Posts Tagged ‘marathon’

Sorry about the video quality. I am still trying to figure out how to upload videos from my GoPro without compressing the file and losing audio/video quality.

Advertisements

My recent trip to California was literally the greatest time of my life. I got to spend some good quality time with my brother, run a marathon on the beaches of Santa Monica and Venice, and road-trip from LA to San Francisco.

The 2013 Beach Jam Marathon was Saturday morning and my friend Mary was supposed to meet me at the start. We ran together the evening before and she wasn’t sure if she was going to race. She decided that morning that she would run the half marathon, so I was going to run it with her. We had such a great time together at the 2012 LA Marathon so I knew this would be fun too.

image

The course was a 13.1 mile loop starting at Crescent Bay Park in Santa Moinca. From the start, you head south along the Venice boardwalk a few bocks past the pier and turn around. Then, back to the start/finish area for the first aid station. Continue north to the end of Will Rogers State Beach for the next aid station, then back to the start /finish.

The race was a small event held by Rocket Racing Productions. Between the 10 mile, half marathon, and full marathon there were about 75 people. I’ve learned to enjoy the small events because of the more personal atmosphere. Although I love great crowd support, some of my most memorable races have been very small ones like this.

My game plan…
Have fun, run smart. This wasn’t going to be a “race” to me. Since I’m training for my first 100 miler I just considered it my long run for the week, but this time I had company for the first half, a mobile pit crew (my brother), aid stations, and I got a medal at the end.

The weather was perfect that morning. Well, to me it was. Starting in the low 50’s, the the temps would rise to 71 before the race was over. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and just a light ocean breeze.

The first half…

image

This picture captures the mood perfectly.

As the race started, the conversation and laughs came quickly. We kept a slow, comfortable pace. My constant stops at every rest room slowed us down even more, but the clock wasn’t a concern. The mood was awesome. I felt strong. This was going to be great!

image

We continued on. Everything went great until mile 11. Mary was getting tired, and something didn’t feel right with my ankle. A few days before, I tweaked it while running in the snow and now the pain is starting to come back. As we finished the half marathon Mary got her medal and took off to get some food. She would come back to cheer me on at the end. I still had 13.1 miles to run, so I kept pushing forward.

The second half…
image

It was starting to get rough. I called my brother around mile 14. He was going to meet me a couple of miles down. I’ve never had a mobile pit crew, but my brother was amazing. He brought me beer and meds near mile 16 to help get me to the finish. I sat down in his car to enjoy my beer and my ankle was starting to swell. After a few minutes I took off and my brother was going to meet me a few miles later.

At the aid station near mile 18 I stopped to look at my ankle. It was getting bigger, and my pace was slowing rapidly. I typically run about a 9 or 10 minute pace for this distance but I was at about 13 minutes so I was obviously hurting. My brother met up with me again near mile 20. This time he brought me some ice, ibuprophen, another pair of shoes, and another beer. I rested there for about 20 minutes icing my ankle and keeping it elevated. I tended to the 2 very large blisters on my feet, changed my shoes, and went on my way. This race was getting brutal, but without the help of my brother I would have been suffering thru it.

image

I felt a lot better. The ankle still hurt, but I was close to my normal pace again. I saw Mary at mile 21. She walked with me for a couple minutes and we talked. She knew my ankle was in bad shape, but she could tell I was doing a lot better. I was ready to get this race over with. I only had 5 miles left. One more hour and I could relax and ice my ankle. That’s all I wanted.

image

Beach Jam Marathon course.

I pushed thru it and finally made it to the finish. I got my medal and Mary gave an ice pack for my ankle. This was the hardest marathon of my life. Other than my ankle I felt great though. I wasn’t even sore.

What I thought of the race…

Pros
*well organised
*race staff was very friendly
*aid stations were fully stocked – water, sports drinks, granola bars, gels, electrolyte tablets
*beautiful course
*plenty of rest rooms along the beach
*very affordable

Cons
*no crowd support
*not a closed course – had to dodge people the whole way (especially in Venice)
*medal was pretty basic
*not chip timed

The bottom line…

If you like quiet, scenic races then this is for you. If I lived in LA I would participate in other events held by Rocket Racing Productions.

-Tim

Last week I found out that my next race was cancelled. I was planning on flying to California to visit my brother. I planned on running the La Jolla Canyon 50k, but it ended up getting cancelled due to an issue with permits. So, I searched around for other races in the LA area that same weekend. Even if I find a 5k, I am running a race while I’m there. Well, it must have been my lucky day. There is a marathon in Santa Monica (where I’m staying) the same day the 50k was scheduled (March 9th). The Beach Jam Marathon starts in Santa Monica and runs along the ocean south to Marina Del Rey then north to the Pacific Palisades, then back to Santa Monica. I’m looking forward to the challenge of another marathon. I always enjoy the scenery, the happy runners I chat with along the way, and the sense of accomplishment that I get from races. Let’s just hope this one doesn’t get cancelled…

-Tim

Last weekend when I tried out my GoPro camera, I learned that the head strap was probably a better option instead of the chest strap. I can’t wait to try it out during tomorrow morning’s run. I’ll post a video after I get home from my run.

Also, since I decided to take on my first 100 mile race this summer at the Run Woodstock Hallucination 100 Mile, I stopped at the book store and picked up a couple of new books to read. Running on Empty by Marshall Ulrich and Ultra Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes. I probably won’t have time to start reading either of these until my plane ride to LA next month for the La Jolla Canyon 50k Trail Race. I’ll let everyone know how they turn out.

-Tim

image

This summer I will be doing my first 100 mile ultramarathon. I’m heading back to Run Woodstock for the Hallucination 100 mile race. Last year I did my first 50 miler out there and it was such a life changing experience. I knew I’d go back again this year, but until recently I never considered the 100 mile. I have 1 friend coming with me, and 2 more that I’m going to try to get to join us. I can’t wait to take on this challenge!

image

This WILL be mine!

Since I started blogging over half way thru the year I decided to put together my “Best of 2012” photo album. This only covers January thru September to let all of my awesome readers, followers, and fans know what else I’ve been up to this year. It’s been a very tough year, but it was filled with some unforgettable times and valuable lessons. I look forward to the many amazing journeys coming up in 2013 and sharing them with you. Thanks to everyone for your support. Best of luck to all of you. I hope everyone has a great holiday season.

Tim

image

LA Marathon with Mary and Jason.

image

Let's Move Festival Half Marathon - New personal record of 1:25:48

image

Color Run Chicago with Andy and Andrea. That was one amazing weekend with my 2 best friends.

image

Run for C.H.U.M. Half Marathon - ANGELRUNNERS.COM

image

Warrior Dash Michigan - Jessica's first race! She did great and we had a blast!


image

Crim Festival 10 Mile - I high-five random spectators. That's how I roll.

image

Run Woodstock - Jimmy and Jason ran their first 50k and I ran my first 50 miler. I think it's safe to say this day changed our lives forever. I'm grateful to have shared this experience with such awesome people.

image

Run Woodstock - My hippy-bus for placing 4th in my division, awesome peace sign medal, and a well-deserved cold beer

A little over a year ago I realized that I only knew a few people that shared my passion for running. I wanted to be able to connect with people who had the same mentality as I do. I came up with the idea to create a Facebook group for my few runner friends. A forum for us to share our stories, ask for advice, and learn from each other. It was a private group (to keep out the spammers) but anyone was allowed to invite others. I had no real expectations for the group or what it would become. I just wanted to be able to talk to people like me.

Even in the early stages, it was a fun crowd. We finally had people we can relate to. In time the group started to grow. Whether they were a 5k hopeful or an ultra runner, they were all welcome. It seemed like every week or so a new person was added. Connections were made and friendships started to blossom. Since many of us live in southeastern Michigan many of us started doing races together. The biggest event we had so far was this September at Run Woodstock. There were about 10 of us out there. We had a few doing the half marathon, 2 people doing their first 50k races, me doing my first 50 miler, and one taking a shot at his first 100 miler. Scott (doing the 100) and his pacers and crew came from Chicago to join us. It was a truly amazing experience. Not only were many of us doing distances we never thought possible, but we had a chance to get together and finally meet.

I’ve watched my friends evolve as runners, becoming faster, stronger, healthier, and happier. I love witnessing these changes and I can’t help but wonder that if it wasn’t for our group, where would we be? Would any of us be at the level we are now?

The group now has about 75 members from all over the US as well as the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. I am inviting all of you out there to be a part of our team. If anyone reading this would like to join, just let me know. I will be happy to add you. You may be able to request an invite by clicking here. Thanks to all of you for reading and showing your support.

Tim