Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Sioux Falls Falls

Or are they called the Falls of Sioux? At any rate, its another day and another chance to run in a runner friendly place. I started out heading north to see the falls that Sioux Falls, SD is named for, took a picture, and then ran south along the river. This day was planned to be a short easy run, but I came very close to changing plans and making it my long run, since I was told the path goes all around the city for 19 miles. I did stick with the plan though, and did 3.64 miles in 40 minutes. With all this fabulous fall weather I'm having a difficult time running slow, my easy days should be at a pace of 11:30 to 12:00 miles, but I'm finding myself running 11:00 miles. Here are the pictures I took on my run today.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Who Knew?

I'm in Tulsa, OK today and went for a little run. The gal at the front desk said there was a running path along the river that was a couple of blocks away. Who knew that Tulsa was such an exercise friendly city? There were actually TWO paved paths along the river, one for runners and walkers and one for bicyclists. No worries about getting run over. Also, on part of the trail, there was a lane of fine gravel to run on if you didn't want to run on asphalt, and lots of grass on either side if you wanted an even softer surface. I ended up doing a little over 7 miles and was pleased with my splits when I downloaded them, each mile was faster than the one before!
Mile 1 11:37
Mile 2 11:15
Mile 3 11:12
Mile 4 11:03
Mile 5 10:48
Mile 6 10:46
Mile 7 10:35
I think it helped just a little bit that I had a 15 mph tailwind on the way back.

Here's a picture of where I ran, the path on the right is for bicyclists, the one to the left for runners. You can see the gravel lane to the left of the running path. Also, you can see a statue of a running dude in the middle.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Peachtree City 50K Race Report

When I ran the Darkside 8 hour run in May, my prize for placing 2nd female was $20 off the entry for this race, so obviously I HAD to run it. That and the fact that it is just 10 miles from where I live and the site of most of my long runs, there was no way I wouldn't run this race.

The course is run on paved golf cart paths in Peachtree City. There are no hills, no roots, no rocks, just a pretty run through the woods. A perfect venue to attempt a PR.

Race morning was perfect. Temperatures were in the upper 30's and forecast to get into the low 70's with not a cloud in the sky and low humidity. I was surprised to see a pretty large crowd. There were about 40 runners doing the 50K and about 40 runners doing the 25K and about 10 who were already out on the golf cart paths having taken advantage of the early start option. Race Director Scott Ludwig gave us our instructions (follow the yellow chalk arrows) and at 7:30 AM we were off.

Since it was a little chilly, I started out with a long sleeved shirt over my short sleeved one and a pair of gloves. I quickly settled into my slow pace (walking 1 minute out of every 10). There was one race walker dude that zipped by me like I was standing still (he also looked to be in his 60s). I know the term for when I zip by a guy is that I chicked him, and when I zip by a younger guy I cougared him; but what is it called when an older gentleman zips by me walking? I'm going with polar beared until someone comes up with something better.

There were two aid stations on the 5.18 mile loop stocked with water, gatorade, animal crackers, pringles, pretzels, etc. I was using a handheld water bottle, so I filled up every other aid station and grabbed a handful of whatever looked appetizing at the time.

After the first lap, the temperatures warmed up, so I dropped off my gloves and long sleeved shirt at the start/finish/aid station and was on my way for the second lap. On this lap I caught up with race walking dude and I told him it wasn't fair that his walk was faster than my run. He was doing the 25K option and was hoping some day to work his way up to race walking a 50K.

My laps were very consistent, after the first two laps, I extended my walking breaks to 1.5 minutes out of every 10, and I was still completing a lap in about 1:01 to 1:02. The two leading guys each lapped me twice. On the fourth lap, Team Beth zipped by me. Finally, I was on the last lap and still holding my pace. I crossed the finish line in 6:13:14, a PR by over 24 minutes and my 5th ultra finish this year. Also good for 37th place out of 41 finishers. I really like the 50K distance, but I want to try for more next year.

If you are looking for a fast, no-frills 50K, this is the race for you. Lots of friendly people out having a good time Sunday morning/afternoon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fabulous Fall Weather = Fantastic Fast Times

The plan was for a nice easy 90 minute run along the same golf cart paths that I will be running on Sunday during the Peachtree City 50K. After the first mile, the 65 degree temperature, the low humidity, the clear blue sky, the leaves committing suicide, and the smell of pine needles all combined to make my pace faster than planned. Rather than slowing down, I decided to go with it. I pushed a bit on the uphill inclines and let myself fly on the slight downhill sections. What had been planned as an easy run turned into a nice little 8 mile tempo run at an 11:00 pace. Boy, I love fall running!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thinking Out Loud

I took a glance at my goals for this year a couple of days ago and was surprised to see that I've accomplished very few of them. My running has taken on a whole new direction and one that I'm very happy about. Instead of setting PR's in the 5K and 10K (I haven't run any 10Ks and only one 5K) I've joined the darkside. There is no way I imagined I would be running 5 ultras in one year.

So, this got me thinking about next year. I'm going to type this out loud. I'm thinking of running 100 miles. ONE HUNDRED MILES. Not in a month, not even in a week, but in a little more than a day.

I've come up with a very preliminary route to get there. I'll be running the 50 mile option at Umstead in March. Then maybe the 24 hour FANS run in Minnesota in June. If I'm able to get in 70-80 miles without killing myself, I'll look for an "easy" 100 mile race for my debut. I definitely want to pick one out while I'm NOT drinking wine. So, I'm looking at races between August and October. Lean Horse is one of the options, as is the Javelina Jundred (although I noticed a 50% DNF rate at that one).

If anyone has any other ideas, please leave them in the comments.