Thursday, April 9, 2015

Fleet Feet Racing Team Meeting

I just have a quick story to share about our Fleet Fleet Racing team meeting on March 8, 2015.  They usually hold our orientation meetings on Sunday nights, which is also the night our babysitter has church.  So we usually just end up bringing the kids.  We're the only "husband-wife with children" couple on the team.  It's never been too much of a problem, and I am so happy that Rick is on the team with me. But it is hard to attend these annual meetings!

So we brought the kids tonight to the store after hours for the meeting.  We told the big kids to find a spot to sit quietly and read or draw, and the baby was being good.  Our team leaders had us do a group activity where we had to pair up and make posters for the Bridgestreet half marathon.  Rick had the baby.  I got paired with Rob Youngren, and we got so busy thinking of motivational sayings that I didn't think of what the big kids were doing.  When it got time to share the posters, I discovered that my big kids had been asked to help Susi with her poster!

It meant a lot that she'd included them.  Then the team went on to give out an award for best poster, and they chose my kids' poster to win (if you know my daughter, she is so competitive so she just lit up when they announced this).  Just the fact that they'd included my family and made them feel welcome and not unwanted was so touching.  It makes me so thankful for these teammates.  They are an amazing group of runners.  My kids have grown up in this community and don't think anything about it, but I know how special it is that they are being influenced by them all.  


Susi with my big kids


Julia and Rick's poster 


Rob's and my poster


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

McKay Hollow 25K

 Saturday, March 28, 2015
I got up at 5 a.m. and showered and nursed the baby.  I was actually a little sad that this will be my last long race while having a nursling.  I've gotten used to the routine of our pre-race snuggles.  They calm me.

I headed up to the mountain at 6 a.m. and arrived around 6:30.  I parked on the field where they were directing us and headed to the bathrooms.  It was near freezing, but I was pressed for time (7:00 a.m. start), so I went ahead and left my warm up stuff in the car.  I wasn't too cold in compression socks, arm sleeves, a hat, and gloves.

Afterwards, I headed to the pavilion to gather around the fire with the other racers.  I chatted a little with the eventual race winner, Josh Whitehead, as we headed to the start line.

The Race 
As the race began I had NO expectations for me.  Ever since Mountain Mist, my left ankle gets a little tender at times.  I wasn't sure how it would do today.  I also hadn't been on trails since Mountain Mist, and I hadn't run this course in 2 years!  I had one thing going for me--I had run a half marathon two weeks ago.  I knew I could handle the distance, but trail races are not the same as road races!

As far as pace goes, I didn't even wear a Garmin.  I was thinking that I'd finish around 3 hours, and I didn't want to start too fast.  I ended up running alongside Christy Scott for the first few miles and we just chatted.  It felt SO good to be on the trails again!  They were muddy and lots of fun!  We noticed some girls ahead of us, but the 12K starts with the 25K, so we figured they were 12K runners.

Here I am with Christy right behind me.


I warmed up very quickly and had to take off my gloves and hat and pull my arm sleeves down.  I made it to the first aid station (5.1 miles), and we started a steep descent on the McKay Hollow Trail (NOTE: See here for a much better course description than I can give!).  I heard Christy call out, "Let's go get 'em, Katie!" or something like that, and I just took off down the descent.  It felt so amazing to just fly down the mountain.  I was loving it.

I ended up alone for most of the rest of the race.  I made it into the 2nd aid station (around 9.8 miles) and got peanut butter filled pretzels, Mello Yello, and more Gatorade in my bottle.  As I started back on the trails, I knew there was a girl ahead of me, but I saw her on Natural Well Trail sitting down.  She'd twisted her knee.  I passed her and knew I was in first place, but I kept thinking that Christy would catch me any second!  

I crossed the S.O.B. Ditch with Gregg taking pictures of my clumsiness!



The last few miles I was very tired but giving it my all.  A girl passed me and became the eventual winner and Christy almost caught me!  The last climb is so tough (go read the link I shared for a good description) and you are so spent by this point.  I just love being brought to this point though--sheer exhaustion!  It's an incredible feeling.  Finally, I made it to the finish!  Gregg  took more pictures as I came in.





I finished in 2:58:09.  Right under 3 hours!  I was given a coupon for free shoes and a free Road ID, a transition towel, and a finisher's glass.  I headed over to the aid station but got VERY cold quickly.  So I added clothes in my car and went back to the pavilion to grab food and chat with other finishers.


Here are the top 3 women: me (2nd), Chai-Chi Kuo (1st) and Christy Scott (3rd).

Closing Thoughts
I am feeling better and better each race I do.  Today I ended up with blisters on the bottom of both feet, but they hardly bothered me.  I feel good about how I am coming back and am looking forward now to 5Ks and 10Ks this summer.  

Thursday, April 2, 2015

McKay Hollow 25K March 28, 2015

March 28, 2015
2OAF 2:58:09

From race website: The McKay Hollow Madness Trail Run is roughly 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) of mostly single track trail. The course is run on sections of the Sinks, Panther Knob, Stone Cut, Mountain Mist, Goat, Warpath Ridge, McKay Hollow, Arrowhead and Natural Well Trails. This is a technical race with some difficult climbs and descents. 

Race Report to follow

Winter Winds

On Sunday, February 8, 2015 my family did the Winter Winds 2 and 4 mile races in Huntsville, Alabama.  It was the first time all of us (minus the baby) attempted a race together, and we all placed in our age groups.  It was a really fun time.  

Rick ran the 4 mile run and then watched the baby for me while I ran with my older daughter in the 2 mile run.  My son also ran in the 2 mile run.  Results found here.  It's fun to find ways to race together as a family.  I hope this is the first of many family races we will do!

Pictures by Gregg Gelmis.  Just happen to not have any of my son.  He was there too!



Friday, March 20, 2015

Huntsville Track Club

I love reading our Huntsville Track Club newsletter.  It's fun to see your name in print. Yes, they still mail it out and don't just put it online.  I love this because I save them all!  I usually appear in some race results in the newsletters, but last time I was pictured twice in the January/February issue. 

The first was a picture with Malcolm Gillis, a long-time HTC runner who passed away and was honored with this memorial.  I am in the bottom left corner with Malcolm. This was the day of my first marathon--The Rocket City Marathon in 2001.  Malcolm was director of the marathon and was giving me a door prize of $1,000!  I have a huge grin on my face since I was so excited!  Not only had I just finished my first marathon, but I had also won a huge prize!  I was a new teacher and was really excited to have won that money.  This picture brought back some great memories from that day.



The issue also featured winners from our annual awards banquet on November 14, 2014.  This is me and my husband, Rick, with Regena Moore.  She is presenting us with the Norm Harris Achievement award for our volunteering over the past year (see write-up here).  We were so surprised to get this award!  It was a really nice night.  We enjoyed dinner with friends and got to see many outstanding members of our club being honored for their achievements.


It's great to belong to this club, and I welcome you to join if you live near our area!  Our next meeting is on April 21, and there is a free meal and guest speaker.  Hope to see you there.

Scottsboro Half Marathon March 14, 2015

Saturday, March 14, 2015 
I got up at 5:30 to shower and fed the baby.  My family and I left our house at 6:30 to get to Scottsboro at 7:30 a.m.  I was glad to have Rick driving!  The day was cool (50s) with just a little drizzle.  
Rick and the kids watched the start at 8:00 a.m.


Kids Half Marathon 8:30 a.m.

The kids had come to packet pick up (at First Place on Friday) and had seen a sign up for a kids half marathon.  We always try to take advantage of those when we can.  They are usually free.  The kids are supposed to run/walk all of the miles except the last 1.1 (or 1.2 for a marathon) in the several weeks before the race.  Since my kids had been logging miles for a kids marathon in May, I told them we could count 12 of those miles towards this race and make them up after this race (so they will have run/walked 12 miles before this race and 25 separate miles before the kids marathon in May.  This is very doable for my kids since we usually walk at least a mile a day!).  At packet pick up, the kids were given a bag full of goodies.  They were excited to run 1.1 miles today!  They were given shirts and medals at the finish line.  Since I was running my race, I missed theirs, but Gregg Gelmis got some good pictures!  


The Race

With all of the snow/ice the last few weeks, I hadn't trained well for this race.  I mainly tried to get 4-6 miles of running or elliptical 5 days a week, with one longer run of up to 13 miles.  No speedwork.  Over a year ago I made a goal to PR attempt (sub 1:30) today, but as the race approached I knew I wasn't ready for that today.  I set a more realistic goal of a sub 1:50 a few weeks ago, but last week I did a 1:45 half marathon in training so I convinced myself that I could try for sub 1:40 (7:37 pace) today.  As you can see, I was all over the place with my goals/expectations of what I can do.  I was finding it hard to determine a pace that would be realistic yet challenging.

I started in the low 7:20s and decided to hold them as long as possible.  I was 2nd place female from the start.  The first few miles felt great, and I enjoyed seeing friends on a couple out-and-backs.  Around Mile 6, I realized that there were a lot of rolling hills in this race and a lot of pretty boring straight sections.  I was finding it harder to keep my pace.  Things got pretty tough in the last few miles and I slowed to 8:00 minute miles, just showing me that my goal was a good one and that I would have to fight for it!  My body is coming back from this baby! 


 Right before Mile 12, I spotted a fellow Fleet Feet teammate, Eric, up ahead of me.  He said he was looking for the 1:40 pacer but didn't see him (Eric had planned to pace the 1:30 group but fell off pace).  Then he asked if I wanted help coming into the finish.  I guess I looked bad--I felt it--so of course I took him up on his offer!  He talked and distracted me and also kept me informed about the pace.  I was not too bummed when he said we'd missed the 1:40.  I knew I really was giving it my all for the day.  I appreciated his help but most of all his compliment that I was one of the toughest runners he knew.  It means a lot to hear someone say that when you are struggling.

Finally, I rounded the corner towards the finish line!  I made it in 1:41:25.



 It was great being greeted by my family.  I nursed the baby before the awards started and was happy to receive a nice medal and bib holder and gift certificate.


I was sent an email with my official results.

Katie Maehlmann
Overall Place:     26
Chip Time:  1:41:25
Gun Time:  1:41:27
Pace:   7:45
Age Group (Female 35 to 39) Finish:  *****/22
Gender Place:  2
Closing Thoughts
I will race in the McKay Hollow 25K next weekend, and then it's back to 5Ks and 10Ks for me until a fall marathon (haven't planned which one yet).  I felt very sore on Sunday after this race, but I know I am getting stronger.  I even got up and ran twice with my running group this week.  It's so nice to be back with them!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

More Picures

Rick took these as I finished.  My big kids were cheering kind of behind the tree to the right in these pictures.  Rick was wearing the baby in a Bjorn.  I didn't want to take my eyes off of her!




A good view of the mud on my legs!


My number, finisher's slate hand painted award, visor (given to me at packet pick up), and red hat (prize for top women)