My Asheville Marathon Results ~ Spoiler Alert

We are not going to talk about my curious absence from blogging this past month.  I just haven’t had enough time on my hands.  There is a ton to recap about each of the individual races I paced last weekend in Asheville, but I just don’t have the time right now to do a recap justice.  I guess we’ll settle for snippets, and results…..

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Btw…I am still trying to gather pictures from the event, which I have to search for and grab/copy before my long recap posts.  But, isn’t this an awesome picture of the Biltmore Estate from a cool spot on the race course?

I had an awesome weekend in Asheville participating in the Backyard to Vineyard Challenge.  What is that, you ask?  Well, this year the race doubled down, and held the events on two consecutive days.  The Half Marathon on Saturday, and the Full Marathon on Sunday.  I ran both!  I paced both!

This weekend was all about having fun, and running my heart out.  Giving back to my fellow runners by pacing them to a specific time goal.  For the Half, I paced the 2:00:00 finish group.  A very popular group, containing all of those runners out there trying to get the sub 2.  The weather was perfect, maybe just a tad on the warm side, but me and my pacing partner Louis brought those runners in at 1:59:23.  Just under the mark!

I then refueled, and spent five hours working an expo table for the marathon the following day.  All the while chatting up marathon runners, taking gulps of Gatorade along the way.  Yes, I had a chair, which I requested!  After having run the Half, and having another 26.2 miles the following day, I needed to be off my feet.

Marathon Sunday came so very quickly.  Back at it, I felt good.  I was pacing the 4:00:00 group for the marathon, and the weather?  Not so good.  It started raining about 20 minutes before the race began, and would rain intermittently for the entire race.  I don’t often run in the rain so it was an interesting twist.  Pace the hills for 26.2 miles, in the rain, and mud.  All after having run a Half the day before.  I felt good though, and knew I could manage it.  About 10 miles into the race, my pacing partner Andrea fell off the pace.  Now alone on dirt and rock trails, I had to dig in.  Climbing, climbing, the often washed over mile 11-12 was grueling.  I maintained pace somehow without a helper, and in the quiet.  Runners around me, but no one with me.  I carried on…..

Mile 12 is when she appeared.  A 23 year old medical student from Iowa.  Payton was her name, and she was my angel.  She sidled up to my left side, and said, “I want to break 4:00:00 today, so I am going to run with you to the end!”  I desparately needed the company, so welcomed her with open arms.  We traversed the difficult trails on the backside of the Biltmore Estate through the vineyards, past historic barns, up and down, through the rain, the mud and muck.  Payton kept me honest.  We both almost fell a few times due to slick muddy spots, but I kept on pace.  On pace!  13, 14, 15, the miles we left behind….

We stayed together up to mile 23 when she began to fade just a bit.  I willed her to keep up, She just couldn’t.  She silently started lagging further and further behind me.  I had to keep going however.  I had a schedule to keep.  I had a date with the finish line and would carry whoever I could to cross with me or in front of me.  The rain ebbed and flowed, but my shoes kept moving forward.  3:59:32 was my magic number on the day.  Made it perfectly to the end, urging runners to beat the clock.  It was a magically wet marathon, one I will remember forever.  I absolutely loved it.  Both days!

39.3 miles, two epic days at the Biltmore.  Two spot on pacing days, to boot.  One day sunny, one day rainy.  Perfect!  More details and pictures to come, including why I love pacing, and more on Payton.  :). Happy running!

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Wet Dog

I know it’s Summer.  I also know that thunderstorms happen quite frequently here in my neck of the woods, but seriously.  Why do I work all day, look forward to getting my run in after work, to have it rain nonstop all afternoon and evening.  Today isn’t the first time it’s happened either.

It really bums me out, because I truly despise running in the rain.  The heavy rain tapered off quite a bit in the early evening, but I was just not into it by then.  Plus… it was still drizzling.  Not a fan of that, either.  Not a fan of getting my running shoes wet.

I’ve been out there in the rain before, but typically don’t start my run in the rain.  I try to wait it out.  In fact, several years ago, back when I was putting in serious training for my first ever Half Marathon.  Yeah, back when I really didn’t know what I was doing training wise, I mapped out a plan to run up to eleven miles, about a week before my first half.  I really wanted to go into that first race however, knowing that I was fully capable of running 13.1 miles.  So, on the day of my last long run, the eleven miler, I set out.  It was threatening rain, but hadn’t started yet.  I felt great.  The weather was holding.  I got up to 6, then 7, then 8 miles.  I started thinking that since I felt so good, I was going to just go ahead and tack on the extra 2.1 miles at the end and make it official.  I was going to put in that 13.1.  Miles 9, and 10 ticked by, and then suddenly…..  Hard rain! 

But, I was going to do it.  It was a damn river out there.  I fought hard, completely drenched, but knocked out those miles.  In the torrential downpour.  It felt great afterward, but I was not happy those final two miles.  I guess ever since, I am just not a fan of running in the rain.  It always makes me angry.  My feet hurt, and blister easy in wet shoes.  The rain in my eyes.  Wet clothes and chaffing.  Yep, not fun.  It makes me feel like a wet dog.  

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So, tonight’s run is scrapped.  I guess another rest day won’t hurt.  I just hope that the downbeat weather forecast is cooperative tomorrow morning before I have to head to work.  I would like to get in at least three to four miles tomorrow before my next long run on Sunday.

how do you feel about running in the rain?  Love it?  Hate it?

HELP!!! Rainy marathon this week!

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Ok, so looking at the latest forecast for Saturday, I am getting really nervous.  The forecast calls for a 90% chance of rain during the marathon.  Oh, no!  Believe it or not, I have run over 50 races, including 9 marathons, and have never had to run a race in the rain.  I know this is something I should feel very grateful for, and I do.

Even during training, I do everything possible to not run while it’s raining.  This is much easier to do, since we can pick and choose our training times, and I just choose dry weather.  Ultimately, during a race, you have no choice.

So, I am asking for help.  It seems pretty certain that my marathon on Saturday will be filled with rain.  I need some tips.  Please let me know what you do, and how you cope with the rain on a distance run.  Do you wear a hat?  How about shoes?  Any change in those?  Any extra areas that need chafing protection other than the usuals?  I need to pack tonight for the trip down tomorrow, so any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for the help!  I’m going to try not to get depressed about this, because not all days are sunny and perfect for races.

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Cold and Rainy and Restful

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The kind of conditions that came in last night, and are looking to stay through the weekend.  Yuck!

I went from wearing flip flops and shorts, to long sleeves, and socks in one day!  That is so not cool.  I want the beautiful weather from the past couple of weeks to return.  It looks like I will have to wait several days though, so I am going to try to look at the positives….

For a runner like me, who has been doing a lot of distance racing, I am going to rest.  Yep, a break in training, even though I have more racing to do in the next month and a half.  This goes against my earlier plans, and really goes against everything I want.  For some reason though, I think I need the rest.  I ran the last two days and the runs were not that great.  My legs are tired.  I even feel a bit of soreness in my hamstring, a possible result from this past weekend.

With any training regime, we need rest.  Time for our bodies to recuperate from the stress.  I will be the first one to tell you that I probably don’t rest enough.  I get there are tons of us faithful runners who run on rest days.  I told myself I would not overtrain, and give myself ample opportunity for race days.  This I must abide by.

So, rain if it must.  Be cold, and dark and dreary, if it must.  I am going to take the day off.  I’m going to take tomorrow off, too.  I might even take the whole weekend off.  I kinda scares me, knowing I have races coming up, but I must listen to my body.  I may fight it at times, but I have to relax, and rest.  Maybe the Sun will return on Monday, just in time for me to head back out on the roads and get a few decent runs in before racing next weekend.

Do you stress about overtraining?  Do you often run when you are supposed to take a rest day?  I get very nervous about possible injuies.  Do you?

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Go ahead and rain, I will be inside on the couch, with me feet up.