Friday, June 23, 2006

Kudos and Kool Stuff

My running friends are awesome.

Several of them participated in Grandma's 1/2 and full marathon last Saturday in Duluth. As I've posted countless times before, I did not get in to the 1/2 this year.

I was very unhappy about it in the few weeks after my registration failed to be picked in the lottery. Then, I sort of resigned myself to reality and cut back on my running to concentrate on my swimming.

I did want to support my friends running the events, so at 4:00 am last weekend, two other friends of ours that were not running in the events and I loaded up the car and drove up to Duluth to cheer on our friends.

The day was very warm and humid for Duluth standards. The 1/2 marathoners cut a bit of a break as they started out on their course at 6:30 am when it was still cool and cloudy.

AmyK, Bea and I arrived in Duluth in time to grab some coffee and see the winner of the 1/2 cross the line. We then found our cheering spot and camped out for the rest of the day.

Our 1/2 friends Marcia, Julie, MaryJo, Jen and Sarah did an awesome job. Sarah is a co-worker and this was her first half. Marcia is the "ring leader" organizing a band of women that will run Twin Cities marathon this fall, including me. She has been training like a manic and it showed. She rocked.

The marathon started an hour after the 1/2 and the temp in Duluth was 64 degrees -- not so bad until you combine it with 90% humidity. That was some thing for us as spectators. Runners felt that impact 10-fold! The sun would peak out from time to time and that was brutal. By the end of the 6-hour race cutoff, the temps were in the 80s.

I love watching the full marathon. As a confirmed back-of-the-packer, it is very interesting (and strangely comforting) for me to see that the front runners and mid-packers also struggle a bit as they hit miles 22, 23, 24 and beyond.

Very few people could claim a PR that day. Folks were running past us looking pretty shot. (We were at a spot at about mile 25.5 on the course). Hot, sweaty -- some glazed-- but mostly happy to be nearing the end.

Our friends were terrific! Karen was in her typical rhythm; Angel, who is training for an Ironman, was slower than she wanted to be but was full of smiles when she passed. Carla, a new friend also training for an Ironman, did PR, which was something! KathyT, one of the folks I coached last year when she was a beginner was also smiling as she finished her FIRST marathon. Then there is my good friend Dori . Unfortunately, we missed out on being able to cheer her out on the course, but she did a GREAT job considering the conditions.

My hats off to each of them. They inspire me every day in very unique and special ways. I'm honored to be friends with each and every one of them.

Kool Stuff: I had a very good week of training. Running better (being back in training really helps -- duh). Swimming pretty well too. I went to an outdoor pool swim with my Tri club. The pool is longer than your standard -- a full 50 yards, as opposed to 25. Angel and Carla were also at the swim last night. Although you can't socialize much when swimming, it is just nice to have familiar faces there to keep you going.

I felt pretty strong in the water and got 1600 yards in -- so pretty much covered the distance I will need to swim at LifeTime.

My plan is to get in to the lake again this weekend -- after a round of golf tonight and a long run of 10 miles tomorrow with my marathon pals.



Marcia said...

I'm the "ring leader"?!? It might just be a fun job! I'm so glad you're joining us for the Medtronic TC marathon journey!

Sounds like your swimming is going great! Keep up the good work, Amy! It was so awesome having you guys support us last weekend! Running friends are the best!!!

See you tomorrow bright and early!

Dori said...

Good job on the swim. Now you know you can go the distance! Tell Angel I said congratulations on the marathon and good luck to her training for Ironman.

Thanks to you, AmyK and Bea for getting up at 4 in the morning (!) to drive to Duluth to see us. Even though I didn't get to see you, I appreciate you being there. And a special thanks to you, AmyBee, for being so supportive!