying to regroup and convince myself that I COULD finish this marathon, that I HAD TO finish this marathon. I can't exactly just go back to Hawaii whenever, pick up another race. Failure was not an option. I had a little over 4 hours left. I took a hit of albuterol and pushed myself off the guard rail and continued to climb Mount Mile 15. I made it to mile 16. My mile split time: 23:52. At least I got to go down the way I came up. My legs were hurting kind of everywhere by mile 20, and by mile 21, I decided just to walk the rest of the course, testing a run every once in a while. Nope. Of course, then I had to climb another big uphill at mile 21. I just wanted to sit down again. There was no guard rail here along the side of the highway. At 21.5, I noticed an abandoned aid station. They had left Heed (nasty stuff that made me feel like I was going to barf every time I drank it before running,) on two folding chairs. I moved all the cups over to one chair and sat down for another 5 minutes or so. And then the second rain shower hit, this one for about 20 minutes or so. I wanted to cry. But the rain quit, and the sun came out full-force, and I got to the top of the hill, and before me lay the gorgeous Pacific Ocean in all its glory, and I felt like it was going to be all right after that. I asked 8 lb, 6 oz Baby Jesus (points for reference!) to help me finish the last f*&%ing 4.2 miles, and set off at a trot down the hill, which hurt like a mother, so I decided to just walk really fast. Support from the people driving the other way down the highway, honking and cheering out their windows, helped a LOT.

I managed to power walk my way to the aid station at mile 25.5ish, got high-fives from the medical staff, and promptly got a charley horse-type cramp in my right hamstring, just above the knee. I'm pretty sure I dropped an F-Bomb or three as I tried to walk. Really?? Less than a mile from the finish and THIS?? I tried to stretch it out, and it hurt more. A medical person ran over t see if I was okay. She pushed and massaged the back of my thigh until I felt like I could walk again without feeling like a hot knife was being shoved into my leg. They offered me a bag of ice, but I declined. I just wanted to be done. Lost another 3-5 minutes messing with that. I limped on down the road, stopping to take a picture of some pretty yellow hibiscus flowers, turned down a road indicated to me by the most adorable little boy (I asked for a high-five, and he took a running start and JUMPED into it, lol,) and Behold! The finish line!! The ocean was to my right, and some beach-goers were very supportive (Ohmigosh! You're soooo close! How are you feeling?" "I feel like I'm gonna barf." "Go ahead and barf--you've earned it!!") In front of the finish line, I see Ron and my Fanatic friends Maureen and Eric, who are waiting for me and another Maniac friend, Ed, who was about half an hour behind me. Ron wants a finishing picture, so I stuck my tongue out at him :)  Some local high school cheerleaders are dancing and cheering, so I danced with them for a few seconds and got even more high fives. Got my medal, a cold wash rag, and a bottle of water, and collapsed in the shade.

By far the hardest course I've done, but one of the most beautiful.

And I lost count of the smooshed frogs (bufo) on the course at 33 :-P

Hey, Remember Me??

If anybody is still out there, I'm baaaaaaack!! I figure I'd restart this blog mainly to post race reports so I don't have to post big long ones to Facebook, since there are a few people on there who don't care about my races.

Monday, October 05, 2009


1:30/:30 brick this morning. Went well; managed 24/3. Missed running over a squirrel by about 1/2 inch, little bastard. Legs were still Jello-y at the start of the run, but managed to get my "land legs" back after about 10 minutes, so it's all good.

My sister, her BF, and my nephew are visiting for the nephew's birthday. We took him swimming (where I managed a mild sunburn on my back/shoulders, despite a liberal coating of SPF45,) I napped when we got home, ate a tasty dinner, and had a deeeeelicious SpongeBob birthday cake. It's all about the icing for me ;)

mmmmm, buttttttttercream...

Pics coming soon!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Ten Second Book Review - New Moon

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

So being basically a 15-year-old girl at heart, I bought into the teenage girl mass hysteria surrounding the Twilight books. After reading the first book, Twilight, I was left wanting a vampire boy of my very own. Having finished New Moon, I'm now thinking werewolves are the way to go and I'm firmly ensconced in Team Jacob, despite knowing how this series will turn out.

If Bella doesn't want him, she can send him my way ;)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Checking In

Well, I've been neglectful of my blog since I've been spending all my time over on Facebook (Hey, Kurt--Get a Facebook!! ;) )

I'm already working on my race schedule for 2010. Yes, it's a sickness. In happy news, there are four marathons on the schedule. I will be reclaiming my MarathonGirl status! :-D

Several of the races will depend on where I'm living when, so I can only really do it for part of the year. But the marathons stand!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

RR: Kiwanis Midnight Run 5K/10K

Subtitled: The Second Worst Idea I've Ever Had ;)
Headed from Hudson to "Delightful Dunedin" (according to the Chamber of Commerce commercials) around 9:45 PM. Seriously, it's a nice little town that I would consider moving to if I were to stay in Florida. Not that you could see much of it in this race, but I digress. It was pretty gross out--80F with 88% humidity at 11 PM. Got my chips and goody bag, which I was pleased to see was a cloth bag. Now if they would only quit stuffing all those paper flyers that I just end up tossing in the recycle bin...Looked for Slow Twin Bill, didn't find him, but found my co-worker Wilson and his wife Diane, who was doing her first race in five years, so I hung out with them until it was time for us to line up. Diane was very nervous, so I kind of "adopted" her, and we went and stood in the middle of the 1000 or so 5K'ers (my estimate--no final numbers published yet) and chatted.
Diane is very young, like 23 or 24. Diane is very tiny. She is the size of your average fourth-grader. I felt like Fiona (Shrek's girlfriend) standing next to her. Seriously, she didn't even come all the way up to my shoulder. I bet she's not 5 feet tall, maybe 90 lbs after a huge meal and soaking wet with rocks in her pockets. So I was very suprised when she told me that she had looked up some of my races and was intimidated to run with me. Whaa?? But I guess when you're just starting out, the sheer volume and distance of what I've run might seem a bit daunting. I assured her that this was strictly a fun run, and no land-speed records would be broken on my part.
We took off, and as is usual in crowded 5Ks, we bottlenecked, got darted in front of and practically run over by people who were late to the party and trying to get further up in the pack. We came upon the first bridge at about 1/2 mile and Diane waved me on. The rest of the race was pretty uneventful. Finished in 32:01, with Diane coming in about three minutes later. I had about 15 minutes until the start of the 10K, so I BS'ed with Wilson for a few minutes while I slammed down some Gatorade and a couple of sport beans, then I swapped race numbers and lined up for the next race.
Found Slow Twin Bill in the middle of the pack. He had run the 1-mile and the 5K that night. Chatted briefly, then the air horn went off. I did okay the first couple of miles, but the heat/humidity made me feel kind of like an old limp dish rag. Felt really horrible after about 2.5 miles, but managed to hold a 12:00/mile pace, praying that I would just puke already so I could feel better. Didn't happen. Swung through Honeymoon Island, where it was completely dark except for the candles in the empty water jugs lining the course. The frogs were extremely loud in the marsh, and I heard some rustling in the bushes next to me, which I tried not to think about too hard. The mosquitoes attacked me viciously, biting me through my clothes. The bug spray was rendered mostly ineffective by the massive amount of sweat coming out of every pore in my body. I scratched the inside of my left elbow bloody, and I now have a welt and a lovely companion bruise :-P I totally fell apart just past mile 4. I was nauseated. I had a pounding headache. I had huge, itchy welts from the rat-bastard mosquitoes. Sweat was running down my legs and into my socks, which is an unpleasant sensation. I was running S-L-O-W. I was walking way more than I had intended. I managed to finish in 1:19:31, which is easily the slowest 10K I've done in the past two years. So bottom line, the 10K was all bad. Not even fun.
For now, I'll be spending lots more time on the bike than in my running shoes, starting with a planned 20 mile ride tomorrow morning.
But I'll come back to kick the 10K's ass at the Turkey Trot this year, when the weather is much more conducive to running fast. And I'll be back at the Midnight Run again next year, doing only the 10K. Because I never learn.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Baby you're all that I want...

Back in "the day" (middle school,) I was a Bryan Adams FREAK. And this song was the single most romantic thing I'd ever heard in my young life. Sent my little tender heart all aflutter ;)

It's aged well, and I think I love it even more with Jason Aldean singing it:

Friday, June 05, 2009

RR: Mad Beach Sprint Tri

Sunday, May 31, 2009, Madeira Beach, FL

1/2 mile swim, 15 mile bike, 5K run


Swim - 18:04
T1 - 2:42
Bike - 53:29
T2 - 3:1
Run - 35:19

I've got a lot of work to do, particularly on the bike, although for me, that's a decent time. I was pleased with the swim time, and okay with the run. I did great when we were on pavement, but the second half was on sand, which sucked, but what can you do. Got popped on the back of the head during the swim, not hard, and the girl apologized profusely. It really wasn't that bad, but it was nice of her to be concerned :) And my transitions are fine, but I should probably stop chatting with everyone on my rack. Then again, like Linae says, they ain't paying me to do this, so I may as well enjoy myself.

Enjoyed the free beer at the end, and had a great time with Linae, Kurt, and Joe at the Angry Pepper afterward. This was actually the best I've felt about racing tris, ever. There were few "WTF am I doing here??" moments, and NONE of them on the bike, which is a first. So I guess Linae's Evil Plan is working ;)

Next race: Taphouse 5K, Oldsmar, FL, June 12. Starts and ends at a pub! Hell yeah!