A travers Prilly 2011

Six days after the marathon, I was still sore and stiff, but it was time for my next my 10K. Saturday afternoon I hopped on my bike just half an hour before race time and headed to Prilly, less than a mile from home. The shopping center where I picked up my race number was practically deserted (unlike last year when it was crowded with runners seeking shelter from the snow). I went outside and greeted friends near the starting line. T. said she wasn't in top form and that I just might beat her this time, but I told her that wasn't likely as I had just run a marathon. We were comparing marathon experiences when the gun when off. I made it to the top of the first hill on the 2-kilometer loop without too much trouble. The second, smaller hill wasn't a problem at all. The 2 kilometers were over in no time, only four more laps to go. The leader passed me half way through the second lap. So amazing to watch those first rate runners! The woman's winner passed me just as I was finishing the fourth lap. I pushed up the last hill pretending the top was the finish line, then coasted down to the actual finish line at the bottom of the hill. Ten kilometers seemed so short after last week's 42 kilometers; what will next Saturday's 5K be like!

Gotta run...


Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes, Nice-Cannes

Husband and I wanted to turn our marathon experience into a mini vacation, so we booked a Friday afternoon flight to Nice. Saturday morning we picked up our race bibs and visited the marathon expo where we made quite a haul.

We found a pasta place for lunch, wondered around town that afternoon, and kicked back all evening.

Since our hotel was only 500 meters from the starting line, we were able to stay in our room until shortly before the 8 a.m. start. With only about 30 Porta Potties set up for 8000 runners, that was quite convenient! Husband set out a bit before I did to drop off our clothes bags. We thought we wouldn’t have any trouble finding each other before the race started, but we had a miscommunication about the rendezvous spot. I stood on a cinder block to search for Husband in the crowd and twisted my ankle stepping down. It hurt, but I knew it wasn’t bad enough to keep me from running. I got next to the 4-hour pace setter hoping to find Husband eventually.

It took me 3 minutes to reach the starting line after the gun went off, then we headed down the Quai des Anglais; shuffling first, then jogging before finally being able to run. Even then we were stepping on each other’s heels for the first 5 kilometers. At that point I caught up with Husband. It was great to be together! At 10 kilometers my ankle started hurting, but the pain disappeared after a few minutes and didn’t give me any more trouble until two days after the race. By the halfway mark, my thighs were getting pretty tight and I couldn’t keep up with Husband any longer. I watched him slowly pull away and eventually go out of sight. I was on my own, so to speak, from then on. Both of us had been worried that our recent shin problems might keep us from finishing; but I knew at that point that I would finish, even if I had to walk a good part of the way.

The second half of the course was hillier than I had anticipated. The more my thighs tightened, the less I enjoyed the beautiful costal setting, and the more I had to slow down. By the 30-kilometer mark I was walking through the aid stations, then stopping to stretch. I knew I wouldn’t be breaking 4 hours. By 35 kilometers my thighs felt like cement blocks and I realized I wouldn’t even finish under 4:05’. By 40 kilometers I just wanted to walk. I also wanted to cry. But I didn’t do either. I made it to the finish line in Cannes where I was handed my finisher’s t-shirt and medal.

Husband and I found each other right away. We were both very happy to have finished, yet slightly disappointed with our times. We hobbled to the station and waited for the train back to Nice. After we got back to our hotel, we went up to the roof to soak in the Jacuzzi. We met and talked with some other runners from Russia and Scotland who were also trying to sooth their aching muscles in the hot tub.

We had one more day left on our mini vacation. We spent all day Monday walking around Nice before our evening flight home.

Gotta run...


Trophée du Talent 2011

With the Nice-Cannes Marathon just around the corner, I asked C. how I should run last Saturday's 12K (as a sub 3-hour marathoner, he's an authority on the subject). He said not to overdo it, but to give 80%. I think I was secretly happy to have an excuse not to go all out on this challenging course. I stood farther back than usual at the starting line to avoid taking off too fast. D., my closest competitor, passed me on the first uphill stretch, then I closed the gap as we headed downhill through the woods. I held on all the way back uphill along the stream and tried to catch up on the home stretch. But D. heard me coming, put the pedal down, and pulled away. C. was happy to hear that I ran 2 minutes slower than last year and fell 3 spots in the rankings (he likes it when I take his advice), even though I probably gave closer to 90% than 80%.

Gotta run...


Englischer Garten

I had a long run scheduled while visiting Daughter in Munich. Her apartment is just a couple of miles from the Englischer Garten. Since it's bigger than Central Park in New York, that seemed like my best long run option. I stuffed my jacket pockets with a package of mixed nuts, keys, a tiny city map, a 2 euros coin, a metro ticket, and a slip of paper with Daughter's address and phone number. After 20 minutes of running I was at the south entrance of the park where I stopped for a few minutes to watch the kayakers enjoying the cascades on the river. After 20 more minutes of running I started looking for a water fountain. I asked another runner where to find water. Apparently there are no drinking fountains in the whole park. I finally found a beer concession that had bottled water for sale. Fortunately it was just 2 euros. By that time I had been running for well over an hour. From there I headed into the north half of the park. I was determined to make it to the far end of the park, but ended up running in circles for over an hour before reaching it. No sense of direction, you might say, but in my defense, there are roughly 75 kilometers of paths in the park! When I finally headed south again I was out of water and nuts. I found the only bathrooms in the park that weren't locked and filled my empty water bottle. By the time I exited the park I had been running for almost 3 hours. I would have used my metro ticket to get home, but the closest stop was out of the was, so I walked back to the apartment; only having to stop to ask directions a time or two (things really do look different when you turn around).

I had planned on doing some shopping that afternoon, but took a long hot bath instead. I haven't run since.