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!