Sunday, October 19, 2008

Race Day- Nike Marathhon

Early wake up to meet my team at 5:30 for some last minute words of advice and encouragement and a team picture and then they were headed to the start.

I headed back to my room and had the great debate trying to decide between shorts and pants, I eventually chose shorts and started my 2 mile run to meet the team at mile 6, which turned out to be mile 4. was able to see a lot of the team at this point and run with them up the first big hill of the course. It was great to hear that they felt great on the hill, all that hill training has paid off ;)

After hitting mile 8, I cut across to meet at mile 11 and tried to be there for Nancy so she was guaranteed to see the bison.

After this point I continued on the mile 16 and cur across to the end to run with my first runner as she was about to finish. After that I headed back and ran to last hill more times then I need to remember. I saw most of my runners at least once during the race and am happy to say they all finished!

Then it was on to the Victory Party and some relaxation...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Perfect Day

What a difference that changing time zones makes...I tried to sleep in this morning, but was wide awake by 5am. I got in a great run this morning, 3.5 miles in perfect weather (upper 50s). Then I even had time to relax before heading to my coaches meeting.

The common theme of today was food, not surprising for me. I met Heidi, an old coworker who decided to leave Minnesota nearly 2 years ago and in that time has become a runner. She will be running her first half marathon tomorrow. We met for lunch, outside of course since Riley was with. I somehow became the tour guide even though she lives here, we did a little shopping and I passed along some tips for the race. And I discovered Peanut Butter Whoppers on a quick stop at the store, yum!

Heidi and Riley at the Nike Marathon Wall

This evening was an overwhelming and amazingly inspirational event for the team. There are 5,000 TNT runners and almost 8,000 people attending the pasta party tonight. What an event! Once again John Bingham spoke and so did Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first women to win Olympic gold in the marathon.

What a nice day focusing on not only food, but the purpose of the weekend!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Finally in San Francisco

I have been looking forward to this day for a long time, this was my first day to sleep in for over 1 month. And to make it even better I got to be lazy and even had time for a morning workout.

Anyone who has ever attempted to travel with me knows that things never go as planned. This was exactly the case today, 1 hour before I was to be at the airport I found out the flight was delayed. Ultimately it was delayed over 1 hour. We finally arrived in San Francisco to beautiful weather, warm and sunny!

I took some of the team out for a 3 mile run that took us along the bay, it was great to be running in the sun and wearing shorts again. Although it was time when everyone was leaving work, so we did a lot of people dodging during the run.

Next was a quick run through the expo and a look at the Nike wall where all the runners names are listed....

Each evening our hotel has a wine reception in the evening, which a few of us decided to take advantage of before heading out for a hilly walk to get some great pizza. FInally back to the hotel and relaxing...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

TCM 2008

I starting coaching for TNT in May and the first marathon that my team was running was TCM. There were 48 runners on the team, many of whom had never run before and were a little nervous about running. Their first run of 3 miles back in May was a huge accomplishment and now they were ready for the marathon. This past weekend proved to be busy.

Friday, I met Matt after work at the expo to pick up our packets. I ran into 3 of my relay teammates, along with many of my TNT team members. It was kind of fun to be somewhere and keep hearing my name, I felt very popular. Then we decided to grab some dinner before driving home and ran into Matt's friend Carl and his fiancee so we had dinner with them.

Saturday was the team pasta party and you could feel the nervous excitement in the room. We listened to both of our honored teammates speak and then it was my turn. I am not a public speaker and was told to talk for 10 minutes on last minute marathon advice, yikes. I think I did about 5.

TNT Team Members at the pasta party, hard to recoginize not looking like runners.

TNT Team at the Metrodome on Race morning

Sunday morning met the team early for pictures and wished them all luck before I headed towards the end of the course. I got to the finish in time to see my dad finish the 10 miler, in 1:56 and the rain to start. I spent a short time in the post-race tent to warm up and then ran back about 4 miles to start meeting my runners. Wow, do you get strange looks wearing a race bib and going the wrong way on a course. I even had a couple of guys stop and talk with me about why I was going the wrong way. I met up with a friend in time to see the elite men pass, it is amazing to see how effortless they make it look.

By the time I got to the spot to meet the runners I was soaked and shivering. I had to wait about 30 minutes for my first person, but since I was so cold it felt great to start moving again, I was even able to pace her in 9 minutes under her goal! I then spent the rest of the morning running back and forth from about mile 24 to 26, I think the spectators started to recognize me. It was great to see my runners doing so well and help motivate those who needed a little extra at the end.

I did make the mistake of stepping off the course next to a course marshall who wanted to get me medical help because she thought I was injured. I saw Matt at mile 25.5 on pace to run a sub 4! He ran a 1 hour PR and finished in 3:58:xx

The best story was Andy, one of my runners who was a beginner and worked hard and kept at it all season. At mile 23 he fell behind the sweeper bus but refused to stop, so he got off the course and keep going on the sidewalk. 30 minutes after they closed the course, he and an older man carrying an American flag crossed the finish line! There was a group of our team waiting for him and we had a finishers medal for him. He was so excited that he got the medal, he did the marathon, he deserved it!

Myself & Phil with Andy after he finished his first marathon

I think I ended up running about 19 miles within a 3 mile section of the TCM course. I had a great time minus the rain and can't wait to support more of my runners in San Fran in 2 weeks.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fall is here

Fall is finally here, this was especially trues last night. I was getting ready to run with my TNT team and put on pants, 2 long sleeve shirts and a jacket. I even put on gloves during my run. I will admit that I did take the jacket off after a few miles. Matt was also heading out to run, but did things a little different, he was wearing shorts, a short sleeve shirt and wind breaker, which I am sure he ended up taking off.

There I was out running in all my layers and a man in shorts and no shirt passes me, what a contrast. I love fall and running. The leaves are changing and the temperature is perfect marathon weather. Fall also means great food: pumpkin, Minnesota apples, and candy corn. I hate that fall means that winter and snow are soon to follow.

Tonight the weather was much warmer I was actually out in shorts, although I did have on long sleeves. I think my days of short sleeve running are done until 2009.