12/21/2013

Christmas Midnight Run 2013

 

What can I say about this year’s Midnight Run? Not much changes from year to year to year… Here’s what has changed; it's getting more competitive. As younger runners join the 50+ age group, it’s harder to earn a spot on the podium. I ran my heart out and was thrilled to end up in third place. At least one woman who beat me at l’Escalade the previous Saturday finished a minute behind me. Another change was the decision to do away with the 50+ awards ceremony. Bummer! We hung around for nothing. I got my trophy in the mail today. The trophy has changed too. Even though it won't match the previous five, I think it’s prettier!

Gotta run…

12/12/2013

L'Escalade 2013

The weather was perfect for this year’s Escalade. I got to the Bastions in Geneva in time to see C. run his race. I cheered for him on each of his three laps, but he was so focused that he never saw me. I then made my way to the starting line where I joined 650 other ladies running the women’s masters race. I got close enough to the front to avoid getting stuck behind slow runners, but not too close to hinder faster runners. The pace was fast from the start. Most of the races I enter are 10Ks, so a 5K is not a distance I’m used to. Besides that, my Garmin had given out on me earlier in the week. I didn’t know how I was doing except in comparison to other women I recognized. When S., with whom I had been chatting during the men’s masters race, passed me as we started the second lap, I was determined not to let her get out of my sight. Other than the times she went around corners in the old city, I was able to do just that. The pictures and finisher’s clip below attest to that.

S. (and others) gaining on me


S. about to overtake me


S. finishing 9 seconds ahead of me
video

Gotta run…

12/02/2013

A travers Prilly 2013


I don’t usually have to run tactically. I can size up the field before a local race and know who will finish 2 or 3 minutes ahead of me, and who will finish a few minutes behind me. The Prilly race, a week ago last Saturday, consisted of a one mile loop through town that we were to run five times (keep track of your own laps!). As we started up the first hill a woman cut me off while passing me. When we started down the first hill I passed her and glanced at her bib, 511. She was in my age group but I didn’t recognize her. On the next uphill section, she passed me for a second time. It was my turn to pass her as we rounded the last corner before the end of the loop. We went through the same yo-yoing on the next two laps. By the fourth time around I was beginning to wonder what strategy to adopt to beat 511. I didn’t think I could win a final stretch sprint. She passed me halfway up the first hill of the last lap; but I hung on and put the pedal down, passing her for the last time just before the top. I didn’t let up until I crossed the finish line. I’ll be on the lookout for 511 at my next race.

Gotta run…

11/29/2013

Lausanne One World Run 2013


Our 5K to benefit Project Aids Orphan was pretty mush an impomptu affair this year. Even though we didn’t get the word out too far in advance, and despite the cold and wind, about 20 of us gathered by the lake last Saturday to run for this good cause. After the run, we enjoyed some well-deserved pumkin soup and I awarded the top finishers their traditional applesauce cake. Maybe next year I can get my act together and organize a full-fledged race. It could happen!

Gotta run…

 




11/12/2013

Forceton Talent 2013


With all the traveling I’ve done over the past few months, involving an inordinate amount of sitting and eating (I may or may not have gained five pounds), I didn’t have high expectations for Saturday’s 12K, my first race since early September. Neighbor and I arrived at Chalet-à-Gobet an hour before the 11 a.m. start. The 850 meter elevation made it noticeably colder than home. Having dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, I hung out in the locker room to stay warm and told friends about my latest trips. As has been the case most years, the recent rain had made the course quite muddy, so I was wearing my old beat up running shoes. The race was pretty much a repeat of last year for me in every way, except for running a good 2 minutes slower. Even though I hadn’t had high expectations, I was disappointed. When I got home, I compared the two races on Garmin Connect and was relieved to see that this year’s course was 300 meters longer than last year’s and that my splits were almost the same.

Gotta run…

11/06/2013

Caesarea by the sea

On the first morning of our 10-day trip to Israel, I asked at the reception desk which way to run. I was told to turn left at the end of the drive and keep going till I got to the sea. Husband and I started down the wide path boarded with fragrant flowers of all colors. I could tell that even if we didn’t make it to the water this would be a nice run. We reached the beach after 15 minutes and ran a short distance up the coast. We stopped long enough to dip our hands in the sea and pick up a few shells. A woman we had just passed asked us where we were from (we were wearing matching 20 km de Lausanne shirts) and if we were in Israel for a race. She said she could tell us all about local races, as she was the head of the Israeli athletic association. I was tempted to give her the shirt off my back, but I’m too self-conscious to run in a sports bra!

Gotta run...


9/21/2013

Different options

I had hoped to run a race while in Fresno. Today’s half marathon seemed to be my only option. But I was deterred by the 7 a.m. start clear across town, the hefty registration fee (the price of new pair of running shoes), nagging lower back pain and a stiff knee, a lack of distance training; and did I mention the 7 a.m. start? Maybe I was also afraid I wouldn’t do well. Instead of competing, I tested my fitness this morning by running 12K at half marathon pace on an empty stomach and with no mid-run rehydrating. I was feeling pretty good about that, and enjoyed the bonus of watching hot air balloons take off from the Clovis fair grounds. Then about a mile before getting back home, I saw runners with bibs coming toward me! They were running a 5K! Had I only known I could have included the race in my long run. Judging by the field, I would even have done quite well. To bad the race wasn’t publicized anywhere.

Gotta run…

9/17/2013

On the run in Paducah

I’m currently in Paducah, Kentucky, visiting Brother and have been fortunate enough to attend all three of his kids extracurricular activities while here. It was exciting to see Nephew run his first cross country meet Saturday morning.
That afternoon Brother, Nephew and I entered the Paint me RAD 5K. We found out that this was NOT an actual Color Run as we had first thought, but a fundraiser for the radiology students at the local college. There was a big turnout; 500 people according to the Paducah Sun. We were told to line up, runners in the front and walkers in the back. We ran at a leisurely pace because Brother has a bad knee and, hey, this was a fun run. After the first color station my t-shirt was still white, and I had little to show for going through the second color station. Finally I actually stopped in order to get hit, but the volunteers didn’t really have their technique down. Oh well. A few hundred yards from the finish, Brother inexplicably started sprinting. I thought, ok, and followed. After crossing the invisible finish line I stepped in front of a runner to join Brother and Nephew. Said runner, who Brother dubbed Spandex Girl, immediately confronted me for not respecting the finishing order. She really had her spandex in a wad! How was I to know anyone was keeping track of who beat whom?! Later Brother explained his sudden motivation to sprint: SG had no business beating us!

Gotta run…

9/12/2013

Bussigny 2013


Last Saturday was my second time to run the Foulée de Bussigny 11.5K. While waiting for the race to start I found a spot in the shade and visited with friends I hadn’t seen all summer. With only about 150 runners, there was very little pushing and shoving as we took off. Since the 3-lap course wasn’t the same as last year I didn’t quite know what to expect. First we wound through the village, then up a long hill in the fields. Everyone had hit their pace by then and I found myself behind a group of four or five men who powered up the hill ahead of me. At the top, we turned into the woods and started back down. I passed the group of men and was enjoying the cool shade and downhill running. But soon we left the woods and got back on the road into the village with the sun beating down on us again. I grabbed a sponge at the aid station and squeezed all the water on my head. I also downed a sports drink before starting the second lap. I ran the second lap a minute slower, but still yo-yoed with the same group of men. On the third lap the men never did pass me and I even caught sight of T. R. She is a much better runner than I am, so I felt pretty good about finishing only 20 seconds behind her. All in all it was a good race, even though I hope next year we can go back to running the whole course in the woods.

Gotta run...




9/07/2013

La Sarraz 2013


For me, this Wednesday’s leg of the Tour du Pays de Vaud was the toughest and most disappointing. I knew that because of the heat I was likely to run a slower pace and get left behind by the two women I unexpectedly beat in Penthaz. That’s exactly what happened. G. L. passed me at the end of the killer hill halfway through the course. I valiantly hung on for about a kilometer, but that’s all I had in me and she slowly pulled away. Less than a kilometer from the finish line, S. M. passed me too and I didn’t even care enough to try to keep up. To add insult to injury, another women zipped past me right on the line. I thought maybe she wasn’t in my age group, but when the results were posted later I saw that she was.

That’s it for me. Since I’m not running the last leg of the Tour next week, I won’t be ranked and G. L. and S. M. can duke it out in Saint-Prex for second place in our age group!

Gotta run…

9/02/2013

6-month recap

Just because I was silent from January to July doesn’t mean I was idle. In those six months I ran almost 1000 kilometers and entered 7 races. Here are a few photos from Vidy, Chavannes, Cheseaux, Jouxtens, Sauvabelin, Savigny and Romanel to prove it. 









 

8/30/2013

Chavornay 2013

Last week during our vacation in the mountains we hiked or ran between 10 and 15 kilometers a day, climbing anywhere from 400 to 1500 meters. So I thought it would be interesting to see if that was better race preparation than the meringues and double cream of the two previous weeks! But several factors made Wednesday evening’s Chavornay race, the third leg of this year’s Tour du Pays de Vaud,  difficult to compare to the Penthaz race. Even though the distance was the same (8.5K), there was twice as much climbing in Chavornay and instead of paved roads, we ran mostly on gravel or dirt paths. Besides that I was in pain the whole second half of the race. I don’t know if it was the not-so-ripe banana I ate a half and hour before the start, or the few gulps of water I downed at the aid station, but a side stitch slowed me down considerably. Even so, my pace was only a few seconds slower than in Penthaz. So, not bad all in all. It's also impossible to compare Wednesday's race to my previous Chavornay runs because, unbeknownst to me, the course had been changed since I last ran it three years ago. We'll see next week if anything has changed in La Sarraz.

Gotta run…

8/27/2013

Penthaz 2013

Earlier this month I spent the better part of two weeks eating meringues and double cream for breakfast, sitting at a desk all day, and indulging in heavy restaurant meals every evening. After that regime, I didn’t have high expectations for the first leg of the Tour du Pays de Vaud in Penthaz. But a few kilometers into the race I was surprised to find myself running alongside, then leaving behind, a woman whose back I recognize well. I figured I would lose steam and fall behind on the end of the hilly 8.5K course, but my pace remained steady. I was very pleasantly surprised to hear the announcer say how well I placed as I crossed the finish line. It was my best ranking ever in this series of races! If only I had brought home more meringues and double cream!

Gotta run...