Wednesday, October 17, 2012

So Where Have I Been?

We just got back from our trip to Europe for the Brussels Half Marathon. We started in Germany, then made a stop in Bruges before arriving there. It was every bit of wonderful that I was hoping it would be. But before we get to that, let’s back up a little.

At the end of August I started working with an Atlanta Track Club coach to prepare for the NYC Marathon. Validation that I was headed in the right direction with my plan, so to speak, and more importantly accountability to someone, were things I needed.
The coach they paired me up has tons of running experience, and I’ve appreciated having someone to bounce ideas off of and give me feedback .  We’ve remained pretty true to the Pfitzinger 55 mpw I started with in July. However, we tailored my plan to accommodate some races I wanted to run, and shifted some things around to accommodate Mr. Blondie’s work schedule. Basically we just refined and nailed down the details to keep me on point.

It's a good thing I held onto that reflective vest from Ragnar. There have been a lot of dark o'clock runs so I can get all my miles in. One can only tolerate the treadmill for so long. I did my last 20 mile training run this past Sunday, and I'm feeling pretty confident. Now if I can manage to stay healthy for the next 2 weeks.
Here’s quick rundown of some recent races I’ve done:
July 21st: ***5k FAIL**** Jailhouse Brewery 5k,  A freight train, you read that right, a CSX FREIGHT TRAIN came rumbling through and literally stopped us in its tracks for about 5 minutes. Note to race directors: check the schedule when designing a course that crosses train tracks.

Smiles before the big "Pail of Fail" 5K

July 28th:  Cruisin’ for Christmas in July 5k,  20:34, 2nd oa female, 1st ag
Went to the race by myself, but Emily had a good time prancing around the house with the medal when I got home.

Aug 18th: Vinings Downhill 5k,  19:44, 11th oa female, 3rd ag

Later that same day: Pacemaker 5000, 21:25, 1st oa female

Sept 3rd:  Big Peach Sizzler 10k, 43:44, 5th oa female, 1st ag

I didn't think I'd placed because I haven't in previous years, and frankly was a bit disappointed in my time. As soon as I crossed the finish line, I turned around and started jogging the course back to my car. I had to go pick up the award a few days later. Nice Surprise.

Sept 8th: Behind the Gates 5k, 24:51, 2nd oa female, 1st ag (with stroller and what turned out to be a raging sinus infection)

I pushed the stroller since Mr. Blondie raced too....he barely ever runs, then busted out a 1st place age group win. I hope Emily inhereted primarily his DNA.

Sept 15th: Great Cow Harbor 10K, 42:54, 39th oa female,  7th ag (while on a hefty dose of antibiotics, decongestants,  and prednisone)

This is the race our family is heavily involved in organizing each year. Lots of set-up/breakdown efforts were involved in the days surrounding it.

Sept. 25th: Had a strong 18-miler before work. Woke up 2 days later with a splitting headache, chills, and 101 degree fever. An antibiotic injection, stronger oral antibiotics, and Flonase from the doctor this time got the sinus infection back under control again, but about 6 days of training lost.

Before embarking on my 18-miler. Just a typical way to start your Tuesday.

Oct 7th: Brussels Half Marathon: 1:36:33, 12th place women’s open division (35 and under)

It was a mass start, with no seeding. Also there were no course boundaries, which I've never seen before at a race this size…basically any open space you could find was fair game as long as you keep moving with the flow of people.

Seriously, I saw people running through landscaped roadway medians, over benches, even through a shallow fountain. This meant a very slow and chaotic first couple miles. According to my Garmin I ran almost an extra 3/4mi from all the zig-zagging and weaving through the crowds, around parked cars, etc.
Aside from the odd start, the race was as spectacular. We ran by the Royal Palace, down quaint cobble stone streets, through lovely manicured parks, etc. I loved listened to all the runners chatting different languages, and the enthusiasm from the spectators was infectious even if I didn't know what many were saying.

Maybe this happens to other people, but I sort of black out during races. I guess that's the best way to describe it. My mind goes off to it's happy place while I'm running, then after it's all over, I realize my memory is all patchy and I have no recollection of certain parts of the race. I did my best to soak in the experience and take mental snapshots, so that wouldn't happen this time.

I have more pictures and thoughts to share, but at least you're up to speed on why it's been so quiet around here. All is well, we've just been on the run!


  1. Wow! You have been busy! Congrats on all those great finishes!

  2. You blow me away with all of those 1st places! Especially the one that was your second race of the day. and the one with the stroller. Way to go!!!

  3. Oh my gosh, you have been busy! Nice to see you even made it to Europe for a half marathon. I hope you had a chance to squeeze in a few Belgian beers while you were there. ;) Can't wait to read more about your running adventures. Sounds like you've got a packed schedule!

  4. That's a lot of racing! Congrats on all those great runs. You are doing great things with your racing these days!

  5. Wow! Love all the racing. Makes me excited to get back to running once the baby is here. I love how you ran in another country... so cool! Thanks for sharing and congrats on all the 1st places. :)

  6. So exciting, love all the pics and Snickers shirt too :)