"Ask not what your team can do for you, but what you can do for your team."
-Ian Adamson

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k

This past weekend the team ran, among 37,000 other participants, in the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k. It was the first 10k for each of us and I know at least a couple of us were anxious. However, it was a mostly flat and scenic course through downtown Richmond and I believe that all of us did a great job in what we set out to accomplish.

Bellow are the results as they were posted here.

4007 th to finish out of about 37,365 (exact number of finishers undetermined)
230 out of 3129 in age division
975 out of 18506 women

4013 to finish
3036 out of 18859 men

7581 to finish
2483 out of 18506 women

14408 to finish
6415 women to finish

As for a recap of the race? It was flatter than I had anticipated, which was nice. It seems that everything we run around here has hills that can be at least slightly debilitating. The old buildings, monuments and cheerleaders were of what advantage? To me, little. I focused on the cobble path or my husband's coaching words for the entire 6.2 miles. My Garmin was dead so I couldn't use it to calculate splits, I had to do the simple math in my head using a regular stopwatch. However, at four miles I knew 33:40 was way ahead of where I needed to be to finish in my goal time of 56 minutes. It was also 12 minutes faster than my first race last fall, the Virginia Four Miler. I almost stopped and danced a jig right there. And I probably would have, if my husband hadn't been running backwards shouting 'are you really that slow?'. I had to speed up just to keep him safe from a rather large athlete who looked like he was ready to pounce.

The only negative things I have to say about the race? I can't believe I'm going to say this, because it was also the thing that drew me in to begin with. There were almost too many runners. Not during the run, but beforehand. Imagine 37,000 people on any small section of downtown road in your neighborhood. It can be a little overwhelming. That and the post race 'party'. A little disappointing for such a large run. Security guards to make sure you only took one banana and bagel. Really? I just ran 6.2 miles. If I take another banana, and you try to chase me, I will outrun you. Sprinting tends to be a strong suite of mine. So there.

All in all, I will be registering for the 2011 Monument Avenue 10k. Ukrop's or no Ukrop's. Whether or not I do it in the 50 minutes my husband has allotted me, well that's another story.

Monday, March 22, 2010


On July 24 we're going to be running our first Adventure Race. A Sprint race put on by Odyssey in the mountains of Virginia. The race is going to be 20-25 miles in length (4-6 hours) and includes Mountain Biking, Trail Running/Hiking, Flat Water Paddling, and Orienteering.

Yesterday, Alexis and I decided to take advantage of a babysitting offer, and go out and get some hard-core training done. So we loaded up our bikes and gear and drove to the Blackwater Creek Trail system and did just that.

We started out with a little run. About a 60/40 mix of paved trails and forest paths. We ran a total of 11 miles, which qualifies as the longest run of the year for either of us. We maintained a 10 minute pace, finishing up in just under two hours.

Then we transitioned to bikes. We took about twenty minutes to switch gear and fuel up, which is something we need to plan better for. We didn't bring much in the way of food, and ended up eating stale peanut butter crackers that had been in my pack for almost a year.

We rode for 14 miles, only a little over two of which were off-road. We finished up the biking leg in about 75 minutes. In the future we're going to start adding more off-road mileage, especially as Alexis' confidence on a bike seems to be growing exponentially with every ride.

I know that it wasn't race conditions, there was no navigation or paddling required, but we still did 25 miles yesterday in 180 minutes (3 hours), well under the expected finishing time of the race coming up in July. So, training on target? I think so.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Shamrock Hill 5K in Roanoke

This was a fun, festive, and fast race. A lot of people (including Alexis) came out ready to run wearing colorful St. Patric's Day clothing. Of the just over 400 registered runners, 367 runners finished the race. Complete race results are available here. We knew going into this race that it was going to be a mostly flat street race (with an uphill finish of course) so we were prepared to give it everything we had and try to get some baseline times to work from this year. Well, we ended up both setting new personal records, and both wishing that we could have just been 5 seconds faster.

Alexis placed 3rd in her age division, and 86 overall, coming in at 25:02 (8:04 pace).

Todd placed 6th in his age division, and 36 overall, coming in at 22:03 (7:06 pace).

It seems that Alexis is going to start placing in a lot of races, holding the rest of us to a higher standard. I have a time goal for 5Ks, and I'm still a few minutes off, so I know I've got my work cut out for me. On the agenda for spring time training is Hills, Hills, and more Hills.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Here are the official race results for the Explore Your Limits 5K Trail Run, put on by Mountain Junkies. This was a fun trail run that the whole team was able to run. More mud than snow this time thankfully.

Todd - 24:33 - 13th overall - 2nd in 35-39 mens age group

Alexis - 27:18 - 25th overall - 2nd in 25-29 womens age group

Erin - 31:56 - 52nd overall - 2nd in 30-34 womens age group

Jordan - 32:32 - 54th overall - 5th in 20-24 womens age group

Tyler - 37:37 - 84th overall - 3rd in 20-24 mens age group

I for one look forward to more of these Mountain Junkies races. This course was beautifully scenic, with winding trails, Indian villages, muddy slopes, and torturous hills. Everything you could want in a good trail race, with the exception of some fire obstacles.

See you on the trails.