Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Brian Completes 50 Miler and Paul Completes 1st Marathon

Congrats to Brian Gaines and Paul Clement for their race finishes on Saturday.

For Brian this was THE race he had been planning and preparing for all year. A stress fracture in June really held Brian back as he missed months of training while it healed. As soon as he was able he was back on the road and was able to put in a 10 miler (speed walked), two marathons (one walked, one run), and a 33 miler before getting on the starting line of his 50 miler. (my apologies if I forgot a race or two).

Although the wind provided some challenge in some parts, and physically there were some rough patches Brian had to work through, he successfully made it to the finish line and did so in admirable and respectable fashion. We are all so darn proud of him! Way to go Brian!!

Here are some pictures take by fellow ChiA runner Kelly.

Brian during Loop 2, on his way to Northerly Island, with the Adler Planetarium in the background

In the final stretch, spelling out 5-0 with his hands

All smiles after 10 hours, 11 minutes, and 57 seconds of running

Now we go to Paul. A.K.A. "Mr. I don't run more than 6 miles and I don't run on pavement Paul." Its been quite a year for Paul as he not only ran more than 6 miles on a regular basis he actually ran in his first marathon after not having any real plans to do so until just recently. He picked the most low-key, no frills marathon I've ever seen and did a great job with it. (No miles splits on the course, can you image that?? You guessed it I'm not an ultra runner!) I guess he figured all the training he went through to help pace Kelly in the latter half of her marathon needed to be put to good use. I love stuff like this! Way to go Paul!

Paul finishing his first marathon. 4:46:31

Friday, October 26, 2007

Chicago Lakefront 50/50

Best of luck to fellow ChiAs Brian Gaines and Paul Clement as they run the Chicago Lakefront 50/50.

Brian will be running the 50 miler after having completed the 50K last year (31.0685 miles, hey I got that from a converter)

Paul will be doing his first marathon as the race was gracious enough to offer a timed marathon this year due to the issues at this years mega-sized Chicago Marathon on October 7th.

I won't be there to cheer you on but I will be sending positive go fast energy your way all morning. Correction...Brian has requested a longer sending of positive go fast energy so I will continue through until the late afternoon just to be safe :-)


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Val Finishes Her 1st Marathon in Boston Qualifying Time!

Special congrats to Val Trax-Hattabaugh, a co-worker of mine, for her awesome Chicago Marathon finish - 3:47:57. Awesome in many ways:

  • It was her first marathon
  • She did it in the brutal heat
  • It's a Boston Qualifier and she wasn't even trying!
Val isn't expressing much interest in running Boston but we are working on her!

...and while we are here let me just say ONE more time - I not only knew Val would run under 4 hours I predicted a Boston Qualifier months ago! So satisfying being right. :-)

Congrats again Val and I do sincerely hope this isn't your one and only marathon because I know you can go way faster and I kind of suspect you actually liked doing this marathon.

Farmdale 33 Miler - Yikes!

Congrats to Brian Gaines and Gayle Wagner, fellow ChiaDeads for completing last weekend's Farmdale 33 Miler! A 3 x 11 mile looped trail course in East Peoria.

This is the longest footrace ever completed for both of them and Brian now looks to his 50 miler on October 27th. On top of it all Brian had run the Chicago Marathon just the week before. He makes me feel like such a lazy bum as I'm still in "recovery" mode from my marathon.

For information on next year's race and this year's results go to http://www.farmdaletrailrun.com/

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Time to Say Thanks

I usually consider my fall marathon to be the end of my racing season for the year as the next few months are recovery and a shift back to base training with a few 5k's thrown in for fun. So its like the end of the year for me and I always get to thinking about what has happened through the months both good and bad but I think especially of those people I feel I owe thanks to. So don't read if you don't like the mushy sentimental stuff... :-)

Kelly Roe & Brian Gaines: The last few years I had been struggling with the balance between my running and the rest of my life. I was burned out, not racing well, had growing responsibilities that came with my growing children, and I plain old was tired. I had recently let go of my coach and was truly bummed. But one cannot be bummed about running and racing with Kelly and Brian around. Thank you both for helping me find my "inner" runner and bringing me back to truly love what I do. You both have helped me more than you can know and I totally love being involved in your races.

Jenny Garrison: Jenny is a two time national triathlon champion and about 11 years my junior. She just burns with energy and I have benefitted so much from being able to train with her. Thank you Jenny for being on my door step at 5am twice a week and many times on the weekend. Running your workouts helped get some of that turnover back into my old legs and I love how I can talk to you about anything. Jenny is one fierce competitor and she helped wake up my competitive drive again. Now have your baby already and get back, I miss you.

Jen Skowronski: Jen is my personal trainer and owner of Fitness Inside Out. I started with Jen over 2 years ago to address the weak points in my running form which centered mostly on poor core strength. Not only is Jen a great trainer she has become a great friend. She personally tailors my training for my running needs and has helped me become a more physically and emotionally balanced athlete. Thank you Jen for truly caring about my goals and dreams and especially for listening to me as I sorted out how to balance my personal life with my running and racing. You are the best!

Dan Iverson: Running partner of over 10 years now and coach of girls cross country and girls distance track runners at Naperville North High School. Thanks for being on my door step at 5am 3 times a week and for all the countless long runs on the weekends. I know I can always bounce ideas off of you and get an honest educated answer. Your knowledge of training is vast and the energy you put into your coaching makes you one very special coach. The runners at Naperville North are very fortunate to have you. I'm fortunate to have you as a friend!

The runners I meet during races: It seems that in the majority of my races I have met up with other runners who end up working with me to get to that finish line. I often never learn their names but I wanted to thank them all the same. Thanks to Dave Schaefers for Bastille Day, pacer Bob at Chicago Distance Classic, Tom at Milwaukee, unnamed runner at the 23 mile mark at Milwaukee, and a series of guys with names unknown for the Fox Trot 10 Miler and March Madness Half Marathon. What a great sport this is!

Non-Runner friends: To all my non-runner friends who often seem a little confused by it all but support me all the same with their sincere well wishes and congratulations. They often seem amused by all my dashing around but my friends know what's important to me and they are there for me. Especially you Mary!

Fellow bloggers: To those runners who consistently post on my blog and also give me much to read and think about on their blogs especially Sam and Wendy. I give thanks to God for the fact that Sam is with us today by providing all the necessary angels he needed when he had his heart attack. Glad He decided you needed to still be here with us and I look forward to your first race back. Wendy, you are just cool and your blog rocks!

To anyone who has said I inspire them: That inspires me, period. To be a positive for someone gives me nothing but joy.

Now to the person I have everything to be grateful for:
Andrew Ohst: To my husband, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the years of support you have given me, for giving me the time to train without struggle, for understanding that "runner" is an important part of what I am and not asking that I change that. I love you and the family we have together. xoxoxoxox

OMG! - if you live through all that mushiness you deserve a medal!! :-)

Peace everyone!
RunnerGirl - Janeth

Monday, October 8, 2007

Milwaukee Marathon 2007 - Race Adventure (Report)

Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon
October 7, 2007
3rd Overall

Its been a long road to my marathon this year but I was here and lined up for my Boston attempt. I had several concerns weighing me down as I had not really been able to train much over the last 8 weeks due to a knee injury followed by ankle tendonitis. My weekly mileage was minimal and the number of 20 milers completed was a grand total of 1. I had e-mailed the race director to let her know I wasn't coming and I let it go...or so I thought. The ankle was getting better slowly and I thought if my ankle was in good enough condition come race day I should just go get the job done on what I had. It wasn't going to be pretty but it was not unreasonable considering the shape I was in before the injuries and the strength I knew I still had. I felt confident that all would be well and I did what I could running wise, took care of my ankle the best I could, got my sleep, and ate well. I never even thought that race day would bring temps in the high 80's low 90's. My confidence started to drop. I SUCK in hot weather. The last time I ran in a marathon that had a starting temp over 70 degrees was a disasterous and tearful DNF in a very high profile women's national race (Grandma's Marathon 1994). To add to my concern was that my 9 year old daughter had asked to come and help and I had said yes so I definitely didn't want Kyla's first close up view of a marathon to be of her mom crashing. I had to get my act together and keep it together, it was important.

Okay so here we go.....ankle wrapped, very little training, hotter than hell, loved ones in the front row seats.
Oh boy...

crew member - Kyla
The Start
The early miles were pleasant. It was already 71 degrees but there was plenty of shade and a nice breeze. My plan was to stick between 7:30 and 8:00min/mile so of course my first two mile splits are 6:58 & 6:59. Of course. I swear there were a lot of downhills! Really! I pull back letting go of a nice pack of runners I thought would be fun to run with.

Over the next 2 miles there is small chatter with different groups of runners as we all check out what goals are and see if there are people to click in with for the long haul. I find myself with a guy who seems to be comfortably in the same area with me and we slowly gravitate to each other and start matching pace. Mile 3 - 7:21 was much better but Mile 4 - 7:16 comes too fast again. Again we had some nice downs but also there were a lot of women passing me and I was working hard not to go with them. Mile 3 saw the pack in general surge up and mile 4 had 4 women passing me all at once. Resist, resist.

Course starts to roll and after the 5 mile split of 7:11, Tom and I finally settle into the pace we need to be running which is in the 7:35 - 7:25 range. I see Andy and Kyla around this point and all is well, I'm comfortable and I take my first GU and drink some. It is getting warm and we lose some of the shade we had been enjoying. I keep my head wet with each aid station and I drink freely from the bottles of gatorade on my fuel belt.

Tom to my left. I'm reaching for my gatorade

Miles 6 - 10

Miles 6 - 10 are beautifully steady even with a lot of annoying inclines. It's Tom and I with a group of about 3 other men including one guy who keeps sprinting forward, then walking, then sprinting forward again. Idiot. It's getting really hot but we are gifted here and there with shade, residents with water hoses, and at mile 7 we get a half mile of "cold" Lake Michigan air. That was heaven but it was short lived. Somewhere in this stretch we come upon Bonnie Blair Olympic speed skating champion. What?? Okay let me explain. There are relays in this marathon and there was a relay made entirely of Olympians (including Bill Rodgers) running to raise money for Jenny Crain's medical expenses (a local elite athlete suffering brain injuries after being hit by a car). I have posts on her if you care to look. We make a big deal about meeting Bonnie and she apologizes for being a terrible runner and we all laugh and tell her how sorry we were for her, gold medals and all. We leave her and continue on. Splits: 6 - 7:34, 7 - 7:34, 8 - 7:23, 9 - 7:25, 10 - 7:35 for a 10 mile total time of 1:13:19.

Miles 11 - 15

Okay so far things are good but I'm am working just a little bit harder than I had hoped at this point so I tell Tom that my plan is to not give any of the inclines much energy and take what I could from the downhills and he says that fine and stays with me. So after the 11 mile split of 7:25 we don't see anything under 7:30 for the rest of the race but that was no issue and really was just a small shift needed to deal with the heat and rolling hills. As we approach the half way point I start seeing the women come back to me and I'm starting to see a lot of walking. According to Andy it was really hot at the half way point. I was still in control and not letting the heat get to me mentally. He notices the women coming back to me and some dropping out. Later he tells me it was like they all died exactly at the same time. I was in 7th place at the half and then just a few miles later I was in 4th. Splits 11 - 7:25, 12 - 7:33, 13 - 7:36, 14 - 7:33, 15 - 7:35. Half way point was 1:36:48.

Miles 16 - 20
Okay now we enter what I affectionately call the "BLACK HOLE" of most of my marathons. Typically after 14 miles I start to lose focus, I start to feel overwhelmed by the distance that is left and I slow down tremendously till about 19 miles. A lot of time is lost in here and I usually don't remember much other than being pissed. Well not this time!! I think a lot of this had to do with how well Tom and I were working together and the care we took with most of our previous miles. Tom and I take turns being in control of the pace without saying anything, it just seems that when he is feeling crappy I'm feeling strong and when I'm feeling crappy he is feeling strong. Works well. The carnage around us is growing as there seems to be more people walking than running, a lot of drop outs, but the residents are out in full force with water hoses and positive energy, not something you normally get with this marathon. We pass one of the women on the side of the road crying and she appears to be bleeding. She isn't alone and she is being taken care of so we move on. I'm in 3rd now but I'm feeling a little somber as I realize how difficult this race is and I worry about my friends out on the Chicago course. There are some significant inclines in this section of the race and after 18 miles I have lost Tom after going through a water stop. Having all my gatorade with me allowed me to sail efficiently through the water stops taking only what I needed to douse my head and take a small sip, the rest came from the bottles I had on me. Thank God I had decided to wear my fuel belt, something I NEVER do when I race. We see Andy and Kyla multiple times during this section and everytime I see them I get a great lift. I toss them some of my empty bottles. Splits 16 - 7:33, 17 - 7:36, 18 - 7:39, 19 - 7:33, 20 - 7:35 for a total 20 mile time of 2:29:03.

The Last 10k

10K to go! I'm very hot now and tired and alone. All I can think about is the famous drop at 23 miles and hopefully the cool lake air as somewhere past there we have the lake to our left with nothing inbetween but open park area. I'm struggling with the inclines but mentally I'm still okay as I know that my Boston Qualifier is no where close to being in danger. I've shift to mile splits over 8 minutes but I'm okay with that, I can go way over 9 minute miles if I have to, but of course I don't want to. The course starts turning a lot as we go through some neighborhoods that remind me of the rich north shore. I turn a corner to see the 23 mile mark and then it hits me. My head starts spinning, I feel like I'm going to throw up. Its over, I'm done I pass the 23 mile mark and I collapse on the grass right next to the owner of the lawn sitting in his lawn chair. In retrospect it was kind of funny. I wait for the wave of failure to wash over me and then I say to myself "Damn you, you have 50 minutes to get 3.2 miles completed. Sh*t I could probably walk that, it would be embarrassing but it would be a Boston Qualifier. I also thought about Kyla and Andy and just at the moment I hear a voice saying "Let me help you up, you can finish this, you gotta get up" A fellow runner had stopped, stopped for me, someone he didn't even know, and he wasn't in any great shape either and he got me going again. I wish I knew who he was but wherever you are THANK YOU. I did a few yards of power walking then I started jogging. The woman at the corner was just cheering her head off at me as she saw the whole episode and she yelled out to me that there was a special treat for me when I turned the corner.....and there it was THE GREAT DOWNHILL DROP and the LAKE. The temp felt like it dropped a whole 10 degrees (I'm sure it didn't but it felt like it) and I was back! A little while later I pass the runner who had helped me and he was walking. I put my hand on his arm as I passed and gave him what encouragement I could. Quads are starting to cramp but I know I'm almost home. Now its just one mile after another as I hear the announcer in the distance and the rest takes care of itself. Splits 21 - 8:01, 22 - 8:00, 23 - 8:11, 24 - 8:26, 25 -7:59, 26 - 8:11, last .2 - 1:36. Finish time 3:19:30.

The Aftermath

After I crossed the line my quads staged a mutiny and cramped up and I was stumbling through the finish area. The volunteers at the finish area, bless every one of them, were working hard holding everyone up and bringing them safely into the arms of their families. I was escorted to Andy and Kyla and I was so happy. I asked Andy to take me to the medical tent because I was getting dizzy and my quads were still being a problem. I spent about 15 minutes in the medical tent and I was released after drinking 2 cups of gatorade and once my blood pressure stablized. Throughout the race I had consumed over 35oz of gatorade plus the water I took at aid stations.

After all these weeks my ankle decides to be silent, whaddya know!

News From Home

After showering and returning to the finish area for the awards ceremony, which we knew we missed but just in case they were running late, we spoke with the race director and got news of the war zone the Chicago Marathon was turning into. Kris told us that they were telling everyone who had not reached the 16 mile mark by 3:30 to stop running because the race was being cancelled. Immediately I was concerned for all the friends I had running in Chicago but I knew I probably wouldn't know anything for a while. As we left Milwaukee I took out a piece of paper and started figuring out what pace you had to be on to make that cut off. It was pretty funny with me converting time to minutes, dividing things out through long division and talking to myself the whole time about where I thought each of my friends could have been at that time. I felt pretty confident that everyone I knew should have made the cutoff as long as they weren't already in trouble with the heat. Knowing the course I was pretty sure that Chicago's course wasn't giving the runners the breaks we got in Milwaukee. I was worried but all I could do was wait.

Andy, Kyla and I of course stopped for lunch at the Brat Stop on highway50 and I94 on the way home. Eating lunch here after the Lakefront marathon is a tradition from back in my olympic trials training years. For every member of our training group that ran the marathon we would all celebrate a race well done here. It is here that the team helped Ann and I celebrate qualifying for the olympic trials. We popped champagne and made a lot of noise. The following year we all celebrated Jane's qualifying run. I was tired but I ate my traditional brat with gusto.

I did get a call eventually from Kelly reporting in that she finished but that it was absolute hell. I spoke with Brian as well. It was almost 5:30 pm at this point and my family and I were just arriving home in Naperville. That was one long day for my Chicago friends.

Well I'm going to wrap up here. Congrats to all who ran the Chicago marathon, whether they finished or not. It was not a kind day and there were many personal struggles.

Goodbye October 7, 2007!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Marathon Weekend

Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon

Okay we are now entering Marathon Weekend!!

I wanted to wish Kelly, Brian, Val, Wes, Katie, Wendy, Mark, and members of the Dick Pond Racing Team, the swiftest of feet!
  • Val will be running her first marathon (she says it will be her one and only...we'll see).
  • Katie will be shooting for that Boston qualifying time.
  • Kelly will be attempting to add to her string of incredible PR's this year
  • Brian is happily returning from his injury.
  • Wes is running his first marathon and is raising money for Children's Memorial where he was once treated for Hodgkin's Disease. He was only 15 years old at the time. He is now an adult with a wife and beautiful daughter.
  • Wendy will attempt to walk/run the marathon as her back permits. Take it nice and easy girl!
  • Mark will be leading the 4 hour pace team.

I, of course to be difficult and different, will be running the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon on the same day. I will be shooting for that Boston Qualifier.

Run fast ya'll!


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Jones Finally Admits Steriod Use


US sprinter Marion Jones, winner of 3 golds and 2 bronze medals at the Sydney Olympics has finally admitted to using steriods in the years prior to the Olympics. She faces jail time for lying to federal investigators during the BALCO scandal, and she will most likely face the loss of her medals.

Just this year I was in Belize where our tour guide proudly pointed out the Marion Jones sports stadium she helped build. Marion's mother is from Belize as is much of her mother's family . Marion holds dual citzenship US/Belize. They are so proud of her there. What will they think now? What legacy does she leave for her son?

I'm sad but not surprised.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Why do you love me?

New World Record - Men's Marathon!!!

An unbelievable 2:04:26 for Haile Gebrselassie in Berlin! That's just under 4:45 per mile back to back for 26.2 miles. It hurts just thinking about it.

An amazing athelete who gives generously of his race earnings to help fight poverty in his native country. Currently is lending his support to a clean water project for some of the more remote areas of his country. Clean water definitely is not a given for many parts of the world, something Haile knew very well during his childhood. Learn more at http://www.vickyswaterproject.com/