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Five Points of Life Marathon 2014 - Race Report

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  • Monday, March 03 2014 @ 02:06 AM UTC
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I finished my second marathon! I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 3:39:49.


Photo by BB Action Photography

This was my first Five Points of Life Marathon. My previous marathon was Jacksonville Bank Marathon which was a completely different bodily experience. Read *that* story if you want to hear about the full body cramp.

This race was not nearly as dramatic. I knew that I was not in marathon racing shape but I still wanted to get another race at this distance under my belt. After running a 50k in October, I ended up taking a lot off time off and dealing with a foot issue that kept me from training very much. I can say that it is hard to run a marathon when averaging less than 20 miles per week during training.

It was cold at the race start. I went out fairly easy, trying to warm up a bit. I was trying to be very cautious about the pace and my breathing (remembering my past marathon experience). After the first mile I found the 3:30 pace group and decided to stick with them. This would have had me finishing just a little slower than my previous marathon, but hopefully without the muscle cramps! We should have been hitting around 8 minutes per mile. We kept coming through mile after mile ahead of pace. First it was 20 seconds, then 10 seconds, then 20 seconds again. I gave up on our pacer when we came through over 30 seconds ahead of pace.

I think I paid a price for the early pacing issues since my legs started revolting by the half marathon mark. The temperature was warming up by this point and I shed the last of my cold weather gear. Prior to the race I had figured out where I would drop my jacket, hat, and gloves. This is just one of the perks of running a hometown race. And it would have worked out great if I hadn't dropped my hat in the middle of the road on 16th Ave. (I feared the worst for my poor lost hat but did eventually get it back later in the week from a local runner. Gainesville has a great running community!)

I never had any real cramping but when I tried pushing the pace at all my legs started to feel like they were headed that way. So I just kept the legs moving along at a steady pace. Breathing was never an issue since I could never get myself moving fast enough to impact it.

On the long stretch of Williston Road I started getting discouraged because I kept missing the mile markers. From mile 16 - 20 I just didn't know how much race was left and the course was now in the full Florida sunshine. Note to self, the mile markers are on these huge flags sticking up in the air that are hard to miss! Thankfully, along came a woman named Nina from Wyoming who asked if we could run together. She was trying to get her BQ (Boston Qualifying time). She said it would be easier if we worked together which of course is true. This payed off for both of us. Now that I had a running partner and a mission, I was able to keep the legs going and keep on the needed pace for Nina's BQ. She earned her BQ by 10 seconds!

My own race was not spectacular in any way, but I feel really good that I was able to help someone get their BQ. Nina was also the Female Masters winner. Here is a picture of us after the finish:

John Holmes 50k Trail Run 2013 - Race Report

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  • Saturday, October 19 2013 @ 11:53 AM UTC
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I finished my first 50k race, The John Holmes 50k Trail Run.


Photo via http://www.jimbodoh.com

If it hadn't been pitch black prior to the 7 am race start, this is the sign that would have greeted me at the Tucker Hill Trailhead of the The Croom Tract at Withlacoochee State Forest.




The 50k course is essentially four 7.5 mile loops with a little tacked on at the beginning and at the end. Runners are allowed to leave a drop bag at the aid station nearest the start/finish area. I planned to run the first loop of the course without my handheld water bottles or gel flasks. I did carry my ziploc bag of dried dates from the beginning. I guzzled half a bottled water just before the race start.

Fit2Run Twilight 10k Cross Country Challenge - Race Report

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  • Monday, September 23 2013 @ 10:17 PM UTC
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This was the second annual Cross Country (XC) race that Fit2Run Gainesville held at The Rock Trails property. The course was mostly well-groomed field grass and was soft due to all of the rains (but still very runnable). There were a few nice muddy sections thrown in just for fun. This year there were options for both a 5k and 10k and I think I chose wisely by running the 10k.

I finished the 10k in 38:16 and earned 2nd place overall. This is the first time I can remember getting to stand on an actual podium!


Photo by "Captured Memories by Esta Eberhardt"

The 5k and 10k runners started at the same time so pacing was just a little bit tricky. I went out fairly relaxed and didn't let the 5k runners pull me out too fast. Most of the fast runners opted for the 5k distance, so when they turned toward the finish line and I started into the second lap, there was nobody in sight ahead of me. Dan Clark was out there somewhere but I never saw him.


Photo by "Captured Memories by Esta Eberhardt"

70-miles per week

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  • Monday, September 09 2013 @ 11:39 PM UTC
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I am training for a 50k race in October (the John Holmes Trail Run ). It will be my first Ultramarathon. I decided to go up in distance rather than taking another shot at the marathon. Perhaps I had some lingering doubts after my first and only marathon experience. In any case, after working hard all summer and with a lot of speedwork under my belt, I felt that it was time to ease back on pace for a while. Besides, Ultra training should give me a nice endurance base should I decide to train for another marathon.

Sunday I capped off my second 70 mile week with a 26 mile trail run at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park. I ran on the hiking trails, the horse trails, and the mountain bike trails. There is a surprising (for Florida) amount of elevation and terrain on some of the more remote trails.

Dailymile gives me a nice weekly brag sheet:



I think my training is going well. I hit a low spot last week after slogging through a few 4 am workday runs. The weekend trail runs have kept me going, though. I am amazed by how much more quickly I can bounce back from a 20-mile training run than a few months ago. I have finished 5 runs of at least 21 miles since July, with many runs over 10 miles during that time.

Now I plan to scale back for a week in order to recover. Then I am going to try to get in one more long day (5 hours and close to 30 miles?) before the 50k race.

My goal? Finish the race and hopefully still be running during the last few miles.

Melon Run 2013 - Race Report

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  • Thursday, July 04 2013 @ 10:43 PM UTC
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The Melon Run 3 mile race is held in Gainesville, FL on the 4th of July. I am a bit delinquent posting a race report. There isn't much to say, it was HOT and HUMID as usual. I handled the heat much better than last year, mostly by mental preparation and by doing some heat training in the weeks leading up to the race.

This year I ran 17:41 and won 1st in my age group.

The Melon Run always draws a big crowd of the local talented runners.


Photo by Race Pace Photos.


Photo by Race Pace Photos.

I am still road racing in my Inov-8 Bare-X Lite 150 shoes.

Awards included an actual watermelon!



Race results available here: http://www.floridatrackclub.org/race-...-run-2013/

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