Saturday, November 28, 2015

Crooked Road 24 Hour Ultra with a Dash of Star City Half Marathon

Last weekend sure was a busy one for a weekend that neither of us had official plans to participate in any races whatsoever. Like I had mentioned in previous posts, Mr. Marathon was able to participate in the Crooked Road 24 Hour Ultra Marathon at like the last minute due to someone who dropped out. This run took place in Rocky Mount, VA, which is only 30-45 minutes north of where we live. It is so crazy that such a splendid 24-hour event like this is located so close to home! Well, hubbs wasn't allowed to have all the fun, and I had a long run on the schedule, so I signed up on a whim to do the Star City Half Marathon in beautiful (hilly) Roanoke. I did the Star City Half Marathon in 2013, and it was rough, so I was very hesitant to do it, but I am glad that I did!
It was cold in Roanoke!
So let me run you through our entire weekend (HAHAHA GET IT? RUN!!!) . It all started bright (dark actually) and early Saturday morning when we both woke up before the sun and parted ways around 6:30 am: me to Roanoke, him Rocky Mount. I arrived at the starting line in Roanoke with just (barely) enough time to hit the porta potty and warm up/thaw out before the chilly start of the race. While I was preparing for my race, mister was preparing for his. He took off with the group at 8:00 am to start the 24 hours of laps around the 1.18 mile loop around a quaint little park that was tucked away behind the city.

My finisher's medal!
Fast forward a couple of hours and quite a few miles later for both of us (13.1 for me, approximately 16 for him). I had a good run, finishing at a satisfactory time of 2:31:19. It was an improvement of over 6 minutes from Myrtle Beach with significantly more elevation change, so I'll take it! Anyway, I had finished my run and was on my way to Rocky Mount for hubby's event. He called to check on my and see how I did (insert AWWWWWs here so sweet I know blah blah), and he informed me that he forgot to pack his extra shoes and his current shoes had begun to give him blisters already! So he was on his way back home to pick up shoes and come right back to continue on running.
He ran like this the whole time, prancing about and whatnot.
So I'm going to break away from the narrative of the day to explain a little bit about this 24 hour event. It is a really great concept: the event goes from 8:00 am Saturday to 8:00 am Sunday. Like I mentioned, the course is a 1.18 mile loop that runners do laps on. The running club that puts on this event has great volunteers who mark the laps as runners come through. The best part about this event is that participants don't have to run for the entire 24 hours! They can take a break, take a nap, go eat, go home if they forgot something, whatever! So obviously that's what Mr. Marathon ended up doing.

Such a gorgeous little park!

After Mr. Marathon returned to the park with several pairs of shoes in hand (foot?), he took off again. And he ran. And ran. Oh, and he ran some more. He kept on running until mid afternoon, when we were planning on heading back home yet again for our Christmas Parade at 5:00 pm. We headed home and watched the parade, got our jollies, and then we returned yet again to the park where Mr. Marathon and I set up camp for the night, literally. We set up a tent so that he could take nap breaks and then go running so he could meet his goal of 50 miles. Throughout the night, I cheered him on from my slumber. It was very cold, so it was even more challenging to wake up every few hours, change clothes, and go run in the pitch black night! I wouldn't know, but that's just what he told me. Anyway, he got up to run at various times throughout the night at approximately 11:00 pm and 3:00 am to go run. I, on the other hand, did not. Regardless, he ended up finishing his miles and smashing his goal to little bitty pieces by around 5:30 am when he clocked in at ***drum roll please***......
Selfie with the 100K! Which he finished at like 3:15 am!
(he waited until the sun came up to take this picture, obvs)
He is very happy with his mileage total for this event. His goal kind of evolved in the days leading up to the event and during the actual event. At first, he thought he just wanted to run the longest distance he's ever run, which would be anything over 31.1 miles/50K. Well he secretly wanted to do more, so he set a goal to do 50 miles, which he ended up getting at around 1:00 am. He still had 7 hours of the event, so obviously the next logical step is to just keep running, which he did. He kept on going and decided to aim for the 100K mark, which is 62.1 miles. In order to get credit for his 100K, he had to finish the lap he was on, which gave him 62.6 miles. Contrary to what most normal people would have done (um, pass out??) he realized that he forgot to take pictures along the course! Now that the sun was coming up, he pranced off for another lap to get pictures. Then, when I finally woke up, he felt bad that I didn't get to see the course, so I walked part of his last lap with him. By this point, he had racked up 64.98 miles! Crazy guy!

He blew past this milestone around 1:00 pm!

He flew past the 50K mark by 4:00!

Our tent!
NOT PICTURED: our generator and space heater.... :)

We survived camping out!
Finishing off his last lap with 3 minutes to spare!
Taking a picture with
ultra marathon runner legend, Tom Green
He ran 55 laps, and he never got
tired of looking at this cute little waterfall!
The 24 hour event was definitely one of the best experiences we've ever had at a running event. It had a super friendly, encouraging atmosphere, and it was accessible to ultra marathoners of all levels! Not to mention, they had awesome food throughout the day, including candy, cookies, pickles, olives, pizza, hamburgers, peanut butter and jellies, cinnamon rolls, quesadillas, soups, sodas, and so so much more! And of course they had wonderful volunteers to provide these foods and of course they had great volunteers to keep tallies for the laps. It is just so amazing that we have such a world-class event hidden away right in our own backyard! This race is something that we (yes, we) are putting on our (yes, our) race docket for next year.

The face you make after running 100K+ and hardly sleeping
and you desperately need real food
and your wife says "Wait let me get a picture!"
My precious little ultra-marathoner!
Rest and recovery is the best part!
Because of the holidays, I fell off the blogging bandwagon, but hopefully I'll catch up soon. Mr. Marathon and I participated in the Turkey Day 5K a couple of days ago on Thursday, so we'll do a quick post about that soon, and those announcement posts that I keep alluding to at the end of each post are coming, I promise...!!!!! So stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Spartan Sprint + Spartan Super + Spartan BEAST = SPARTAN TRIFECTA

As mentioned in a previous post, Mr. Marathon decided to tackle the Spartan race series with a friend of his. Now, they started out just saying "Hey, it'll be cool if we do a Spartan sprint race! Yeah!" and then it turned into "We did the sprint, we can totally do the Super!" which turned in to "Well now that we've done the Super we might as well do the Beast to make it the Trifecta!" which is when a racer completes all 3 distances in a calendar year. This is quite the honor in the Spartan community, and many racers aim for the Trifecta and will even complete multiple Trifectas.

So of course the boys had to do just that. They managed to complete all 3 distances within this calendar year this past weekend when we traveled to Winnsboro, SC for the Beast of the Carolinas. For those of you normal humans who don't know what exactly a Spartan Beast race entails, it is 12-14 miles of running, sprinkled with around 30 obstacles throughout the course. This particular Beast was a good choice, according to Mr. Marathon. It wasn't too terribly hilly (or mountainous like the Super....) and so it was a fairly fast course. The obstacles weren't bad, and he only had to do burpees at three obstacles (one must do 30 burpees when the obstacle is not completed): the rope climb, the one where they have to lift sandbags on a pulley (because the sandbags weighed well over half of his body weight) and the obstacle where he had to remember something that he didn't know he had to remember (...?). Anyway, it was a fun journey and now he has a cool huge medal where all 3 pieces of his trifecta puzzle come together and give him magical powers... jk.... or am I???? And now, pictures!

Taking selfies while stuck in parking traffic! We're so presh!

Start line and random strangers! Heyyyyy..!

Is this a Spartan race or a waiting room?
But that's none of my business...

Climbing the inverted wall

Now Dasher, now Dancer!
Now Prancer and....
Climbing over the vertical cargo net

Spartan flag flying high
My little Spartan throwing spears, looking tough!
So adorbs!
um hay i'm a spartan
Finish time: 2:20:24! 2nd place in his age group,
despite having to wait in line for many obstacles.
All 3 finisher's medals and his TRIFECTA MEDAL!
 As for upcoming events, this weekend (as in 3 days from now) Mr. Marathon will be participating in the Crooked Road 24 Hour Ultra and I will be doing the Star City Half Marathon (signed up on a whim just tonight!) and as mentioned in other posts, we do have some other exciting things coming up... Be on the lookout for a couple of announcement posts coming !

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Time Traveler Pi Miler

Last weekend, we all set the clocks to "fall back" an hour. How did you use your extra hour? Most normal people would say sleeping. And for people with small children, they would say "What is this extra hour of which you speak?" As for us, we say we ran back in time!

Well let me back up. First of all, Saturday was Mr. Marathon's cross country conference meet in Greensboro, NC. He finished off the season strong finishing 22nd in his conference with an 8k PR of 30:36!
Averett's pre-race prayer circle

Whoops, he was too quick for me! I almost missed him!

Finish line!

After he finished up and we went to eat, we got back home around 5. And we went to bed. We are totally lazy right??? Wrong! We went to bed in preparation for the Time Traveler Pi Miler run in Roanoke that would be held at 1:50 am Sunday morning. Mr. Marathon did this race last year and loved it, besides the weather. The premise of this race is that you start the race at 1:50 am, it's 3.14 miles (because the number pi is 3.1415.....), and daylight savings time makes the time fall back before the clock strikes 2:00 am, so you technically finish "before" you start!

Let's go back in time! But first let's take a selfie!
Anyway, we went to sleep around 5 Saturday night to wake up at 10ish pm to head to Roanoke around midnight to be there for packet pick up by 1:00 am. We picked up our packets and began waking up, errm I mean warming up for the race. We had to get our headlamps adjusted correctly before the run which added an entirely new pre-race concern to the mix. Once we were adjusted/warmed up/stretched out, it was about time for the race to begin. The race ran along the Roanoke Greenway, which I was personally very thankful for since we wouldn't have to be running out along the streets on Halloween night. The Greenway is pretty during the day, but it was a little dark (obvs) at night. It had plenty of streetlights, but I was still relying on my headlamp for a small stretch out there. Now, I don't know if it was just the adrenaline of running at night and being terrified or that I have actually been training ok, but I managed to get my time down to 29:36! I have been trying to get my 5k time back under 30 minutes for a few months now, which seems slow to most people but hey, to me this was a huge accomplishment! Mr. Marathon finished in 18:22, just one second shy of his standing PR for a 5k! Darn! But hey, it was not a 5k, it was a 3.14 miler which is 0.04 miles longer. BIG DIFFERENCE. And he did beat his time from last year's Pi Miler! Anyway, he placed 3rd overall, so that was an accomplishment. The even bigger accomplishment is that we both traveled back in time! He traveled back in time 41 minutes 37 seconds and I traveled back in time 30 minutes 20 seconds! So, really those are both PR's if you look at it that way.... :)

Getting ready to travel back in time brb.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd place male overall winners...
I think it was fixed by height...
There he is! Alfredo Garcia 3rd place overall!

There I am! 4th place in my age group!
All in all, it was a fun night (morning?) and it was a nice race. Except for the fact that we both finished in fairly good time and they were already almost out of pizza by the time we got there (I got one of the last slices) and mister got almost the last of the hot chocolate! It was an interesting concept, though, and we are very excited that there was a race like this near us!

I don't have any other races coming up immediately, but mister has his Spartan Beast coming up next week. After that, he will have completed the SPARTAN TRIFECTAAAAA!!!!!! Yeah, I don't really know what that means, but it sounds cool, right? Anyway, that's all for now! But definitely stay tuned, because we have a couple of big announcements to make....! Until next time, enjoy this picture of me dressed up like Skippyjon Jones for Halloween last week! (he's a children's book character who is a Siamese cat who thinks he's a Chihuahua... don't believe me? Read about him here or here!)