Showing posts from June, 2011

Race #132 - Freedom Run 5k - Oakboro, NC - 06/25/11

In the grand scheme of things this is just a tiny blip on the radar, but this one will go down as my first DNF (Did Not Finish) after managing to get through the first 131 relatively unscathed. There have been quite a few races in the past where I've heard other people talk about taking wrong turns, and I thought if I stayed with it long enough it would eventually happen to me, and on this day it was my turn. It's not a great big deal, but it's a little disappointing to find out in the middle of a race that you've run in the completely wrong direction. There were several places along the course where the only way I knew which way to go was to follow the runners ahead of me. The place where I took my wrong turn actually had the word "EXIT" written on the ground with an arrow pointing to the left. Unfortunately, I wasn't looking at the ground and there were no runners close by either ahead of me or behind me so I kept following the path to the right that l

Race #131 - Summer Breeze 5k - Charlotte, NC - 06/18/11

This was the first Run for Your Life Grand Prix series race I've run this year although the RFYL GP season has been in full swing for several months. After having missed two or three of the early races because of a conflict in schedules with the Running Journal Grand Prix I decided to mostly avoid this series. I planned on running the Summer Breeze in particular because I was carrying around a couple of awards from other races for people who I knew would be here, and also because there's just something about the Summer Breeze that draws me in even though it's never been one of my best races as far as my own performance goes. As much as anything else, I think the big attraction for me is the name "Summer Breeze." I'm notoriously warm-blooded and have always disliked being outdoors in cold weather. Although I've toned it down a little, I've been smirked at more times than I can count on those cold days when I'm all bundled up for a race. To me, anyth

Race #130 - China Grove Main St. Challenge 5k - China Grove, NC - 06/10/11

The China Grove Main Street Challenge is one of those races that is growing by leaps and bounds in recent years. Three years ago in 2008 there were only 254 finishers. In 2009 it swelled to 390, then in 2010 there were 531, and this year it topped out at 606 runners crossing the finish line. I really don't like racing at night and seldom do well at it, but this is such a fun race that I just hate to miss it. It attracts some of North Carolina's best runners. There's a little prize money involved, but I think the big draw is that it's a fun race on a Friday night with a great post-race celebration and lots of camaraderie among runners. I couldn't count the number of familiar faces and friends that I had met at other races, all meeting up in the tiny town of China Grove, population 3,616, but bursting at the seams on this beautiful summer night. Did I mention there were some fast runners out there? The top three runners all finished the race in less than 15 minutes.

Race #129 - Charity Chase Half Marathon - Hickory, NC - 06/04/11

Note to Self: Don't wear the 3.6 ounce racing flats the next time you run a half marathon. It's not that they're not comfortable. They actually feel great and they're the only shoes that keep my piggies from crying wee-wee-wee all the way home after a race. I've been wearing them for 5k races and wore them again for my 10k in Huntsville this past Monday, and they felt so good I decided I'd wear them in Hickory's hilly but fantastic Charity Chase Half Marathon. Bad idea. After 5 or 6 miles my feet still felt fine, but the constant pounding without any cushioning to speak of took its toll, and the last 5 miles of the race ranged from mildly unpleasant to pretty durn painful. As I write this about 8 hours after the race, my feet feel great (no sore toes!) but I think every muscle is my legs is sore, so after that successful experiment I will now return to wearing trainers for any race longer than a 10k. But enough about me and my piggies and sore legs. Thi

Race #128 - Cotton Row Run 10k - Huntsville, Alabama - 05/30/11

This Memorial Day we were back in Huntsville for the Cotton Row Run, the last stop for the Running Journal Grand Prix season. It was already hot and steamy at 7:30 a.m. for the start of the 10k, and the heat was even more oppressive for the 9:00 a.m. 5k start, which Linda ran. Not too far into the first mile I considered just dropping out since I had a lead in the 55-59 age group of more than 100 points in the Grand Prix, but I figured instead I'd just take it a little easy and walk all of the water stops, which is what I did. I think all of the walking might have helped my time since I ended up winning my age group in the race with a time of 44:42. It was a minute or so slower than last year's time when I finished 3rd in my division but the heat seemed to take a lot out of the other runners as well. The Cotton Row Run has been a Memorial Day fixture in Huntsville for more than 30 years and is one of Alabama's premier road races. With around 4,000 runners in the 10k and 5