Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 - August thru December and Recap for the Year

It's been a while since my last entry here so here is a recap:

I completed the rest of the Norwalk Summer Series and ran the New Haven Labor Day 20k. In September I made my annual trip to England to run the Great North Run. This year I added the Robin Hood half marathon to my schedule, which was challenging since I ran it the morning after arriving in England. I ran it pretty well despite the jetlag. The Great North run was the following Sunday and despite feeling a little off I was still able to post a PR.

My major race of the fall was the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, PA. I was hoping to qualify for Boston in this net downhill race. I planned out my race strategy with the goal of having about 2 minutes in the bank for the last few miles that had a few hills. I was surprised by some of the small uphills that did not show up on the elevation chart, but for the most part is was pretty flat with some nice downhills. I experienced a few of my usual hip and ITB pains at about 15 miles, but was able to push on. At the 20 mile mark I had serious doubts about making it within the 3:50:59 qualifying time, but was able to talk myself through it. I still had 2+ minutes in the bank and I knew that where was no way that I would need all that time for the last 6 miles. I had two uphills ahead of me, but they were both followed by downhills so I didn't think I would need to slow down by that much. Once I got to the hills I was happy for the challenge and knew that I was almost done. I was able to finish the race in just over 3:48 and qualified. I was thrilled! I signed up for Boston the next day! I'm very happy that I signed up early since it filled up by November.

After Steamtown I was right back into taper mode with the New York City marathon coming up in 3 weeks. I got to run this marathon with my best friend, Jill. We had so much fun and really made the most of it. We took lots of pictures and took the time to visit with family and friends along the way. We finished it in 4:14, which was our goal time.

Since then I have greatly reduced my mileage to recover from the marathons. I have been experiencing some hamstring and ITB pain in my left leg for a few months now and can't seem to get it to go away. I will continue to work on my hip and ITB issues as I start to build up mileage for my spring training for Boston.

In 2009 I ran a personal record of 56 races, which included 3 marathons, 5 half marathons, a 25K, and two 30k races! In previous years I tried to make it to 52, but always fell short due to injury. I was able to increase my weekly mileage significantly over the summer when I was training for Steamtown with no injuries. I also incorporated multiple runs several days a week, which felt really good. I also greatly improved my summer running in 2009, which may be as simple as the addition of a running hat. The highlight of the year was qualifying for the Boston Marathon, which is something I never would have dreamed of a few years ago. I ran my first marathon in 2005 with a time of 4:23, the next in 4:21 and then after a fall back with injury was then able to return with a 4:05 in NY in 2008 and a 3:52 in New Jersey earlier this year. This has been a very successful running year for me. I am looking forward to another great year in 2010, which includes the running of the Boston Marathon.

2009 was also a great year for meeting new friends and continuing to develop friendships with existing friends.

2009 Recap:
56 races
3 marathons
5 half marathons

Marathon - took off 17 minutes
Half marathon - took off 17 seconds
20k - took off 7+ minutes
also PRs in 3.5 miler, 7 miler, 9 miler, 11 miler, 5k, 10k

Pam and I warming up at the start of the New Jersey Marathon

New York City Marathon

Jill and I after New York City marathon

Steamtown marathon


Monday, July 13, 2009

2009 Norwalk Summer Series 7 miler and Utica Boilermaker 15k

2009 Norwalk Summer Series 7 miler and Utica Boilermaker 15k
July 11th and July 12th, 2009

What a wonderful racing weekend! It started off with the Norwalk Summer Series 7 mile race in the Rowayton section of Norwalk. Most of the usual suspects were in attendance as well as a special appearance from George and Kellie.

George and I started out running together for the first few miles and then I pulled ahead. We got to see Gail out on the course twice as the route went by her house. Ikuko, who is nursing a foot injury, was also on the course working at one of the water stations. I caught up to Steve and chatted with him for a little while and also saw John, who had started out up ahead of us.

The temperature was pretty moderate, but I still started to feel pretty hot later in the race. I knew that my pace was close to a best for this race so I really wanted to hang tough. There were quite a few people around me so I made it my goal to keep up with or pass as many as I could in that last mile. I did finish with a course PR.

2009 Summer Series 7 miler race results

Mile 1: 8:08
Mile 2: 8:21
Mile 3: 8:22
Mile 4: 8:09
Mile 5: 8:18
Mile 6: 8:28
Mile 7: 7:47
Total: 57:32
Avg Pace: 8:14


John and Frank

Sherry and Frank

Roy and Dana

Kellie and Steve R



Maria and Petra

Kellie and Erica

Kellie, Kate and Erica

Jeanette and Tony


Roy and Frank

Rob and Emmy

Kate, Emmy and Rob

Brian and Lindsey

Steve M

Steve R and Brian



Steve and Lindsey R




Steve M

Sean and Maria


Emmy, Rob and Roy




Lindsey with her first place trophy

Dorrie, Ikuko and Sean

Steve and Lindsey R - with car key that they thought they lost


2009 Utica Boilermaker 15k

After the 7 miler Tom and I headed up to Utica, NY for the Boilermaker 15k. Jeanette's friend, Joyce, was nice enough to invite us to spend the night at her house that night. The plan was to get to the expo before it closed at 4:30, but they ended up closing shop early due to the threat of a hail storm. Jill and Joe had picked up my race package and Tom and I picked up his for the 5k. I was very disappointed about not having the chance to purchase any souvenirs for this race. After picking up our stuff we headed to Joyce's house in Rome, NY. We pulled in right after Jill and Joe. It was our first time meeting Joyce and her boyfriend, Dan, so we introduced ourselves in the driveway and then they welcomed us into their house. Shortly after that Jeanette and Tony arrived. Joyce was putting on a pre-race party for her Roman Runners Running club so we all got to be special guests at this party. This group of people were so nice and so much fun to hang out with.

Joyce's wall of bibs

Joyce's medals and finishing photos from marathons and ultras

Joe, Jill, Jeanette, Tony, me and Tom

Roman Runners flip flops

Joyce displaying a beautiful strawberry dessert

Jill and Joe posing with their race tattoos

Tom showing off his 'ink' and his 'guns'

My tattoo

Tom, Jill and I

Dave and Gary

There was a big thunder storm with lots of rain overnight, which left the morning a little cooler. Race day morning, Dan and Tony went with Tom to the start of the 5k and the rest of us headed out about half an hour later for the 15k. Joyce led the way to get us close to the finish area and then we took at bus to the start. I was a little nervous about the course because the elevation profile showed several long hills and I was coming off the 7 miler the day before.

The weather was going to be relatively mild for a July day, which was a big relief for me. We met up with some of the Roman Runners briefly and then headed over to the starting area. It was pretty cool to see the thousands of runners all around us. There were almost 12 thousands runners registered for this race.

Once the gun went off we gradually walked towards the start line and then slowly picked it up to a jog. From the very beginning we were treated to lots of cheering spectators and local bands playing for us. I started out with Jill and we went the first few miles weaving around people to get to a comfortable pace. I was a little concerned since my left hip and hamstring felt very tight. We were shooting for a 9 minute pace, but at this point I felt like our mid-9 pace may end up being too much for me. However, I really wanted to stick with Jill as much as possible and figured that my leg would work itself out. As we came up on the golf course with the big hill I wanted to back off a little more to relax before the hill. I hadn't realized that the first few miles had already been uphill. Joyce had told us out the thrill of runninng around the golf course and we weren't disappointed. The runners run up the left hand side of the course uphill while the faster runners are coming down the hill on the other side. Jill and I were still passing many runners on the way up. Once we got to the top of the hill we then got to see all the slower runners on the other side going up the hill. The view of the course overlooking the water was really spectacular. We grabbed for some water and as I started the downhill I looked back and couldn't see Jill anymore. I wanted to continue to run with her, but also knew that this was a great downhill section to really open it up. At this point I had forgotten all about my tight left leg and was just enjoying the moment. I passed by a Roman Runner and said hi and that I knew Joyce and I continued on down that beautiful hill. Further down some spectators were yelling 'no more golf course for a year' as if the golf course was a thing to be dreaded. I loved it and wished we could run through it again.

I slowed up a little on the straight away and still didn't see Jill so I decided to just run my own race. I was so happy that those first few miles of uphill really didn't seem bad at all and the downhills seemed to just keep coming. We had several sections of the race that were nicely shaded and some with some sun. However, the day wasn't too hot or humid and there were tons of water stations.

I couldn't believe how quickly the miles were going by. Before I knew it I was in the last mile. I knew that there was a slight uphill towards the end, but couldn't remember what the last .3 was like. I do remember Joyce saying that it's easy going after you hear the bagpipes. As soon as I saw and heard them I had a huge smile on my face. The last .3 ended up being all downhill so it was a very nice finish. I also heard Tommy on the sidelines in that last stretch yelling "Go Katey!". What a wonderful race this was to run.

Mile 1: 9:27
Mile 2: 9:14
Mile 3: 9:13
Mile 4: 9:29
Mile 5: 7:45
Mile 6: 8:21
Mile 7: 8:44
Mile 8: 7:53
Mile 9: 8:13
Lsst.38: 2:38
Total: 1:20:58
Avg Pace: 8:38

2009 Boilermaker Race Results

Tommy on race day morning

After the race we all met up and hung out at the post-race party for several hours.

Joe and Jill


Jill, Joe, Kate, Tom and Jeanette

Joyce and Dan and Roman runners

Kate and Jill

Dan and Joyce

Tom being Tom

Dan and Joyce

More of the Roman Runners gang

Joe, Jill and Kate posing for the Roman Runnerrs Calendar shot

Kate and Tom

Jeanette and Tony

After the post-race party we headed over to Mickey and Luke's place for a pool party. We met more members of the Roman Runners club and had a great time. What wonderful people!

Jeanette, Jill and Kate

Tony massaging Tom, while he takes a nap

Kate Jeanette and Tom