Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The card speaks for itself

After our Boston marathon debriefing Sue pulled out this card that Mary gave her some years ago. Usually the card is on her fridge but this year Sue brought the card for some extra motivation.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sue's Boston Marathon Report

I thoroughly enjoyed my fact it was the most fun ever. I did manage to run for the first half and it wasn't too bad but after Heartbreak Hll I just decided to walk and putter and take it all in even more. I had a blast up until then just running along the white line on thee right side of the course smiling and high fiving or doing whatever the music called for, with the crowd along the side. I just kept interacting with the crowd and the miles just slowly went by. I (and you) knew I had not trained sufficiently for this race so my goal was to minimize my losses and get to the finish upright. I feel I achieved my goals. I sprinted along Boylston to the finish and at the line my legs were the best they have been in years. I felt fine. I had walked most of the last 5 miles or so but I really didn't mind. I knew I did not have it in me to push on the minimal long distance training I had done. So I just got into the spirit and thanked every red sox, or bruin, or other Bostonian for what has been for me quite a grand run in Boston beginning in 1996. Doing it on and off for 15 years and managing to be in the top 10 in my age group many times I am now looking back and darn proud. I really did have a good time.
So thank you Coach Todd.

P.S. God Bless Grete Waitz, a big hero of mine. I met her at my last NYNY marathon and had her autograph my t-shirt. Reading her obituary I see we shared the same birthdate.

Please note that Sue finished in a time of 4:48 and in 115th place in her age group!
Nice job Sue!!!!

Calgary Police half marathon

Well this race was one for the books. Louise woke up at 5:30 and looked outside and went back to bed. I think now that the race is over many would have wished that they too made that same decision.

The roads were very snow covered and icy. There were lots of crashes and racers needed to adjust to the ever changes road conditions. No limits had quite a few racers who braved the conditions. I am not going to post times this time around. Here is a quote from an anonymous racer:

"That was probably the stupidest thing I have done from a racing/training standpoint. Conditions were horrible and I fell twice, as did most of the people I talked to. I have a long list of injuries but I think most of them aren't too serious."

I want you to really think about this.... Just because you sign up for an event does not mean you need to do it. Or go fast because it is a race. Sometimes it is OK to go back to bed or to turn down your race dial and safely cruise the race.

Something to think about next time.....

Next race for many is Vegas IronGirls should be no snow :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mazatlan Gran Pacifico Race Report by Rob Kelly

My Mazatlan adventure began with a very understanding and patient Nina and I talking about taking a few days of holiday sometime in March orApril. Our schedules did not line up to do anything before May, and

Nina was kind enough to agree to me doing something on my own. It looked like it might not happen, as it was April all of the sudden andI hadn't planned anything yet.

But after carefully planning my race season, and aggressively training for up to 7 hours a week, I decided (with some serious influence from Rose, Madi and Nathan) on Thursday to fly to Mazatlan for a Saturday

race. I fumbled around in the dark packing what gear I could find at 5:45 am on Friday, doing my best to not wake up Nina. I arrived in Mazatlan with shoes, sunglasses, and a singlet. The Serpicos came to

my rescue true to form, with Madi supplying shorts and gels, and Rose lending me her bike, helmet, and sunscreen (I stopped on the second loop of the bike at the Rose aid station for sunscreen - we chatted

with John from Minnesota while I lathered up). Jordan adjusted the bike so I could ride it without hitting the handlebars with my knees (for the most part), and with a dip in the ocean (first time - they're

not kidding when they call it salt water) on Friday evening, I felt ready to rumble.

After an early morning tour of most of Mazatlan from a cabbie ostensibly finding us a Starbucks (aka local convenience store - Rose "what? No! Starbucks! Oh, forget it, race, triathlon, monumenta del...., (to me) don't you feel we're getting ripped off?..." we arrived at the race headquarters where I grabbed a coffee and muffin for pre-race nutrition and headed into transition, not entirely sure when my heat started, and soon discovering the Gatorade bottle was too small for the bottle holder on Rose's bike. Rose took care of finding

me the only water bottle at the expo, while I set up transition and meandered down to the beach, assuming I'd see a group of people with E's printed on their legs running into the ocean at some point.

Juan from Mexico City showed me what the swim course would be while we stood waiting for the horn, and then suddenly we were off. The ocean was awesome - big waves, warm enough to swim comfortably without a wetsuit, the sun was coming up, and I just kept smiling as I thought "I'm swimming in the ocean in Mexico!"

I eventually managed to finish the swim and completely forgot to notice the Pacifico girls in their shiny hot pants who were there to direct us to transition. I hopped on Rose's bike, with her helmet perched on the back of my head and chin strap choking me very slightly, and charged out to the bike course all befuddled with the draft-legal, new-bike, sunny-weather environment and managed to push about the hardest gear I could for 15 k before I realized I was allowed to spin at a reasonable cadence. Once I figured that out, I

wiped out. It happened at the turnaround near transition, so I had a full audience who cheered me as I stood up with the help of a volunteer and sped away for the next loop. I was now feeling my groove

but all the packs of drafters were long gone, so I paced with a guy for the better part of the next 10k till I finally dropped him and rode in solo.

My Gatorade and gel only diet was by now starting to take it's toll. I was dying for a bit of water, but instead I went for the only available fluid in transition which happened to be half a bottle of powerade I had by my bike. The first 2 k of the run was a bit of a fog while I tried the snazzy bags of water to cool off. Thanks to Rose I knew not to drink them, and instead I focussed on pouring as much of the cold water on my head and back. My pace wasn't exactly blistering, and I wondered how my Achilles/calf would hold out. With a bit of

confusion as to where the loop vs finish shoot was (thanks again to a helpful official and a lot of input from spectators for getting me back on track), I headed out for my second lap feeling parched but otherwise optimistic. I slowed down at 7km because I could feel my Achilles just a bit, and thought it would probably be smarter to trade my hope of a world record on this course for what will most likely be a jaw-dropping performance at IMC.

Needless to say the roar of the crowd was a bit overwhelming as I jogged over the finish line, and I managed to avoid what would have been a long press conference by finding Rose and going out to cheer Madi and Jordan, who both impressed me with their drive and performance. Kids these days! I felt old, slow, and really inspired by how these athletes put everything on the line.

18th out of 30 in my age group, 2:34. Might be the slowest Tri I've done, but up there as far as why I love the sport. It was like I put my brain in the wash for a day. Now it's time for the next adventure!