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Rim Rock Marathon

14 Nov

Yesterday’s long training run was actually the Rim Rock Marathon.  I signed up for the race in late September not only get a proper marathon on the schedule for fall but also to ensure that I would at least have a long run of 26.2 miles prior to The North Face Endurance Challenge in December.

To sum it up, I couldn’t have picked a better long training run.  The Rim Rock Marathon was a small race with only 200 or so people in the field.   It was a road marathon but the scenery made up for that point.  We ran 24 or so miles through the Colorado National Monument – an insanely beautiful part of Western Colorado.

Apparently last year’s race was run in a blizzard so I was pleased by the blue-clear sunrise that turned into an absolutely gorgeous day.

The first 13 miles of the run were pretty much up hill yet that didn’t bother me because my toes were still cold from the chilly morning start.  Each turn of the serpentine course introduced a new, splendid view and on this clear day you could see for miles.  The red rocks glistened and changed color in the rising sun.  The bits of snow clung to the trees and crevices of the rocks.

The course was so curvaceous that at times you could see the other runners on the course ahead of or behind you.  

We ran through a handful of tunnels that went straight through the rocks.  Normally, those tunnels are off-limits to foot traffic but today the road belonged to the runners.

The last 13 miles of the course through the Colorado National Monument were pretty much all downhill or wonderfully flat.  These were some of my favorite views of the day, perhaps because I was in the second half of the run or because they really were that stunning.

Every mile we were greeted by a wee mile marker and every 2 or 3 miles there were great aid stations.  All the Hammer Gels and Salt Pills I could possibly want.  I treated this run and especially the aids stations like I was trail running.  I stopped, drank my water, said thanks to the volunteers then moseyed on.  I didn’t simply barrel through as I normally would if I were really racing, rather, I simply enjoyed the day and the aid stations.

We exited the Colorado National Monument and spent the last two miles of the race on the road headed toward the finish.  This wasn’t my favorite part of the run, but almost nothing could top the 24 miles of beautiful scenery I’d just run through.  Still feeling good, I headed toward the finish and even passed a few people.  Overall, I finished 45th with a time of 3:55.  Glad to have the miles under my legs, I enjoyed the rest of the sunny afternoon.

Marathon Fevah!

7 Nov

It’s Marathon Sunday!  No, it’s not just any marathon though, it’s the New York City Marathon.  As I type there are some 45,000 people running through the streets of New York City.  They will experience the party of the crowd in Brooklyn, the quiet of the 59th Street Bridge, the exhilaration of First Avenue, the realness of the Bronx and the finish in Central Park.  Good luck to all the runners today and have an amazing race!

Here are a few pictures from my own NYC Marathon experiences in 2009.  Happy Running!

Silke chalking the street to welcome the runners on First Avenue around mile 19.

Mayor Bloomberg takes an easy ride through the streets just ahead of the elite runners.

Elite American Runner Ryan Hall (check our those leg muscles).

My New York City Running Club – The Reservoir Dogs – stellar cheering section at mile 19!

Me passing mile 19 in 2009

Walking home after 26.2 miles with Missy and my wonderful pacer Silke.

Run@Work Day

17 Sep

Today is Run@Work Day.  Some of you may be thinking that today is the day you jump on a treadmill and lug your computer, Blackberry or iPad up there with you to literally run while working but thankfully that is not the case.  Instead Run@Work day means that all of us dedicated runners, wanna-be runners, and happy walkers encourage our colleagues to schedule at least 30 minutes of running or walking into their daily routines.

Put down that donut, that Snickers bar and lace up those shoes and take walk around the parking lot. Evacuate your cubicle and see some midday sun. Attempt the four flights of stairs in your office parking garage instead of the elevator.  And lastly, enjoy today since it’s Run@Work Day and it’s a Friday.

I’m off for a run!