Friday, February 25, 2011

End of Feb

Not too much has happened since Red Top Rumble..we spent the majority of the month stressing out over whether or not we'd ever be able to close on the new house since our lender couldn't seem to file paperwork over the course of almost two months, and every two day extension of the contract created an extra three days of paperwork. We are FINALLY supposed to close on this coming Monday.

I have (hopefully) my final obligation as a civil engineer this weekend at a Technical Conference that I helped plan. Such a let down to see that it will be 73 degrees on Sunday and I'll be stuck inside. The Conference is at Winshape Retreat in Rome, which I hear is beautiful so maybe I'll sneak out early for some runs..

Speaking of which, my body seems to have a hard time with being a "runner". My knee is a bit aggravated, and seems to feel better after I do a long ride, but then I'm tired for the next run and it is a viscious cycle. My first bike "race" this year is the Cohutta 65 and my training is going to consist of one long SS ride each week. We'll see how far that takes me, as I'm too eager to get started on new house projects than ride my bike at the moment. I figure if I go into the event with the "I don't give a damn" attitude, then I'll probably actually do much better.

Next weekend there is a local 5k that I figured I'd do as part of my tempo run workout for the was not well publicized, so it will probably be me against the Cherokee High Cross Country Team..probably not the best odds. After that is Frogtown backwards and then a break until the Cohutta 65.

The Dirty Duathlon race is filling up nicely and we'll have some other events this fall that we will be excited to announce in the coming weeks!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Red Top Rumble 11.5 Mile Trail Run

I was one of the lucky 300 racers who got into the Red Top Rumble before the race filled up in 24 hours, so that is where I spent Sunday morning. I didn't really have a strategy...go hard, go fast, maybe win?? I've been working on my running, though I have been following a 5k training plan, so I figured I might have a case of early race speed that fades at the end.

The start was surprisingly pleasnant. We started off at about 6:15 pace, though it was downhill so it felt pretty easy. The first 3.5 miles were on the gently rolling Iron Hill trail, which I know well and knew I could pretty easily run 6:45 pace. By the end of that section I only had 3 guys in front of me, which I totally did not expect (figured there would be way more in front of me), and I averaged 6:30 pace..right on target, though I could see a couple of ladies behind me in the switchbacks.

Once off the Iron Hill trail, the climbs started...lots of them as we went around the Homestead Trail. At about the 5 mile mark, I entered the Homestead Loop and still saw two women about 20 seconds back. I tried to push up the hills and hammer the downhills. At about 8 miles, the gap was still about the same, but now there was only one woman chasing me. I'll admit, I wasn't super confident since my longest run is 7-8 miles and I knew it would take a really good day for me to not slow down to some degree over the last three miles.

And I did..the climbs started to take their toll and over the next two miles, my chaser was able to close the gap. She passed me with about a mile to go. I chased on the downhill, but just couldn't stay with her on the final long climbs. Eating some Gels during the race may have helped..if I could have just maintained the gap, I might have been able to hang on to the end. I was tired though, and just couldn't turn my legs over fast enough. The race was one mile too long and I had to settle for second.

On the upside, I beat the fastest previous winning times by almost 2 minutes and I ran faster than I thought I would. My average pace was faster than my goal and I believe I was 7th overall, which is quite a feat considering this was a road runners course (meaning non-technical).

I think I may stick with running and might up my mileage a bit so I don't fade quite as much at longer events. I'm still debating running the Frogtown course backwards in March, but I haven't convinced myself that I want to run through a mile-long, likely near freezing creek section.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

December/January Recap

I've had several folks wondering when I'm going to update my blog, so here goes. We spent the second half of December up in Chicago visiting family and believe it or not, the weather was actually better up there than it was in Atlanta when we returned.

Before we headed up there, I was out riding around and saw that my "dream home" in the area was up for sale again...and this time it was a foreclosure, so it was actually within the realm of possibility. So after much hmming and hawing and lots of hours with lenders, inspectors, and realtors, we have a contract on this house.

This home is on 3.2 acres and most importantly, it is the same distance to the trails as our current home. It is also about a 3-4 minute walk from the front door to this waterfall.

Needless to say, with an impending move, I've been pretty busy with cleaning up our current house and countless trips to Goodwill and incessant Craigslist posting in an attempt to get rid of at least 50% of the 15 years worth of crap that is taking up the majority of our current basement.

At the beginning of January, I officially quit my engineering job to stay home with Jayden. Everyone is right...they grow up way too fast and I'd never forgive myself if I didn't spend these first few years with her as much as possible.

Training has been few and far between because I haven't really been motivated, mostly due to the weather (an entire week of snowy and icy roads) and the fact that I've been busy with the Dirty Duathlon planning, Jayden, and lots of cleaning and little tasks to get our current home ready for sale.

I did two cyclocross races in January, against my better judgement. The first was after the week of snow, mostly because I was feeling guilty that I didn't do any sort of moderately strenuous activity that week (does lifting boxes count???). The course was a mess and so was I. After not riding any bikes for a while, I don't know why I thought I'd be able to handle my cross bike in the mud. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly.

After falling down and countless foot dab saves, I told myself I would get out and ride my cross bike before the State Championship race the following weekend. Never happened, shame on me.

I woke up with a headache and upset stomach, debated skipping the State Champs, but figured I'd regret it if I didn't go. After an extra hour of rolling around in bed, I finally got everything packed up (minus my spiked bike shoes which would have come in handy...) and we headed to Rome.

So again, by the time we race, we get another slick course that I just couldn't seem to get in the groove on. I got tangled up with a rider in front of me early in the race, had a slow recovery, and it just went downhill from there. There was even a great run up that I couldn't take advantage of since my shoes were sliding all around. Super poop. I somehow managed to hang onto 3rd place, but it was not pretty. I think the jersey I wore is cursed!

So that is the only exciting news thus far in 2011. I've been going to the pool with Jayden, so I think that is what I'm going to keep doing until the sun starts shining again, the temps get above 50 and all the mud goes away.

Chris and I are running in the Red Top Rumble in two weeks. I can't say I'm in as good of running shape as I'd hoped, but I am in better running shape than I've ever been in the past, so I guess that is a positive. We'll see how it goes...