Tag Archives: finisher

Race Recap-Lethbridge 10 Mile Road Race!

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The 40th annual Lethbridge 10 Mile Road Race was Saturday, April 13th. I signed up for it when registration opened and opted to participate in the 10 mile distance—There was also a 4 mile distance to participate in. I had never participated in this event before, but knew it would be a well-put-together race, as Runners Soul was sponsoring it.

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I honestly hadn’t really done much preparation for this race as far as being aware of the course and start times. I was so busy this week after coming back from Milwaukee that package pickup kind of snuck up on me Friday! The course this year was apparently different than years past, as it was an out and back situation. The race would start and finish at the college. The first part of the course on Scenic Drive is relatively flat, with a few small “bumps”. For those participating in the 10 miler, we had something special in store for us—after winding on Scenic Drive for 3 miles, we would descend into the river bottom down quite a steep hill, approximately 3/4 of a mile long. This would be a nice descent, but after winding through the pathways and turning around and coming back, we would have to head up this wretched monster! I spoke about this hill in a previous blog about hill training…it is still as ridiculous as I said initially!

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The race day itself couldn’t have been any more perfect of a day for Lethbridge. There was hardly any wind, there was sun peaking out of the clouds all morning, and the temperature was somewhere around 45 degrees. The 9:00 am start time for the 10 mile was awesome also! I had this 9:00 am start time last week for the Trailbreaker Half and while I know many races, especially in the summer, start earlier, I love having this almost “late start” time. I was able to get up at 7:00, have coffee and oatmeal, get ready slowly and be set for the race. I had it set in my head I would go out at a decent pace, but my goal was to be around 8:20-8:30 minute miles. I was nervous for that hill climb back from the river valley, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t collapse.

But of course, like always, I got wrapped up in the excitement of the race and completely ignored my pacing plans.
Pacing Breakdown Map from Nike+

So, my first mile of 7:33 was one of the fastest miles I have ran in a longtime. For real. I decided to just keep my legs moving for mile two. And three. And four. I figured if I felt this good there was no reason to slow down. If I had slowed down to what my planned pace was suppose to be, I would have been frustrated at the finish line if I had energy still left.. Running through the river bottom was probably the toughest part mentally. The trail curves quite a bit and I don’t know how to say it, but the visibility is only about 100 feet in parts. For the whole race I always had at least one guy (it was always a guy) close enough to chase. In this area of the river bottom, all of a sudden those people who I was chasing disappeared. It was like I was racing alone again. Once you got spit out by Whoop-Up, the path opened up a bit and you could see people ahead of you again. I started concentrating on paying attention to the number of people turning around and heading back.. This kept my mind off any pain I may have felt or the possibility of slowing down. I started counting any ladies who had turned around and headed back, and also started figuring out what age group they fit in. I realized at the five mile I was in 8th place for the ladies so far, with what I assume to be probably two people ahead of me in my age group. This was enough to keep me moving after the turn around and now I had it set in my head I was going to place in my age group

As I approached the hill to head back up from the river bottom, I yelled to the volunteers at the bottom HERE GOES NOTHING!. I knew I could not stop and walk, because it would be that much harder to get going again. I kept on my toes and kept moving up that hill, even though the pace felt so slow. I happened to catch up to a middle aged man who was breathing hard on his way up. I don’t know why, but I just started talking to him. I started talking about the stupid hill, my race last week, my pace, etc. I told him how I had ran since I was in high school, but I had only started now taking these road races somewhat seriously. He had started running at age 36 and hadn’t been running that long, and hadn’t done any crazy long distances yet. We kept together up that hill, never stopped to walk, and powered past a few people on the way up. I had a new found energy, as we kept each other going. I passed a girl who seemed to be around my age who had walked. I had this competitive spirit in me that I hadn’t had since high school. I had to keep moving!

The hill made my mile 7 come in at a time of 10:19. I had three more miles to run, and I felt positive I could get the time of 1 hour 25 minutes that I was aiming for. On the trek back to the college, I hugged the curves of Scenic Drive, treating it like running on an outdoor track. My short legs take that many more extra steps than a normal person, so any less distance I managed to run than the other races was helpful for me. Since I was familiar with the road we were running on, I set landmarks in my head for when I would start to pick up the pace. I didn’t want to go crazy too early. I find that this planning and analyzing during a race helps me stay focused, makes the miles pass faster, and keeps me moving.. This is why I don’t listen to music-my mind is filled with a playlist and plan of its own! At the Park Royal neighborhood, I planned to start using whatever energy I had left.. This would be about 1.5 miles from the finish, and there would be a short hill from the Sugar Bowl to climb before I would be at flat road. I got that kick going and kept with it until the finish, improving each mile after that 10:19! My finish time would be 1 hour 23 minutes 14 seconds.

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I called my mom and my husband to let them know how I did. My mom obviously was home in Wisconsin, and my husband was working in the new Garry Station subdivision in West Lethbridge. At this point I hadn’t seen an unofficial result sheet, so I had to let them know what my time was and that I felt pretty good about placing in my category. They both seemed surprised at how good my time was, and frankly, I was too. I had ran the half marathon in Waukesha last weekend, broke my long standing personal record, came back to work this week after a great Spring Break, and hadn’t had much recovery time. I stand by my statement from earlier this year that running is almost sometimes more of a mental competition, than a skill.. Yes, I need to have the mileage and the training in order to compete and race at the level I want to be at. But if I had gone in to this race with a negative attitude, assuming I would not be able to do well since I had just raced the previous weekend, I would not have done well. There is something to be said out there in regards to the power of positive thinking

Awards started in the gymnasium at the Lethbridge College at 11:00 am.

20130414-110551.jpg. They went through the 4 mile categories first before moving onto the 10 mile categories. I was like a little kid when they called me up for 2nd place in the 20-29 female category. After awards, I had to have Sean from Runners Soul take a photo for me, as I didn’t want to try to do a lame self-shot with my medal. So thank you Sean for taking this photo!

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I really enjoyed this race and would recommend the 10 Mile Road Race to anyone in Southern Alberta. It is a well-organized event and a beautiful course. That being said, us runners lucked out the race was Saturday, as if it had been today, it would have been a survival of the fittest sort of event. I am not making this up, but please refer to the photo below to see what my back yard looks like 24 hours after the awards ceremony:

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Real glad Dan and I got the pond pump running…..NOT! Anyways, that’s it for today. For some upcoming posts, I plan on doing an entry on my dad’s middle years while he lived in Switzerland and also reflecting back on some past Walt Disney World vacations. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment. Also, share and like my page if you like what you are reading! And the best compliment would be to head to the charitiespage up at top and read about the American Heart Association and Heart & Stroke Foundation and how I am running in memory of my late father, Andrew Lammers. Have a great week everybody!

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Race Recap—There’s No Place Like Home! The Trailbreaker Half Marathon

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The land of my family, beer, cheese, the Brewers, and the Fonz. Why wouldn’t I want to spend Spring Break 2013 here? And hey!-a half marathon is happening in neighboring Waukesha? I’ll do that!….

On Saturday, April 6th, I competed in The Trailbreaker Half Marathon in Waukesha, Wisconsin. No, I did not fly back home solely for this race. I was actually home on my own for Spring Break visiting friends and family and I was suppose to be leaving in the morning of April 6th. Air Canada, however, got rid of the morning flight from Milwaukee to Toronto shoutout to the MKE to YYZ!. I don’t blame them for removing this flight, as it is hardly ever 1/2 full during the week and is usually just business travelers. So when they changed my flight, I got moved to the evening 7:15 pm flight, thus allowing me to register for a race! It worked out in the end anyway!

As hard as it is to believe, this would actually be the first race of mine that my mom would be witnessing. Since my high school track days at least! Before this race, I had completed 13 full and half marathons, about 3 ten kilometer races, and handfuls of 5 kilometers. . I did not hold a grudge against my mom for not coming to these races—I knew it would involve travel (she hates driving) and would be boring for her. But with the spirit of this year, I was very happy to be able to register and complete a race with her watching! (She will be down in Disney during marathon weekend with me, so this was a very mini-preview!)

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The race started at 9:30 am in downtown Waukesha at the Schuetze Recreation Center. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous the days leading up to the race. When I go home to Wisconsin for a week, I eat and drink like a stereotypical Wisconsinite. This means my pre-week training regime was a two mile and a five mile run, plus plethoras of Bloody Mary’s, craft beer, cheese, rich food, and fried food. I did eat some solid salads through the week, but I did not quite know what to expect come race day.

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About 600 people competed in the half marathon. The day started out cloudy and overcast with a slight breeze. The breeze was nothing to me, as I am used to Lethbridge-style winds! While it is not summer, there is a greater humidity down in Wisconsin than what I am used to in Alberta. With the overcast day and on-and-off sprinkles, I think I fared well considering my concern of weather variants. One huge plus that aided me in doing well (despite my Wisconsin diet regime the week prior) was the drastic change in elevation! The elevation in Lethbridge, according to Wikipedia, is 2,990 ft. I know some spots in the coulees increases and decreases this approximately +/- 200 feet. In Waukesha, however, the elevation is 873 ft! Big difference here! Hopefully my higher elevation running the past 4 years will make a difference….

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Since the course was an out-and-back number, I was not going to make my mom drive and park along the way to find me. That would have stressed her out. What stressed me out is when I tell her a ballpark time to be near the finish. It puts pressure on me not to suck! Well, I started off strong! Too strong!. At the end of this entry, I will put my split times that I got from my Nike+ SportWatch because I need some advice on how to get more consistent. This has been an issue of mine since doing road races after high school. I go out way to fast, and half the time, I hit a wall at some point. The other half is a mixture of being inconsistent the whole race or somehow miraculously mustering through. But anyone who has done a road race of any distance knows how hard it is to NOT go out too fast! Your adrenaline is pumping and you feel invincible

Mile 6 & 7 was where my dramatic increase to my splits occurred, adding +0’25” and +0’12”, respectively. This was on a part of the Glacial Drumlins Trail and people had begun to become more spread out. I did not have anyone directly in front of me within catchable distance. I started to sluff off.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I don’t listen to music when I run. This race was nothing different. It is times like these, when I notice my lag occurring, that I begin talking to myself in my head, and calculating my pace requirements for the remainder of the race so I can finish where I needed to be. In my head, I knew I wanted to be under 2 hours. With my over-consumption of Milwaukee beer all week (oh, Milwaukee Brewing Company, you did me in, I figured this was a good goal. Under 1:55 would have been great, and beating my PR of 1:54:19 from May 2010 would have been spectacular.

I knew I’d I made it to mile 10 under my PR pace time, I could actually get that goal. At mile 10, I was still in good shape, and I had to just keep it up. Thankfully, the last two miles of the course looped back downtown Waukesha and past more supporters in general. People started to get bunched up more, and the adrenaline got going again. My legs were feeling pretty heavy, but I kept my short stumps trucking. At mile 12, a guy who had been running with his friend came up to me and asked how I was feeling. I told him I was on pace to break my PR, but my legs were starting to give. He literally screamed with excitement at me that I totally had this and to just keep pushing. . Thank you unnamed man in the visor and orange/grey shirt, because I kept looking ahead where I could faintly see the finish line and pushed on.

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I wore my bright orange Lulu Lemon jacket so my mom could see me—she was able to snap those photos as I pushed across to the finish line!. I had done it! I actually beat my old PR from almost 3 years ago! And my mom got to witness it! She told me after that at the start of the race she started crying when the gun went off. Needless to say, she is going to be a mess of tears come Disney Marathon Weekend!

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Above is my unofficial time which I was so happy to see! But, the official time gave me 1 second off, so I will take that! 1:52:53 it is!

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I actually did not feel too horrendous after the race, though the strain on my face may say otherwise! It felt great to run back home in Wisconsin! And in true Wisconsin fashion, Miller Lite was served after the race (might as well continue my beer consumption huh?)

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I am very glad my mom was able to come see me at this race—I know it had to be a bit tough to watch, as this is the first running event of mine she has witnessed without my dad. He was the one with binoculars at the track meets in high school–he loved it all. Yes, I ran my best half marathon time today to date, but what I am more happy about is that not only my mom got to see me run today back in the homeland, but my dad watched me with her as well.

Race Splits
Mile 1—7:38
Mile 2—8:18
Mile 3—8:23
Mile 4—8:29
Mile 5—8:23
Mile 6—8:48
Mile 7—9:00
Mile 8—8:46
Mile 9—8:42
Mile 10—9:03
Mile 11—8:34
Mile 12—9:14
Mile 13—9:03

First Race Complete! A Recap of Sorts!…

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On Saturday, March 2nd, I competed in my first race of 2013, the Hypothermic Half. It was sponsored by the “Running Room” and held down in Indian Battle Park by Fort Whoop-Up in Lethbridge. I was a little nervous to see how this race would go, since I had been sick since around February 20th. The last long run I had done when training was 9 miles and that was in Friday, February 15th, the day before I went to Los Angeles. I had mentioned in the last few posts here that I attempted running when sick, and that didn’t end well. So, to say I was anxious is an understatement.

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Race start was 9:00 am, with the ‘sleepy-head’ race scheduled for 10:00 am. When I had gone to pick up my race packet up on Thursday, I became aware the route was pretty simple-run twice around the park, down past the police firing range and the country club, loop back, and do it again. However, when we were running, it became clear that this was slightly incorrect. You had to do the same loop three times, only you went around the park once instead of twice.
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I had my Nike SportWatch on during the race, and after the first of three loops, it became clear that this was not going to add up to 13.1 miles. It was going to be under. This is the first time I have been in a race where the distance wasn’t as advertised. I don’t know if I were to go back to the Running Room website if there would be any note about this, but I guess I could have guessed it would be like this, given the low-key atmosphere of the start and finish line. It was not chip-timed, and there would be any 1-2-3 finishers age groupings. It was just for finisher’s medals. Since I am by no means an elite athlete, this didn’t bother me too much, but I do like having that more competitive feeling, and to have results to see at the end is always good. But, I decided I had to make the most of it.

My pace started off ridiculous-I did my first mile in 8:02 and my second in about 8:07. It started to slow down a few seconds each mile, getting towards my comfort zone pace of 8:45 minutes a mile. This was good in a way to make this rookie mistake of going out a bit fast, since it was my first race. It also showed me I was capable of it! The pack started to distance themselves after around mile 3. In our 9:00 am starting group, there was about 30 people. For the whole race, I was running in the #4 or #5 spot. This proved difficult since there was such a gap ahead of everyone else, and the few ahead of me were that much faster—I was pretty much pacing myself and running alone this whole race.

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My legs started getting that heavy feeling around mile 7 and 8. If there had been people for me to “chase” and keep me moving it would have been great. It actually worked out timing-wise that the 10:00 am group, with around 20 runners, started just as I was heading in to start lap 3 of 3. This brought my pace back down to where it should have been, as I had slowed to a 9:20 for one of the miles. Having people to go after and keep up with strongly helped on the last lap.

In the end, the distance my watch mapped was 11 miles, 2.1 miles shorter than an actual half marathon. I finished with a time of 1:36:43. Had this been a true half marathon, I am confident I would have been under two hours, which was my goal given my sickness, and probably be more close to 1:55, which I would have been ecstatic about.

Race results are usually the one thing you can’t delete, or that you always find online. Since this wasn’t chip timed, I don’t know if there are any results being kept. I didn’t see anyone writing my bib number down as I crossed, but who knows. I know, though, that I started off this season strong. It was a great confidence builder! It felt really neat to finish #5 in this small group in our time slot. I actually finished #2 for the women in our group. This shows how small the race was, ha! But I felt strong and proud at the end.

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I will be taking a solid week off of running to recover. I am still hacking up junk from my throat and chest, and I am heading to a mathematics conference on Wednesday in Philadelphia. So the week off will be perfect. My next race will be in April, the 10-Mile Road Race, sponsored by Runners Soul. I need to register for it today while I am thinking about it!

Also, thank you to everyone who has donated to my charities I am racing for, either American Heart Association or Heart & Stroke Foundation (Canada). A few friends donated the past couple days leading into the race! I have currently raised $585 for American Heart Association and $465 for Heart & Stroke Foundation! My goal is $1000 to each charity by the time I run my culminating race, the Goofy Challenge, in January 2014. I feel confident we can make this happen well before the race, and then keep raising money and awareness leading up to the event. Thank you to everyone who has shown support for my cause of running in memory of my father, Andrew A. Lammers. He would be so impressed with the donations people have made so far, and so proud to see all the races I have registered for. Thank to anyone who has donated money, read this web page, shared this web page, or just reflected on the memory of my dad. To infinity & beyond!

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