Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012?!?! Has it really been that long? Winter Triple 2011-2012

New Year's Resolution?  Write more.  I have a lot of cool ideas for 2012!

My New Year's started with a running challenge called the Winter Triple, coordinated by fellow Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics.  Each club has it's own unique ranking system (for braggin' rights!).  MMs have stars and HFs have moons.  Last year, I ran the Winter Triple for 3 marathons in 3 consecutive days.  This earned me 5 stars.  This year, I ran 3 half-marathons in 3 days and earned 5 moons.  Yay!!  

Half #1
Yukon Do It Half-marathon in Port Orchard, WA
Steep downhill to start with icy patches.  If you got caught on the wrong side of the road, you had to walk sections.  After a right turn, we followed the water of the Sound.  The views!  Oh, the views!!  Olympic Mountains jagged and crisp in the sky.  Sun!  Perfect, just a little cold.  I wore my brooks adrenaline shoes, gloves, long nike pants, long sleeved black nike underlayer, lucky red nike hat and my Boston 2011 jacket.  I even had my nathan vest on.  Lots of layers!  And hot hands packets, which I wore until mile 4.  Flat course for the most part, until miles 5-7 roll in.  I wasn't expecting that and had accidentally ran the first 5 miles too fast.  I struggled through the hills (bathroom stop) and did my best on the way back.  Miles 9-10, my left achilles started speaking.  My shoe felt a little loose from the hills and I had to stop and tie laces.    I focused on the music and dug deep to reach the finish.  Thankfully, the course did not end with the steep uphill.  
Garmin time 2:03:48  9:14 min/mi
Official clock 2:06:??  

Half #2
First Chance Half-Marathon in Seattle, WA
Another dry, sunny day for a run!  I wore my brooks capris, lucy zip-up jacket with a thin underlayer, nathan vest, brooks adrenalines, gloves and my lucky red nike hat.  "City running" with traffic lights.  The course started Woodland Park near Greenlake and meandered down to the Burke-Gilman path.  It was a simple out and back where the only technical sections were railroad lines.  I felt okay from the day before and was trying to keep the doubts at bay.  I was extremely happy to see my friend Katie before the turnaround.  When I came back, she started running with me from miles 7 to 9.  It was a perfect time to have company.  She helped me more than she knows :)
Around mile 10, my left achilles started talking but not as intensely as the day before.  I tried playing mind games and focused on other things.  The last 2 miles of the course include a long, gradual hill that wears you down.  I enjoyed it because the change in the flat terrain seemed to alleviate my achilles.  I finally rolled in around 2 hours 2 minutes (garmin said 2 hours flat) No bathroom stops.  No shoe tying. Only traffic lights stopped me on this run. 

Half #3
2nd Chance First Call Half-Marathon in Bothell, WA
Flat and fast and to the point.  I was so ready to be done with this one, even before it began.  The nerves were there because my achilles was quite tender.  It was nice knowing this was the finale of my running challenge and only 13.1 miles stood between me and my 5 moons.  I wore the same outfit as the day before (yes, I washed it), with the exception of my Half Fanatics tech shirt under the lucy zip-up. 
I headed out with a purpose.   Calm, relaxed shoulders and a smile on my face.  I'm one of those annoying runners who actually smiles as they run and I wave at everybody to share that joy.  Why not?
My pace was ON.  Not a speedster, but faster than the previous two races.  I appreciated the lack of ice and traffic lights.  Nothing hurt and my achilles never acted up.  Again, no bathroom stops (this is a victory in my opinion).  There's nothing worse than having to go and having nowhere to GO!  Plenty of bathrooms on the course, just in case.  
I finished in 1 hour 55 minute and ?? seconds.  I could live with that!  

After a few days, recovery is going quite well.  I've taken a few rest days and am now just getting back to my groove.  I haven't run since the races, but I plan to go out for some miles this upcoming weekend.