We’ve been an absent blogger with respect to updating y’all on our doing since…..well, snow was flying. Time to brief everyone on our doings this season.
Let’s start with some early season running races. Jen P had a couple of outings in the Cleveland Metroparks and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Lets’s hear first how the Flirt with Dirt 10k went:
Wanting to do more trail running it seemed like a good idea signing up for the Dirty Trail series…come the morning of this race we questioned that as it was -3 degrees out when we arrived at the race. I think this is the coldest weather I have run in! The trail conditions we were told were “snowy”…yes they were but much of it was packed down so it was not easy but not too ridiculous, but it was single track so passing anyone was difficult. I was happy to again take second overall female for this race…but big thing is we got out and had a good run to start the day. It was sunny and beautiful albeit really cold especially upon finishing. Needless to say we didn’t hang around long, changed, and got some breakfast!
Then she went all ultra and ran the Green Jewel 50k as a relay with soon-to-be hubby Mark Murphy:
Team Second Solemates took on the Green Jewel 50k relay on Saturday. Being that Mark had a 20 miler on his schedule he opted to run first leg (approx 15 miles) and add on after he was done. The first leg footing was quite treacherous! I give him major kudos for making it through swiftly and without injury. While waiting for him at the exchange point I heard a guy went down and broke his collarbone and many others were hitting the ground. As I waited I became more nervous that Mark became one of them but then in the distance I saw the green and blue! Whew! I know it was much slower than he wanted but the conditions made running at a good pace pretty much impossible. I started off very slowly as it was icy the first mile or so. Fortunately the second leg was much more clear albeit hillier. There were still areas I need to pretty much stop and slide/walk like a penguin over ice but I was able to get in a decent run. I was hoping to make it close to my goal marathon pace (for cleveland) but kinda new from the start (footing, temps, waiting over 2hrs to start) that this was just going to be a solid run. Got in almost 17 miles (towards the end I was wondering where the finish was!) with some good hills. Although we were the 8th coed team (and I know we could do much better) the day was a success since we both got in our miles towards our spring marathons and more importantly were uninjured!
Next up, Mike Schaefer (sans skis) ran the pre-St. Paddy’s Day St. Malachi 5-miler in Cleveland:
If you like traditions, this is one for you. Damp (ok, rainy) weather, large shamrock-clad and spirited (ok, drunk) crowd, and a fun course with views of the city.. – Oh yeah, and BEER!
Today downtown was shrouded in clouds giving a surreal feeling as we crossed the Detroit bridge. I had a “thankful to be running” moment and a smile on my face most of the race: Especially when we passed a pair of cops arresting a drunk woman who was spitting on them and swearing at the top of her lungs! (Didn’t this same thing happen last year?? ). Ahhh Cleveland… Ahhh St Patty’s Day weekend.
Also (per tradition) I used the race as a transition from skiing to running, so I paced it nice and easy. This made it especially enjoyable – but it was still a race after all!! I went hard towards the end when I saw I could break 35min. I tried a 30 second surge up the last hill at 4.3miles (to see if I could establish a new max-heart rate), but my hamstring twinged a little so I shut it down and cruised in. Still sub-35 and a great workout!! But isn’t it ALWAYS?…
And speaking of tradition: Beers with the old crew were great and went down like water, but I wish more of us could have made it out. But if you didnt come don’t worry- I had a few extra brews just for you and nobody was lonely in that post-Malachi crowd… (It’s a long season, and plenty of post-race beers to come). Viva the multisport season! and VIVA TRADITION!!
Then, Jen was back at the trails, at Vulture’s Knob in Wooster (but not on her mountain bike) for the DO DO Bird 5 & 15k trail races:
So another race in the Dirty Trail series by Western Reserve racing-the Dirty Bird at vulture’s knob in Wooster, OH. There is a 5k and 15k. As part of the series you can choose one of them or both, which is the do do bird. As my Cleveland marathon training is in it’s peak of course I chose to be a do do bird! The weather was gorgeous and trail conditions near perfect. I have to say not too bad as I was 1st OA female for the 5k and then half hour later earned 3rd OA female for the 15k. Trails are fun :)
Patrick K and Aaron Henely also took to the trails, again not on mountain bikes, down at Mohican for the Forget the PR 50k:
Rood and Henely talked me in to signing up for my first 50k, I should have known better than to trust them about how awesome the race is. It was BRUTAL. It is called Forget the PR, Mohican 50k, very appropriate given the hills and terrain at Mohican. Training was tough to get ready for all the hills, climbs, running thru creek beds, bogs, crawling over rocks & trees. Rood was hurt and didn’t race, but he was a super fan & supported us like a champ. He was all over the course, like a ninja in the woods. The first 14 miles went ok, I ran with Henely and everything was good. Then we hit a section of running in a very rocky creek bed. I prefer dry shoes, this was impossible. The hills and the traversing were taking its toll. By mile 17 I was fairly checked out mentally. The rough part was the first loop ended at mile 18, lots of temptation to stop & not go back out. I figured I put in a lot of training, I may as well grind it out. Miles 18-25 saw a lot of walking up the huge hills and slow running. I hate getting passed in races, this race was an exception since I am new to ultras. The ultra running crowd was very supportive. My day blew up when I got to a section, based on conversations with other runners I thought we had to do twice. The markers were gone (my big mistake, but I was really out of it at this point). I ended up going off course by about 2 miles total, when I got to the top of the Dam hill & didn’t see any markers or support crews it pissed me off enough to snap me out of my haze. Miles 25-33 went really well. I passed a lot of people on my way in & finished fairly strong. I hate to say I felt like I could have kept going. For as much as I said I hated the race from miles 18-25 it ended up being a humbling but cool experience. But it was brutal! Hats off to Henely for having a solid performance & for sticking around to watch me finish.
Schaefer finally kicks off the multiport season at local favorite Hinckley Buzzard Duathlon:
What a great start to the multisport season! I set a course PR by about 30sec and held off a late charge by Jason Zangmeister (team Snakebite rival) for 2nd OA. It’s a good thing the last mile was mostly downhill cause he can fly and I was tired. I surged hard when I saw him coming (with 1K to go) because I knew there was no chance I would take him in the sprint.
Of course, only one of the “big gun” guys showed up (Jeff Wilson from Copley – 2nd in US Du Nationals last year) but it’s fun for me to be “best of the rest” and any PR is a blessing these days. I’m so excited for the season! I gonna need to start swimming one of these days!
Brian Kostura and Jen P took on the challenge of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon:
Brian: I had planned on heading down to the race to cheer on family and friends, but couldn’t resist getting involved despite not running. Thus…I signed up on Friday evening. I haven’t run the 10k in CLE in years, but I really enjoyed it. Great crowd as usual, and a well run event. The humidity seemed to take a toll on many in the longer distances, but Henely and Jen seemed unaffected as headed towards the finish! Great job to everyone out there.
Jen: I had very high hopes for the Cleveland marathon, #6 marathon for me, as my training had gone very well. However, come race day, the weather unfortunately proved to be too much for me. It was close to 70 and near 100% humidity at the start, much different from most of the weather I had trained in. As awful as I felt I was able to persevere and finish just under 4 hours. A far cry from the PR I was hoping for. But, I did raise funds for the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center (over $1400 as of this writing) and frankly that is what kept me going…I had said I was running the marathon to raise funds for this cause, have had great support, and couldn’t say I quit. Thank you to all those who donated and supported this goal.
Mike Schaefer on the 10K: I was shooting for my first sub-40 10K, but didn’t have “it” today. Maybe it was the humidity or the slippery roads, but probably just not enough running over the winter, and too much training in the past month… But on the bright side, the 40:56 was my 2nd-fastest 10K ever despite “coasting home” after my PR goal passed. I’ll take it! Congrats to everyone who managed to finish today! Glad I didn’t see any of you in the medical tent. It was UGLY out there! (ed: We’re glad we didn’t see you in the medical tent either!)
Kostura & Patrick also ran at the Race for the Plac 5k in Beachwood: This race benefits the Gathering Place, a great resource for families dealing with cancer. This was the first race we did after Kellen finished his cancer treatments last year, so it holds special memories for me. The race went well I ended up 1st AG & it was great to support BKs mom & be there with Lynn’s Angels!
A bunch of us supported Girls with Sole at the LULA 5 miler in Rocky River, with Patrick chiming in: This race is a fun time, but wet by the end of it. I ran most of the race in 4th place up to about 2/3 mile left. I am usually the one that goes off course, this was the rare time that I went the right way & the 2 people in front of me went the wrong way. Results say I got second, but I know I would really have been fighting just to get 3rd. Great event & great team support
And Schaefer also bringing it at one of HFP Racing’s longstanding tri & du’s at Maumee Bay: Excellent time, and a bunch of fun with the gang before and after! I managed to squeeze out another PR, both for this course and for Olympic distance in general. Definitely take it a little bit too easy on the swim, but really flew on the bike things in general. I took it a little too easy on the swim, but made up for it on the bike thanks to my new lower aero position- over a minute faster! The run got a little hot but was great to get some encouragement from teammates. Even passed someone near the finish! About 2 min faster than previous PR! Now to keep it rolling – next stop Lorain!
Great job all!!