Another Medal Sweep

A couple of weeks ago, our family ran in a little race called the Raleigh Court Road and Trail Challenge. It was the third race this spring that we ran as a family (all but 4 year old ~A~ who hasn’t yet discovered the wonder of running).

BTW, if you’re interested in hearing about the other 2 races, post a comment below.  I’ll write about them if I get at least 1 request.

This is our second year running this race. We really liked it last year because it is mostly on the road, but has a fun little trail section that makes it interesting. It also has a 5k and 10k race distance, so you can have a little bit of fun, or a lot.

~D~ and ~K~ chose "a little fun" by running the 5k route…

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..and Christine and I opted for the 10k route–twice the distance for the same price.

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The 10k route is just a second loop of the 5k route, so you get to experience the trail section a second time.

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Last year, I ran with Christine, but this year we both decided to run on our own to see what we could do. After the race started, I tried not to go out too fast–a mistake that I made last year–but with an early downhill section, that was really hard to do.

The course had  a lot more hills than I remembered and was feeling more fatigue than last year. I also was pushing harder, and was feeling it.

By the end of the first loop, I was ready to quit and go home, but gritted my teeth and kept going.  I decided to try to get my mind off of the running by telling each of the race marshals along the course to say "Hi" to the lady in turquoise behind me.  (I figured that Christine was behind me because I hadn’t seen her since the start of the race.)  At one point I looked back and could actually see her–only about 200-300 yards back.  This surprised me–I didn’t expect her to be so close.

At this point, I’ll mention that she’s been training for a triathlon, and so has been doing a lot more swimming and biking along with her running, while I’ve been just doing the running thing. I think the cross training has been making her stronger.

We hit the trail section again and my legs were done. I was struggling to keep going and even started walking at one point. But then I heard a voice behind me, "C’mon Craig! You can do it!"  And so I started running again, but by the end of the trail section, I was wasted.

As I got out on the road, the last quarter mile was a steady hill before a final dash to the finish line.  I looked behind me and Christine was right there.

"Oh, crap!" 

I started pushing up the hill, fully expecting her to blow by me and pass me at any time, but I wasn’t going to let her off easy. She spared my ego by letting me beat her by seconds.

The boys did really well in the 5k. ~K~ came in 3rd overall (and won a $25 gift card). ~D~ came in first in his age group.

Christine and I both placed 2nd in our age groups.

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Compared to the year before, I did really well–shaving 7 minutes off of my time. And the fact that Christine almost beat me? 

Well, she’s a force to be reckoned with.  I’m going to have to ramp up my game if I’m going to keep up.

Seven Cold Miles in April

After running  in some pretty balmy temperatures earlier in the week, we got sucker punched with another blast of winter. (Short lived, I hope.)

I proceeded with my mid-week run, breaking out the winter gear once more. Sigh.

Luckily it is starting to get lighter and I can enjoy glimpses of the sun rise, where a month before, I was finishing in the dark (due to DST).

Here’s a glimpse of the sunrise early in the run:

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Another glimpse of the sun towards the end of the run:

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I also got a nice view of a fairly full moon, setting in the west:

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I had planned for 6, but decided to stir-in an extra mile at the end.

7 miles and I was glad to be done.

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Annual Family Turkey Trot

The day after Thanksgiving, we skipped the Black Friday sales and headed out to the local park to do our 3rd annual family Turkey Trot, where we all run a 5k.  We had the privilege of having my folks to join us for the fun.

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It is all fun and games until we lined up at the starting line.  Everyone was jockeying for the best position.

 

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Christine and I ended up running together…

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and let ~D~ and ~K~ run their own race. Here they are lapping us during the run.

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We couldn’t have asked for a prettier, albeit cold, day for the run.  And my parents were gracious to push ~A~ in the stroller, so I didn’t have to.

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Into the Darkness Trail Race

~D~ and ~K~ both ran in the Into the Darkness Trail Race again this year.  I chose not to run it because it was 2 weeks before the Amish half and did not want to risk injury.

Here they are goofing off before the race:

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Here’s the start line…

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and the finish line.

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It was nice to be a spectator this year, and a bit eerie seeing the lights in the dark that were attached to the runners.

Both ~D~ and ~K~ did really great! I was proud of them.

Running Group Sunset

In late July, Christine and I started a running group with our church.  We met Monday evenings for 9 weeks until September.  We had a 5k and 10k group that was fairly successful, although we lost a number of the 5k group by week 5, when things start getting hard (for a beginner runner who hasn’t been doing their homework training runs).

I snapped this photo after one of our late summer runs.

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Climb to the Star

Made a 3.5 mile climb in late May and took this picture at the top:

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Here are my notes from the run:

7.06 mi. Mid 50s. A cool, clear morning. Drove down to the greenway and parked at Rivers edge. Ran about a mile to the Walnut Street bridge and then up the parkway to the Mill Mountain star…without walking. A tough climb to the top, but made it! Coming down the mountain had its own set of challenges, just because it was a 3 mile down hill stretch. Made it back down and glad to be done.

Speed Sessions

Our local running store sponsored speed workout sessions 4 weeks in the summer.2013_07Jul_17SpeedWorkout06

Here’s what a typical session looked like from my running notes:

85 degrees. Miserable hot. We did:
– Half mile warm up
– Dynamic stretching
– 12 x 200 with 200 walk/jog recovery in between
– 2 40x40x40
– Cool down
Dead afterwards–the heat sucked the life out of me.