Monday, February 16, 2009

2009 Louisville's Lovin' the Hills

GREAT event Cynthia! Headfirst Performance did a wonderful job! I thought there were plenty of volunteers & the course was in great condition. Had fun! It was a good turnout & there was a very friendly atmosphere all day!

my race day:

The electric was finally turned on late Friday, so my house just got warm enough so that I could take a shower & not freeze the morning of the race. Frustration was running very high but I'll have to take part of the blame as I didn't purchase that backup generator as I had planned after Hurricane Ike last year.

I was striving to make this race one of my better efforts, feeling in pretty good shape after Mountain Mist. But the weather changed everything & I shifted my priorities. My favorite race was in question of being run at all !! So I decided "making it happen" had top priority -- if I could also run a good race, that would be a bonus ( I think hiking & marking the hilly 2nd loop on Thursday probably removed the last chance for a bonus).

Arriving at the start early, I ran into many familiar faces & it was great to chat with everyone! Names that I can remember pre-start: Susan, Matt, Cynthia & Todd, Ken, Brenda, Jeffro, Tim, Cassie, Steve, Kim, Josh, Thomas, Mike W., Mike A.

I felt OK at the start, but I knew that was just my adrenaline pumping. That feeling lasted about 3 miles! In previous years, I had no trouble running up part of the 3 hills on the first loop, this year, I could not run any part! This held true the rest of the day. I think the better condition you're in race day, the more fun you have. I had spread my fun out for this event over the previous 2 weeks, so the amount I had on race day was limited, but it was enjoyable! I had a half dozen people, who I didn't know (& still don't), comment (including during the race) that they had read my LLTH blog -- that made me feel good that it had a small following!

At the 15M/50k split, my legs were completely gone. After having looked forward to this race so long, I dismissed the thought of cutting the 50k short even though finishing the entire distance was in question. I'm glad I kept to it! Even though I walked most of the next 8 miles, I got to see & give encouragement to all the runners who were ahead of me -- which by the time I got to the turnaround on the out & back, it was most everyone in the race! Going so slow, my legs did get some feeling back in them & I was able to jog slowly on most of the flats & all the downhills the last 8 miles to the finish. Final time 7:29:21. Already looking forward to next year!

Friday, February 13, 2009

sour with no power

No electric once again since Wednesday's wind storm, so I'm posting this from another computer. Having no power can have a very depressing effect:

Sour/Whine Time:

I feel worn out from everything that's happened these last 2 eventful weeks. I've not done any running on the trails for quite a while now & my annual tempo run on the LLTH course before the race didn't happen this year.

Good/Fun Time:

I AM very happy that LLTH 50k will go on as planned -- that's been my top priority as I love this race. It's been very satisfying & rewarding working along side such dedicated workers & volunteers. Much of the work required teamwork & it was FUN, even though it was exhausting! Looking back even now, I would not trade that time for training time. So I'm not sure how I will fare tomorrow, being so unprepared compared to years previous.

But first things first -- another cold night in the dark?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

let there be electricity!

FINALLY, after 7 very long cold days with no electricity & 9 days of no internet/cable/phone service, I'm back in touch with the world! Called the worst ice storm in Kentucky history last week, I can certainly attest to it being the worst I've ever experienced. I'll never forget the chorus of large trees "snapping" as loud as gunfire almost continuously at one point in the storm.

The trails that I train on here in the Jefferson Memorial Forest (JMF) have all been pretty much impassable since the 27th. I tried hiking 5 days after the storm first hit, but turned back after 3 miles as it was just too hard & hazardous climbing & going thru & around all the fallen trees & branches in the slippery snow & ice, plus, there were still trees falling occasionally!

There's a concerted effort to make it possible to run the Louisville's Lovin' the Hills event as scheduled on Valentine's Day. The words "cancel" & "postpone" were brought up at one time, but I (& some determined JMF workers & volunteers) are putting forth every effort to see that the trails are cleared enough to make it runable! One thing for sure, we won't have control over the weather & the course conditions as it relates to snow & ice. The ice storm that hit here first started off with a couple inches of sleet, then we had a day of freezing rain, then 4 inches of snow on top of that. When it got colder, the layer of ice pellets turned into a thick
sheet of ice! Even with a couple warmer days since, the rate of melt has been very slow because of this. With all this precip, it pretty much has guaranteed a less than ideal running surface for the event -- either wet or frozen, snowy or icy, or a combination!

With no electric at the house, the trails impossible and my reluctance to get on the roads, my training lately has been limited to a treadmill at the gym. A bit boring there, but they've had heat & have a nice shower! Shoveling snow & chopping on the ice to get out of the driveway has my back a bit sore -- I'll probably pay for that later down the road . . .

Right now I'm helping the crew that's clearing the Red Trail (1st loop of LLTH). Wit
h some warmer weather predicted this weekend, maybe more volunteers will show up & we can get more done.

Pictures taken 5 days after the storm first hit:

Holsclaw Hill Road near 2nd loop LLTH:

Turn left past the bench & before the picnic table here at Mitchell Hill Lake (part of LLTH course 15M & 50k ) -- remember this place J?

Tom Wallace Park Road (part of out & back portion LLTH course 50k):

Sidewalk in Tom Wallace Park (part of outbound portion of out & back LLTH course 50k):