Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Belated race report --VT 100 miler-July 17-18, 2010

me at finish with Nick, my pacer

Vermont 100 mile endurance run--three time's NOT a charm!!!
(photos of Frank, Kraz and I during the race and of myself and my pacer at finish)

July 17-18, 2010 was my third running of the Vermont 100 mile endurance Run (my mid-life crisis but should be so lucky to be running like Anton when I am his age:)) and I did finish in 28:37.
It was my slowest time of the three (2008-25:50; 2009-26:16), but since i didn't feel good the whole day (and night), I was proud of myself for digging deep and carrying on.
When I crossed the finish line last year, I said ' never again will I run VT'. It took so much out of me, but it was also a real journey...but i did forget the pain and entered again.
The course, not anywhere as difficult as the western Mountain 100s, is still tough. Mountains and relentless uphills to climb (ski areas like Suicide Six) at miles 21, 30, 39, 57, and 91..
.even the last 2 miles are uphill in the woods --with 1.3 to go, one has to climb the steepest .3 you can imagine!!
Plus, the weather is most likely the typical July heat and humidity. This year the temps were in the low 90s and humidity very high--113 runners (almost half the field) dropped out.
The hills are OK for me, but it's the focus and training that goes into the event --basically 50-70 miles every week for 4 months with tempo runs, hill runs, and typically an ultra (31 miles or more) every other weekend. Also to prepare I did 87 miles in a 24 hour race in May (training to go thru the night); and 60 miles in a 12 hour race (training for time on feet for 12 hours! arghh).
And as the time got closer, i did all my runs in the midday heat, and also did alot of night running (Waveny Park, etc).
So with all that work going into the 100, as horrible as I felt, was not going to quit. But the week of the race I was plagued with a stomach bug and excrutiating migraine headache
(and wanted to save the drugs for the race:) but had to take those Advils). The day before the race, my stomach hurt, and although i didn't feel weak I felt headachy, tired, and
somewhat out of it...and the night before I toss and turned and slept for maybe 10 minutes --wake up time was 2:30 for a 4 a.m. start!!!

I drove up by myself but also in the race were tons of friends, including Old Greenwich's John krazneiwicz, running his first 100 miler at age 59!!!, and my
friend Frank Colella, running his fourth VT --we must have had 30 ultra friends toeing the line. I started with Frank, and it was warm and humid already at 7 a.m. when we got to the first food aid station at 11.5 --I gulped down some pb and j's , drinks, chips, pretzels, and m and ms and we continued onward. Frank pulled ahead of me and I didn't see him
until we came into mile 21--the first big aid station that cars can park at --he was on the ground changing his clothes which were soaked thru. I did not feel well at all-my quads were way too beat up for this early in the race, and my stomach hurt!! i could not even keep up with Frank at an easy pace out of the station and once again lost him until mile 31, where
he and kraz were changing clothes --we all ventured up the big suicide six climb together, and kraz pulled ahead at another big hill at mile 39. It was slow going for
both Frank and I and he walked more than I wanted to but i stayed with him until we pulled into mile 47--Camp ten bear. We were an hour behind!!! Frank had a sausage sandwich and we walked
on with Nick, my pacer (he was volunteering and I would pick him up after a loop that took us back to that camp and mile 70)--we ran/walked over a section of river and single track,
and up some hills -it was here that we (along with another runner, mary) encountered 'the naked runner'--a man running buck naked, along with his clothed buddy -
his chafing was so bad that he had to take off and carry his clothes -lol...He told us not to look and we didn' mile 57 the sun was setting but it was still warm.
Frank couldn't really run anymore as his quads were in pain. So we lost some time walking the hills and didn't get back down to mile 70 til 10:30 p.m.!!!
Frank dropped out--he just didn't want to slog through 31 miles in 10-11 much as i felt the same way, my pacer and everyone else at the aid station told me to GO ON..
that is the way with ultras --put one foot in front of my pacer Nick and i got some food and drink and went off into the woods. We were moving along
at a 15 minute pace, when i felt a twinge in my knee--and it was actually painful. I could not run for the next 5 miles, and after mile 81 i took some drugs and did some stretching and found that i could lift my knee so we ran from mile 81 to 88 --slowly; off and on...until the big aid station at Bill's garage...a beacon of lights in the night. many people were laid out in cots and had dropped.
i felt weird and unsteady on the scales and hoped that they didn't ask me to lie down!! On we went at at mile 92, Nick missed a turn into the woods...we went 1/2 mile down the road and I thought that i would cry when he said we had to go back..finally we were at mile 95.5, and we passed some people going up a huge hill. Already at 7 a.m. the sun was blazing down.
I was so happy to see the marker for the 1.3 miles to go --we were going to do it!! and finish. We crossed the line at 8:37 and sat in the hot sun with my friends who had finished before me.
Frank and his pacer Rob had spent the night on a cot and came to the finish, and John Kraz. came across the line in 29 hours --i was SO PROUD of him. He had a wonderful pace, joe reis, from westchester track club. Yes, says Kraz., he will do another 100 again but a 'flatter one'.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

'3 days at the fair' 24 hour race --Sussex Fairgrounds, NJ -May 15-16, 2010

finishing one more lap!

taking a well-deserved rest

taking a walking break...

Siri and Byron -the mens' 24 hour winners

the womens' winner Susan--her first 100 miles deserves roses!

The '3 days at the fair' 24 hour race was my third '24 hour' event, and while it was not my best in miles, it was definately the most fun. I had run Race Director Rick McNulty's Watchung Winter Ultra in 10 degree weather and wanted to try one of his warmer weather events..Frank and I wanted to run thru the night as training for VT 100 but we also wanted to run Greenbelt 50K, as trail training. But a 24 hour is what you make of it, and we had alot of friends entered--meredith, Fred, ray, Steve T., Shannon, Byron, etc. Another plus--the course was .86 mile loops and I have alot of experience dealing with the mental aspects of running loops from the B.U.S. events:-) So, Frank and I decided to enter ON TUES before the event-lol --we could carpool and put all of our stuff together -- and see what we could do for 'fun'--but a 24 hour event does take planning and commitment and if Frank was running he would make sure that I double-checked my packing list and that I didn't quit...the fatigue of Boston, Sybil 50K and Greenbelt 50K had left me with 'dead legs'--tried to rest last week but ended up going to Boston to visit my son and ended up walking 8 miles or so and spending hours on my feet --I have to say that walking alot during the week leading up to a 24 hour was a pretty stupid idea:( (the one thing bothering me during the race, besides my quads, were my feet).
The weather on Saturday was sunny and windy -pretty perfect except for the wind, which blew over our chairs-(. I left my house at 6:25; picked up Frank and all his stuff and we arrived at the Sussex County fairgrounds at 8:20.As we were driving in we saw the 48 hour runners out on the course!!! Right away i recognized Ray K., and Steve T. (who was stopping at 24)...we parked right on the course before the finish line/aid station and put out chairs, drinks (forgot water-hum..!)
and clothing/medical supplies...we walked over to the start/finish, where Rick, his family and kids and big Rottweiler had set up shop, and were camping for the duration of the weekend. Other tents dotted the landscape. Picked up our bibs which included a chip in the back; and were given a hat and water bottle (a hi-tek hand-held-yah!) --a 9 a.m. we were off. Right away, i felt pretty sluggish and tired --however, plenty of friends were on course and I decided to take it realllly easy and walk and talk with Fred, Ray and Meredith, just to get my legs going. Decided I might just got for 50 miles. I changed shoes and shirts after a few hours, and Frank, Siri, Susan and Byron went blowing by me every few laps -ugh...finally at about 50K (41 slowww laps), Marge A. showed up to pace/cook/volunteer --as much as I was not up to running (quads and feet hurt --all I could think of was 'good thing i didn't try and race the healthy kidney 10K-woulda been a disaster.. haha) , Marge wanted to run some slow loops --she had hoped to get in 20 miles but would stop when needed in the kitchen. This was just what the Dr. ordered, as I did want to stop. I was forced to run --and we did run 40 laps together, most with Frank,as he had cranked out 50 miles already and was 8 loops ahead of me and was slowing down due to stomach issues (my stomach hurt also --I was severely nauseous-- until i finally found a pepsid-ac in my drop bag). At about 9:30, after dark, we saw the most amazing fireworks, which lasted for 3 loops...(Rick said they were for a Sparta baseball game). Marge lasted til 3 a.m. with us (we got lapped by the 12 hour runners -they ran thru the night!!) and then had to go help prepare breakfast...thus started the 'witching hours' -3 to 5 a.m. where the road became desolate as most of the 48 hour runners were asleep. However, the roads were well lit, and I enjoy running thru the night and was beginning to feel better and found myself in 3rd place due to attrition (7 women started--2 ran 50 miles; one ran 100K and one got sick..) I plodded along and walked a lap with Meredith which was great. Poor Frank was dragging so could not run anymore, while i found i could run/walk, so tried to make up some time, even though the feet were really hurting (nothing like the 48 hour people though!!) -meanwhile my friend Susan was on her way to running 100 miles and marge went back out and paced her for a few miles:) Then it got light and I chuckled when went past Meredith's tent and her daughter Zoe was up, sitting on the grass and having a playdate!! Only 3 more hours to go!! At 7 a.m., Marge told me that the girl ahead of me was going to stop at 100 loops --I finished off my 100th with her, and wanted her to go on with me (we would tie for second and third) but her feet were I added one more loop and called it quits at 8:20 a.m. --could have run a few more laps but just didn't want to --too tempting to stop and finally put my feet up-ahhhh. Frank had finished 90 miles and was sitting anyway...and Fred was almost done. We watched, from our chairs, as the 48 hour runner Liz bauer ,who was setting a record of 205 miles!!, finished with Byron, Siri and the other frontrunner...amazing!!! And the mens' top 48 hour runners racked up laps until the bitter end --one also set a record? of 200 miles --truly inspirational!! also uplifting to see the kids run so many miles, 'effortlessly'..
After a change of clothes, coffee and a beer (wonderful), we hobbled back to the finish line where Rick awarded the top 3 in each race handmade pottery jars..i ended up getting second female for 101 laps,which was just short of 87 miles..
but what a great event this was, and def. want to go next year back more rested and in the mental zone so can run over 100!!! We had perfect weather, and saw so many friends and rick and his family did an awesome job to help each and every participant!! Rick's son ran 100 miles --now wish my son could do that!!!
Check out the great photos from the race!!!
and Frank's race report

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sybil Ludington 50K /Boston marathon--April 19 & 24, 2010

coming into the mile 29.5 Sybil aid station

Ellen (who volunteered), Lucimar, Joe, Elaine and myself after finish

Frank and Elaine sample the subs after finishing

Joe Handelman at finish with Joe LeMay (2 Princeton grads)

Frank, Hugo and I at finish of Boston Marathon

Always a time for firsts, and at age 51-almost 52- this was a first for me --the hilly Sybil 50K came on the heels of Boston Marathon (April 19 so 4 days prior) and 4 weeks after the Umstead 100 miler...I knew that I would finish, even if I had to walk, but also knew that Boston had taken alot out of me (as ran quite a bit after Umstead -weather too good and so happy to have the tapering behind me) and had no idea how I would feel. (I had done Boston/Sybil back-to-back in 2007 and felt much better in Sybil so hoped this was the case). I was thrilled that I finished Boston in an 8:42 pace (3:47) as my body was still fatigued from Umstead and the Scarsdale 15K!!! (week before, where I did push myself at a 7:15 pace). Boston is a tough roller coaster course and aside from the race, I had the best time!! so the weekend with running friends and with my son was more than worth leaving my Sybil race at the took it really easy after Boston, with walking and swimming. I had a bad pinkie toe blister that killed me the entire Boston race, and was not healed! It was raw and sore --but taped it, wore different shoes and hoped for the best.
The morning of Sybil was a disaster --I forgot to put the plastic holder in my coffee maker and it leaked all over the kitchen-had to leave it as no time to clean (but later mopped and scoured the whole area)!!Then, tossed everything in car and as pulled out of driveway, realized my tire was flat (again)...arghh.. so quickly got the keys to other car, put my stuff in (forgot iPod) and left to meet Frank at the Bedford commuter parking lot --by now was 10 min late!! Fortunately, we were early to the start -haha --arriving just as a crew from the Brewster train station pulled in (Lucimar, Sal, and other city folks). The weather was just perfect --a touch chilly and windy but bright sun and not too hot. I was frazzled from the flat tire problem but managed to forget about and concentrate on the 31-plus miles ahead.
I carried a water bottle, and a fanny pack (which had bought at Umstead!)with some food and Advil/s-caps. We were driven to the start a mile away and I rode with Admas , who is coming back from a stress fracture and who hoped to finish and resume her Comrades training--I had told Frank to go ahead and get a ride to the start as I wasn't ready! We started a few minutes after 8 a.m., and Byron, the front running men and Frank took off up the hill _ I took it very easy, not paying attention to any of the other women --just holding back at an 11 min pace. I talked to Seth, who had run Umstead --his fiancee, Frances, had also run Umstead and was running Lake Waramug 50 the next day (and she had run Boston! but she's 20 years younger than I)...I soon left him and ran by myself along the busy route 6--soon we turned and went to the North of Lake Mahopac --hilly, but scenic --oh no--my quads were already tired by mile 4--it would be a long day!! I caught up with Michael, the race director of the Staten island ultra --we leap frogged each other until the half way point,where the eventual womens' leader passed me--I then started to feel better and to pick up the pace --it was just glorious outside, and I wanted to take photos of the road around the resovoir at mile 15 --but that road was short lived and soon I was on a long stretch of highway, where ran alone for an hour --finally I saw a person- Hiroshi, who was running in the relay. he told me that he was racing NJ marathon next weekend so didn't want to run the full 50K --the next stretch, after Cathy G.'s aid station at mile 19 and mile 21.7 and a wonderful aid station with a friendly woman and homemade cookies, was tough --rickety dirt roads and undulating terrain -here is where I saw Antonn, who told me that Joe Handelman was ahead --so I looked forward to catching him (he was running for his 80th b-day and started early)and to seeing Eliot at mile 29 --before that is the toughest hill of the course --a mile long hill at mile 24--endless!! at the top is an aid station..and then the marathon point is around the corner --I love this section of the course, because although hilly, when one comes out to the highway we only have 4 miles to go!! I started to click off the miles and forget the fatigue in my quads and hamstrings..I had caught up with Joe, given him a hug, and had my photo taken by Anton -'save some beer for me', said Joe, who added that he felt good save for a tight hamstring. Finally, I saw Eliot and the aid station --he told me we were at mile 29.5--horray!! After 10 or so min, a woman told me that we had 1.25 miles to go--what? But by then I knew the last mile --across the causeway, and down a hilly and busy thoroughfare into town. I felt good -at that point it's all mental.
After i finished (5:29--made up some time after the pitifully slow start), Frank took some photos and we talked with ellen and joe leMay, Tom and Frank D...then it was into the lodge where we got birthday cake and food --I was so pleased to get a nice handmade plaque for first master female and to see Frank get second 40s (Byron was in the top 3 overall)...what a great day!!! I really love this race, and I never attempted it until 2006, when Frank suggested that he run it as his first Ultra -it is now one of my favorites and the one great thing about this low-key event, as opposed to Boston, is that I can slow down and walk whenever I want; or push myself--absolutely no time pressure..that's the nice thing about 50Ks -and this race is a Taconic rrc event! I could not muster the energy to drive up to lake Waramug the next day to run the 50K or pace in the rain...but many friends did run and finished their first 50 miler and ran the 50K/100K -congrats to all!! Can't wait to run both next year!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Umstead 100 mile Endurance run --March 27-28, 2010

Tammy and I are the pre-race briefing

hugo, frank and anthony at pre-race briefing
before the pre-race briefing

at finish with jenny chow

I am finally updating my blog:). The long road to Umstead 100 and the long winter is finally over. In short, I set a new P.R. in this year's edition of Umstead with 22:08 -hard believe would still be setting at P.R. at age 51!! So many stories from this weekend, I hardly know where to begin. For starters, Frank paced me the last 2 1/2 loops and finished in 22:08 also!!! He ran an amazing 9:11 for the first 50 miles and then backed off which allowed me to catch up with him--his goals were to finish and to come in under 24, and he more than surpassed those! Tony ran a P.R. of 19:34, and friend Eric finished his first 100! So many friends were also out on the trail -ira, kim, fred, joe L., tammy, steve t., shannon, meredith, Hugo, jenny c.,and the NJ contingent (johnny, laura, susan and marge). We were lucky that Rick and Johnny were around for support most of the day until they paced. and Wayne came down to pace Marge! This is a rolling dirt-road course with 12.5 mile loops -2 aid stations per loop with awesome volunteers to help get the runners food and drink. The weather was chilly but dry with a full moon--really lucky, considering we had rain friday and monday--heavy at times, also!
Background ---with Umstead as my primary goal, and the Boston Build up series as my secondary goal, and NYRRC 1/2 marathons, I put in an average of 60-70 miles a week plus tempo runs or long runs (Watchung, run around manhattan, albany,florida 6-hour run, caumsett).
I felt ready, but hamstrings had been tight and foot was still alittle off after long runs --was never sure that my training was enough but my only goal was to run/walk productively and finish under 24 hours. On Thursday before the race, I barely slept-I fell asleep a 3:30 a.m. and woke up at 5:30 a.m. to meet Tony to drive to plane flight....what an awful way to start the day!! Despite the 2 hours sleep, I had a good day!! Tony and I got to JFK and met ira, karen, steve T., and his wife alex and son joey. We had an easy flight, rented a car, and met Rick, Tony's pacer.
We checked into our hotel, Homewood suites, across the street from a fun mall. We all went for lunch, then over to Umstead park for registration. Then we hung around (in the rain) for the pre-race briefing, where I saw Frank and all of the above!!
We then went to wal mart for supplies and a subway sandwich and went back to hotel -I was exhausted and the race hadn't even begun!!!
After a 4 a.m. wake up call (fortunately, I was asleep at 9:30, after preparing my bags--ended up forgetting hat and sunglasses!!!:( lol), met Rick and Tony in the lobby. We had a bit of a mix up in that Tony forgot his energy drink and had to go back to the room! We then got to the park around 5:15 and went into the cabin to get organized and have some breakfast. It was chilly and I needed a headlamp.
At 6 a.m. we all assembled and were off --I was sooooo nervous. The long road was about to begin....we went out and back on the airport spur and I will never forget seeing all the headlamps coming back!!! I then ran with Frank til mile 7 and he took off. I settled into a groove with ira and Eric. After the second loop, my hamstrings were alittle painful and i thought my race would be over. Plus, I had a painful blister on my pinkie toe --after the third loop, I asked Rick to pop the blister and treat it --he did, thankfully, but it felt so raw and painful I did not think i could continue...but it went numb and my stride returned to normal. Thank God!!! I learned a lesson about blisters and shoes. I ran with Eric off and on (he passed me) and finished the 50 miles in 9:58!! This uplifted my mood as this was my fastest 100 mile 50 mile split. When I was coming back out (after having birthday cake at the aid station), I saw Frank and he said that he was walking some of the next loop and that he would 'take it easy' so that I would catch up with him. I could not bear the thought of us running the same pace for 50 miles, each alone, with him 1/2 hour ahead!!! So, I sped up and hammer the next lap in 2:37!! I saw him coming in and he said he would walk and I could catch up. We ad 3 loops to again, I worked as hard as I could to catch up and no Frank--finally at mile 4 of the loop I saw him walking up the big hill. All of this made my race, as
I worked harder to catch up with him than I would if just plodding along. We then finished the loop in 2:40!!! for me. The next loop was long, eve though we ran alot of it. we stopped to get Frank and expresso gel as he was falling asleep standing up., and then we stopped to get me gloves and root thru the bags for tights (we had a discussion about putting on tights and finally decided not to!!). I was getting mentally and physically tired. At mile 88 and at the headquarters, we saw Hugo and again this was so uplifting --only 12.5 miles to go!! We had been on our feet for 19 hours...and this last loop was the hardest part. We started off and decided to run as much as we could --we still walked all the hills but did run the downhills, as much as they were painful on my quads. Frank was really strong and pulled ahead and kept asking if I was back there!! It pushed me to keep up. Finally, we were at aid station mile 7 (95 miles --5 to go)!! We had gotton thru the dark, dreary section, and now had the hilly sawtooth and the main road to headquarters turn. We clicked off mile 96, 97 and 98 --we then walked up the big hill and I said to Frank, let's tryand run this and I can break my time of 22:18 --so we ran the entire last 1.5 miles. Frank had a strong flashlight for the rocky, dark, last .5 mile --he led the way and we crossed the finish line at 22:08. I was so elated that he finished his first Umstead!! They gave him a choice of pendant or belt buckle and he chose a pendant for his daughter --great!!! Anthony, rick and steve were at the finish to greet us. They wanted to catch a 5 a.m. gate opening so we went with them after socializing a bit and taking some photos with Hugo. I was cold, wet, and ready to go inside. Frank's wife came to pick him up in the hotel lobby (early for her)...and then i checked into my room and went for a hot shower and nap...painful blisters!!
I couldn't sleep so got up and we went over to the park to see Meredith finish!!!
We also saw Tammy (she set a PR) and the NJ guys and Wayne. fun day!!! finally took a nap, went mall walking, and out for easy dinner and flew back yesterday. What a great weekend and what memories, and what fun to meet new friends.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Albany winter marathon --running against the wind! Feb 21, 2010

happy to have the race over and get out of the wind!

what a fun road Rob, Frank and I had -despite getting lost in Albany and eating up precious time to register and get ready before the race-heck, it's ONLY a marathon -
thank goodness Frank and I were organized and were able to pay right away, sign our names and rush outside the SUNY Albany athletic complex gym to the start. We both had to go to the bathroom so used the portajohns after we ran back to the start line...
It was an experience starting in the back of the pack, but since this was a training marathon and since I wanted to run the race at a 9 min pace, this was fine. n fact, it took all the pressure off of running a certain time. I had run 10.5 miles the day before, so was a touch tired plus had run 50 miles in Florida ...I caught up with Barbara and was happy to see her --Frank and I ran together until the first mile and then he took off -as soon as we made the turn into the inner campus loop, wham! We were hit by huge wind gusts and a strong headwind --boy was I happy to have hat and gloves, but could have used a headband...I found myself walking to take a breather even at mile 5, which was into the wind. I felt zapped. At mile 10, i regained some energy, and ran in a pack of people and turned my iPod on (which thankfully had remembered). I saw Eliot at every turnaround, somewhat ahead of me.
At mile 15 I prayed that the next 11 miles would go quickly. It was not until mile 21 that I began to pick up the pace so to get the race overwith --it seemed like each turn was windier--especially the last mile of the loop -wow!! I saw Frank finishing when i was on the inner loop --only 20 more minutes...finally it was over.
A hot shower, some soap, coffee, and then a trip to the brewery made us feel human again!!! all and all it is a good event (the volunteers are awesome)but the weather is unpredictable. It is Albany, NY in the winter!!! and good training..

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Boy scout 100th aniversary night -Feb. 8, 2010

the 100th anniversary cake was cut..

a photo of the entire Greenwich council was taken!

Ike comes off the stage after receiving his award..

This has nothing to do with running but last night my 2 boy scouts hank and Ike went to a town-wide boy scout event to celebrate the boy scouts' 100th anniversary!
Ike's patrol got to go on stage as they won third place in the january 30 Klondike derby. He got a nice certificate. The head scout executive gave a short speech, and gave out some awards, and then cut the cake (and we said a prayer for boy scouts).
All the boys and leaders received a beautiful 2010 anniversary patch.

Monday, February 1, 2010

'Run around mahanttan' 50K-(1/31/2010) in honor of ted corbitt

some of the group posing on the Inwood park stairs

running next to the GW bridge...

running up the West side highway --in front of the Intrepid (mile 29)

the group at the staten island ferry terminal (@ mile 24)

Yijoo Kwon talks about his March 23 run across america for diabetes (

the group at the start
The letter from Ritchie of Broadway Ultra Society came on Wed. of last week, announcing Dave Obelkevich's annual 33.25 (54K) Run around Manhattan in honor of Ted Corbitt's actual birthday (Jan 31 he would have been 91). Dave has organized and run this for 11 years!!! He is also known for finishing 33 nycms --he has the longest streak. This was a fun run, with coffee and donut and bagel stops along the way. Since I was planning to do a long run, and no race was scheduled, I was intrigued!! Yes, it was going to be cold, but i figured that if Frank came we would be in it together. We could do as much or as little as we wanted. Eliot read about it and jumped on the bandwagon! He would meet us at Dave's apt on west 97 street on Sunday a.m. before the 8 a.m. start! Eliot has just started running ultras, and grew up in China Town so was also intrigued --Frank relunctantly said he'd run but may end up as an ice cube:( (temp--high of 29 degrees).
We drove to the West side uneventfully and found a cheap ($18) parking garage, and met the group at dave's apt. on West end ave and 97th street. I did not let myself think of the long journey ahead --I just kept telling myself it was another long run.
We had a group of Korean road runners with us --one of them,Yijoo Kwon, is running across the U.S.-he made a short speech, and then Dave made a speech about Ted Corbitt and about his running route around manhattan, and we paid a small tribute to Ted, went outside and took some photos and were off about 8:15. We proceeded slowly (10 min pace) up the Westside highway and under the GW bridge and across northern manhattan to Dykman street --it was cold but the sun was shining and I had never run in this area before, so it was cool to be led by Grant and Phil, who liveand run in that area. We were accompanied by Dave's friend Alex, an engineer, on a scooter. He carried water and hot beverages, and generally cheered us on, and told us the mileage if we asked...he was an awesome addition to the run, as he also knew the route!!!
I ran with Ruth, Eliot, Bob Falk, Mike Tobin, and some of the other B.U.S. runners.
After about 7.7 miles, we stopped at Twin Donuts on the upper (186 street) East side.
After the group went to the bathroom, got drinks, donuts coffee...we set out again.
We went all the way down the east side to the nycm route and Marcus garvey park, and cut across to the East side at 90th street - at about mile 17 we stopped at Bob's bagels for about 20 minutes. I got a coke, a whole grain bagel and had some of Eliot's choc. chip cookies --I also had some expresso from Alex!!! The stops were welcome, even though it was tough to get going again after a cozy coffee shop and bagel store..we then went over to the East side drive and ran all the way down. Grant had left us, and Frank, Alijca, Phil and some of the Korean runners were well up ahead. Eliot and I ran together most of the time, even thankfully taking walking breaks (my feet were taking a pounding with the concrete)--he took some photos of us in front of the Brooklyn bridge, and then we jogged to the Staten island ferry terminal,where we went upstairs (24 miles!!!) and met the front running group (being entertained by a clown-haha). Frank said 'where have you been? we've been here for 15 minutes'!! But i reminded him that it was NOT race:) --we then waited for Dave (who had helped Joe in a fall) and then Alex fed us some wonderful hot tea!!!
The whole group then made our way outside the ferry terminal and went up the West side highway, past the Intrepid museum and chelsea brewing --Phil, eliot and I ran most of the way back together, and the last 3 miles went quickly even though I was hurting...(stiff)--we exited off the West side highway into beautiful Riverside park and back to dave's. Frank and a Korean runner, followed by Aljica, were the first to finish. Eliot finished with Phil and I, in fine shape!! His third ultra in 2 months.. We then went up to dave's and changed and had cookies and rootbeer and met his wife...what a great day I had!! This is something I never would do alone.
Even Frank was happy that I dragged him along --our second ultra in January, and this puts me over 210 miles for the month...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

watchung winter ultras --Jan 9, 2010

I haven't update my blog in a while ---with the cold weather, hasn't been alot going on in terms of long runs or races (except the chilliest, windiest boston buildup 10K on 1/3)....Frank, Rob and I did make a road trip to NJ to the Watchung winter 50K and I am pleased to report that I finished the snowy, icy but beautiful single track course in around 7 hours (7:10 to be exact) and Frank finished in 6:32...he got lost and ran around 36 miles. Since the course was 3 loops of the 10.7 mile (or more, according to Garmins) sierra trail, in Watchung reservation, the 50K was about 32.1 miles. plus, i got lost a few times so figure I ran @33 miles. The worst part about the day was
that it was about 20 degrees and the race started at 8 a.m. -brrr!! I finished the first loop wearing 3 layers of everything, and behind me was Rob with alomst frostbitten hands; plus his hips was hurting so he dropped at about 11 miles. I was somewhat surprised that he was packing it in after one loop, but it was icy, snowy, hilly (3 parts -one paved hill) and slow going... I didn't want to go on eiter but figured I's finish the second loop and see where Frank was. Rob was Ok with taking nap in car and reading his book. The next loop took me about 2:15 --I ran it with Coln, a friend of my NJ friend Joe --they were both in the 50K as are training for Comrades and other spring ultras. I also ran some with Yuki, who I met in VT --he is running Massanutten!! Thankfully 2 water stations were on course as even though it was cold we were working hardand were thirsty!! After the first loop I had grabbed my handheld. I got back to the parking lot in 4:30 and Frank had gone on -Rob was still in the car. I figured I'd push on and do the marathon (a cutoff was on the big loop)-however, a guy with a garmin pointed out that the marathon distance was really close to 28.2 miles, so I might as well go the distance!! and get credit for the 50K.
I started out the next loop with my friend Mary, and we walked alot of the icy patches --somehow I got 10 minutes behind schedule. I tried to push it and did get lost going up a hilly area by myself. After I passed the marathon cutoff, I passed over 6 runners!! It was such a great feeling to go up the final hill and see the aid station in the parking lot -- and the best thing --Johnny walker black label shots were waiting. Frank was in the car shivering so we took a few photos, talked to my friend Joe, and headed for home!!!