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Running Through a Fulfilled Life


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This Probably Won’t End Well

One of my favorite races of the Ohio Challenge Series is the Jackson Glow Run 5K.  It is one of the few races put on in Jackson Township (where my wonderful being hails from).  It is put on by the Jackson CC Team and journeys through my ye olde stomping grounds down Fulton, into Carrington (for the dreaded windsucker hill), across into the allotment behind the North Park, and finally jaunts around the running track of the park into the finish.

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The race starts with a firework display send-off and takes place at night, where the course is lit by luminaries.  I used to run that course everyday as a young high school hellion on the JHS Soccer Team.  Granted, I probably ran it MUCH slower because I totally HATED TEH LONG DISTANZ RUNNING PLOX OMG KILL ME NOW which semi reminds me of that one time that I attempted to try out for the long distance track team (it lasted all of 2 weeks).

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Last year (and this year’s) race will be in memory of Stephen Scott Fenstemaker II, who was a really good friend of my brother’s that passed away in a tragic automobile accident.   My brother was in the car with him at the time of the accident.  It is still a night that I hate to remember, and I grieve for The Fenstemakers even though 2 years have now passed.  Speaking of which, Stephen’s family will be putting on their own 5K this year to benefit his memorial fund.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider signing up.  As October 20 draws closer, I will likely start bugging all my running friends to register.

http://www.rsracingsystems.com/search/event.aspx?id=10108

Anyways, as much as I love running the Glow Run, I am not totally stoked for the projected forecast.

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Holy balls in the Sahara, that is hot.  Eli no likey da hottie.  So in preparation for my impending doom of a sweatfest, I decided I might as well run in ball exploding heat today.Image

Oh what’s that?  A heat advisory?  I thumb my nose at such things.

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Pre-Run I am super excited to be wearing a tank top that lets the world know my name is “Eli”.  But only if they are behind me.  Eating my super fast dust.

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Post-Run slightly sweaty and disgruntled that an 8:30 paced 3 mile run (my easyish pace) felt like a death march through the burning fires of Hell.

Sooooo…Friday probably won’t end well.  But I’ll be damned sure I have fun melting into a pile of runner Gu Subway slush!


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A Very Amish Anniversary

Mike and I celebrated our FIRST Wedding Anniversary over the weekend.  We decided to go to Amish Country to “get away from it all”.   Little did we know that my cell phone would have no reception and that the internet would be down at our Inn.  So we really did “get away from it all” all weekend and had a blast together.  I can’t believe it has been one full year with the man I love already.  Without further ado, our trip in pictorial format.

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Once we got home today, I promptly ran 5 miles in 40:36.  Something about breathing in that Amish air must have made me want to run fast.  Or my weekend of altitude training (and by training I mean eating like a pig and walking around a lot) contributed to my vast training improvement.

 

Happy Anniversary and Happy Running!


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Melting Runners

Oh wait, that’s the reason I hate running in the summer.  It took a while to have a running temp of 70 degrees with 80% humidity at 6:30 AM, but we have officially hit that mark in which my body feels like it’s going through the bowels of all hell and wants to reject every object I ever ate in my lifetime.  

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Thus, the reason I give my mother and every other runner that is in some way, shape, or form running the Canton Marathon (full, half, relay, or 10K) major props in their quest tomorrow.  Because lord knows I hate being a melted runner.  Thus, a partial reason I have not selected to run in my inaugural hometown event (there will be other years for this, and I am sure I will participate at some point).  

Also, the major reason for this…it is Mike and my FIRST ANNIVERSARY 🙂  Monday is officially the actual date (June 18) but I am so excited to celebrate with my best friend our first year of being “one”.  This past year has flown by, with many ups and downs (mostly ups!).  We have grown closer in every way, and I would not trade the past year for anything in the world.  He surrounds me with love everyday, and supports all of my endeavors both professional, personal, and running related.  So here’s to you, babe.  I love you so much.

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Race Recap: National Running Day 5 Mile

 

Cue: Impromptu racing at its finest.

About a week before National Running Day (June 6), I figured out that the Toledo area was actually having a race.  I was so excited when I read “tech shirt if pre-registered” and then turned sad when I also read “…by May 25”.  So, no race swag was to be had at this one.

Second Sole of Perrysburg threw together this race at International Park along the East side of the river in Toledo.  The course was a 2 lap course of the bike path.  The race started at 6:45 PM and it was hot as balls out.  When we left our escape on the lake, the temperature was 70 degrees.  When we reached Toledo, it read 78 degrees.  Now, I understand that hot as balls is usually not achieved until the >80 degree range.  However, with no shade and the Made in China internal thermostat that is my body, it felt HOT AS ALL HELLISH BALLS OUT.

So, my sports bra made its 2012 season debut.  Yay.

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There were around 100 participants in the race.  All the women lined up around me looked like they meant business. Crap. My goal was to run even 8:00 pace for a good, tempo run.  Prior to the gun sounding, the race director stated “Please wave high to the bums drinking beer behind McDonald’s.  Remember, this is a two lap course, so do not be mean to them on your first lap”.  Classic Toledo.

The gun sounded and we were off.  I felt freaking fantastic.  Who was feeling the residual effects of a 2 race and 8 mile long run weekend?  Not me!

Mile 1–7:24  (whoops, way too fast)

I purposely slowed things down since Mike was running with me and sounded like he was now proceeding to have an asthma/allergy attack.

Mile 2–8:10

Much better.  Entirely slow progressive hill occurred at both Mile 2 and Mile 3.

Mile 3–8:05

My legs started to feel the effects of my previous weekend of adventures in the running world.  “You are dumb” they said to me.  “I may be dumb, but you guys are 2 miles from the finish line and if we stop now, the bums behind McDonald’s will probably not give you beer”.

Mile 4–8:08

I was joined by a 63 year old man who said, “C’mon now, don’t let a 63 year old man beat you”.  Way to kick an Eli while she’s tired.  If I had balls, they would have been kicked.  I was hot.  I was melting in the heat.  My legs were tired.  And my stomach was regretting the 4 cups of coffee I had drank that day.  However, I figured this well intentioned man could not read my obvious plight with my loaded response: “I’ll try to keep up”.

Mile 5–8:03

Spoiler: I failed to keep up with him.  #EliFailSauce.

Final Stats:
Course measured long at 5.06 miles.  Pace per Garmin (7:57/mile)  Great Success!

Also, apparently I am now 22 years old and have managed to find a major fountain of youth.  But the way my running is coming along, maybe I am feeling more 22 than my ever so mature *cough cough* age of 27.

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22 40.16 MASON ELIZABETH F 22


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Race Recap: Girls On The Run 5K

My mom has been a GOTR coach for the past year at her school.  When she offered up the opportunity to “buddy run” with one of her girls, I jumped at the idea.  I think the GOTR program is great for instilling confidence, self esteem, resilience, and coping strategies in young girls.  And what better way to teach life lessons than through running?  The program culminates each Spring with a 5K in which all the participating programs in the area race their 5k.

I was paired up with a girl that we’ll call “C” that is a 5th grader.  My mom paired us together because as she so eloquently put it, “It will be like two big trees running together!”  What she meant: we’re both twin towers of power.  As a buddy runner, it was our job to be a coach and cheerleader for the girls in order to help them through what may be their 1st ever 5K.

“C” told me she had 2 goals for the race: 1) She didn’t want to walk since she had never completed a race without doing so and 2) She wanted to run a 25 minute race.  Knowing that her previous best was a 28:00 5K, I knew better than to try and pace her to that.  Instead, I told her our main objective would be to 1) Have lots of fun and 2) No walking.

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Northwood GOTR Team Pre-Race Pep Talk from my Momma

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Lining up of the GOTR runners.  There were over 1400 runners at this race.

The gun went off for the race to begin and a slow procession of runners left the Walsh Track.  The start was SO congested.  Walkers were all over the place.  “C” said to me at this point: “I don’t want to go this slow!”  I encouraged her to just go with the traffic jam and get around what people we could, assuring her that once we were onto the main road we could pick up steam.  We probably lost about 1:30-2:00 during this time of her usual pacing.  Once out onto the main road, we were able to pick up speed and start weaving our way up.

Mile 1–9:40

“C” felt good.  She said, “I really like this pace we are doing!”  She told me of her practices for GOTR, the lessons learned, and her practice 5K which was done on an 85 degree day.  I said to her, “Think of how much better this weather is today!”  She agreed.  “C” started to get tired around 1.5 miles.  She requested to slow down multiple times, which I gladly obliged.  We would slow down for about 20-30 seconds and then resume our pace.  We hit the water stop and after watching “C” almost choke on her water, I taught her a very important racing lesson: how to pinch a water cup.  She thought it was awesome.

Mile 2–8:59

“C” really started to struggle.  She was tired and her breathing was becoming a little heavier.  I kept telling her she was doing awesome and that she and her other classmates were an inspiration.  We were so close to being done.  I kept telling her that we needed to use our “long leg power” to “power up the hills”.

Mile 3–8:59

We were so close to being finished.  “C” hadn’t walked once.  She was doing amazing.  The finish line of the track was within site.  I told her that once we hit the light pole at the edge of the track curve, we were going to run as hard as our long legs could go.  She said she had been saving energy so she could sprint across the finish line.  This was her final goal.  We hit the light pole and “C” took off before I was even ready.  She was absolutely flying.  I tried to keep up with her so that we could finish together.  That didn’t happen.  Neither did the Rock Star Hands we had planned on doing across the finish line.

Mile 0.1–7:20

I should note that my Garmin splits may seem off from our final time.  I started my watch not at the gun, but from the point that we actually started to move forward a little.  That start was just so congested, I didn’t want “C” to get frustrated with her splits.

Final Finish
“C”: 29:13 (9:25/mile   23/381 in age group)
“Eli”: 29:14 (9:25/mile 10/79 in age group)
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If you look behind the girl in the bright yellow, the girl in the blue shirt is “C” coming to finish

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Would I do this race again? Totally.  In a heartbeat.  There is something so touching about being there for someone to accomplish their goals.  “C” finished her 5k.  She didn’t walk.  And she finished with a smile on her face.  She immediately ran off to tell her family that she didn’t walk at all.  I hope that next year I can help be there for another young runner to reach her goals.

Happy Running!


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Race Recap: Shearer’s Chip Chase 3.5 Miler

After taking a semi-large (for me) break from racing, I decided to jump back in with a Friday evening race.  Up until about 5 minutes prior to the race start, I was unaware of the race distance.  Thank goodness a fellow runner clarified otherwise I may have kicked a bit too soon; whoopsie!

The Shearer’s Chip Chase is a 4 year old race in the Ohio Challenge Series that has undergone many course changes.  It has progressed from a 5K to a 3.5 mile course.  It has gone from being a point-to-point race to now being an out-and-back style course that coincides with the Brewster Fireman’s Festival.  The main sponsor: Shearer’s.  Which is the main reason I consistently come back for the race (because I WANT CHIPS!)  Lord knows I don’t come back due to the superb traffic control (which is neglible).  I really am out there hoping that I can at minimum, place in my age group so I can stock my cabinets with a week’s worth of Shearer’s products.

Anyways, I spent Friday doing the following prior to the race:
1) Working till 4PM
2) Driving 1.6 hours to get to my parents
3) Performing a race clothes change that would rival Superman’s
4) Driving 30 minutes to Brewster

I totally set myself up for a superb 7:30 PM race start.  With all the being on my feet, sitting a ton, and being rushed.  Real smart, Eli, real smart.

The race start was nipple freezing, cold.  And the race started about 5 minutes late.  In that time, I am sure my leg and arm hair grew at least a quarter inch.  By the time the race started, I was more than happy to start running just to warm back up.

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The whole beginning of the race started uphill (thanks Shearer’s).  And my legs were already regretting the Tuesday speed work-out I put them through.  But I trucked on, pushing as hard as I could.  Since I have no picture of me at this point, how about a lovely picture of my mother?
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Mile 1–7:18

The beginning of Mile 2 shifted back into the wind, which conveniently timed up well with every uphill.  And by convenient I mean I cursed the wind every hill.  Did I mention this course was hilly?  No?  For the record: It had some real d-bag hills.

Mile 2–7:35

Mile 3 began with a very long, slow uphill that was directly into the wind.  I seriously felt  like I wanted to walk.  I have not had that feeling for a long time in a race.  Especially one this short.  I needed some serious mental self-talk.  Self: “Eli, quit being a giant baby and man up.  The race is almost over.  You can catch your breath soon.  That impending feeling of vomiting? Yeah, just keep swallowing that thing down.”  That hill totally killed my pace.  As in, worst 3rd mile of my life.

Mile 3–8:00

Oh wait, the last .5 miles is downhill?  Way to go Shearer’s.  Failed to mention that if you are going downhill at the end, you had to being going uphill the rest of the time.  Cruise control locked in: Just finish this thing.  Note to self: Never get “little kidded” at the end of a race.  I realize I am coining a new race term.  “Chicked” is now “little kidded”.  How embarrassing.  No way did this kid run the whole race.  I swear he miraculously appeared and just ran down the hill only.  That’s my story and I am sticking with it.

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Mile .5–7:25

Final Finish Time: 26:12
Average Pace: 7:30
7/86 Overall Women
1/9 Age Group
Also…I now have a new 3.5 Mile PR! (I realize this is an odd distance but my previous best was 28:50) 

Freaking right doggie, I got my bag of chips after all!  And since there is no proof of my sweet age group win, how about another picture of my mother picking up her major award.  Isn’t she awesome?

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Happy Running!