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Archive for January, 2012

Ringling Bridge Run 26.2 Miler

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Most people know this race as the Ringling Bridge Run 4 Miler which is the biggest local timed/scored race in our area.  It’s mind boggling year after year to see more and more people who want to race over the Ringling Bridge!  I mean, I love hills and bridges, but people think I’m weird.  ;)

It looks like there were 2,158 finishers in the 4 miler this year.  I have no idea how many participated in the one mile.  But it’s for a great cause and the money stays locally so it generates great community support.

I ran the Space Coast Marathon on November 27, 2011 then took a couple weeks of rest and recovery before deciding to sign up and train for the Five Points of Life Marathon on February 19, 2012.  That didn’t give me a lot of time to recover, start training again, get in all the long runs and workouts I wanted to, and fit in all the other races I had already signed up for in January and February.  So I created the best possible training schedule I could with all the weekend race commitments I had already made weeks and months earlier.

This brings us to the Ringling Bridge Run 4 Miler and the Saturday I’m supposed to do my longest long run of this hybrid marathon training schedule.  So I combine the two and am very happy with the result!

I ran approximately 8.5 miles before the race then raced 4 miles in 27:09 (6:47 pace) which is 12 seconds slower than my PR.  Wished I realized that during the race so I could have gone for a new PR!  After the race I had some Gu and water then set off for my 14 (approx.) mile “cool down” with water and Gu stops throughout.  I averaged 8:55 for the 26.2 miles and went over and back on the Ringling Bridge (biggest “hill” in this area) four times.

This was the second time I had done a 26.2 mile training run.  I decided this was important to do again for this February marathon because I recovered so quickly from the November marathon.  Oh and did I mention the rolling hills I would see in the February marathon?  Luckily I have this hilly 26.2 mile training run under my belt and have been doing weekly hill workouts since last fall.

Inaugural Disney Marathon Relay

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Team RunnerGirl has had some pretty good success at relay and team events in the past, so why not try the new Disney Marathon Relay?  I teamed up with my speedy friend Kali and we tackled this inaugural event together.

Team RunnerGirl

Team RunnerGirl

In this relay, we each ran half of the marathon and we started and finished with the marathoners.  I ran the first leg, starting at 5:30 a.m. in corral #1.  It was a great experience for me to be near the front of the marathon for my whole race.  I mean, I was running HALF marathon pace while most of the people around me were running marathon pace.  There were not that many relay runners around me (that I could tell).  I was in awe of everyone, especially the women who were up there with me.  I can only dream of running a marathon that fast.  They were simply awesome!

My half of the race was mostly dark but the sun started to come up as I was nearing the final miles of my 13.1.  I mainly ran through and near Epcot and Magic Kingdom, including through Cinderella’s castle (my favorite part!!!) before high fiving my relay partner outside Magic Kingdom.  The whole race was amazing and inspiring.  I felt elite running with these fast marathoners and it was not crowded up front at all.  Knowing that Kali was there waiting for me, inspired me to run fast and keep pushing the pace no matter how I felt.  I did not waste any time through the water stops, just cruised through quickly drinking out of the side of my flattened out cup.  Even when I took my packet of Gu, I saw the approaching water stop ahead, ate the Gu right before then washed it down as I reached the water stop.  I tried to be quick and efficient so as not to keep her waiting.

It would be my fastest half marathon since the Sarasota Half Marathon in March 2011.  Disney was only about six weeks after my last marathon so I wasn’t exactly in the speediest shape since I mainly focused on distance and volume before the marathon and then took a couple weeks off after the marathon.  Doing the relay was exciting, inspiring, and definitely helped me run faster than I thought I could at that point in my training and racing cycle.

Kali is one of the most energetic, happy, and upbeat people I know.  On race morning, there was no exception.  Now when I ran down the straightaway to the relay exchange zone, she took it to a whole other level!  I was laughing and smiling as I approached her even while trying to finish as strong and fast as I could.  She danced around, waving her arms, jumping around, just filled with the same excitement I felt, I’m sure.

Relay Exchange Zone

Racing a relay event is a game changer.  No matter how you feel, you are driven by the fact that you are running with someone and for someone else.  You need to reach that finish line (or relay exchange zone) as fast as you can, knowing you did your absolute best for your partner, your teammate.

We were the second overall female relay team in 3:13:08.  We averaged 7:22 per mile for 26.2 miles.  There were 270 female relay teams.

2nd Overall Female Relay Team Award

We had such an amazing time.  Now we’re teamed up for the Sarasota Half Marathon Relay in March!   :)


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