Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nerstrand Big Woods 1/2 Marathon

After having plenty of runs on the trails near home this week I was ready for a change of view and a faster pace. I decided to run the Nerstrand Big Woods 1/2 Marathon. I haven't run a 1/2 in 5 years. I ran this race before and a few Mora 1/2 Marathons as well as the Winter Carnival 1/2's which I really enjoy. There aren't very many races of at least 1/2 marathon distance in MN in the dead of winter.

I figured about a 2 hour drive to Nerstrand, that was correct. The sun was shining, the sky was beautiful blue, there was a nice stiff breeze. The temperature was 42F, a bit chilly, so I opted for shorts, gloves and a long sleeved shirt.

After registering for the race I milled around the church for a while but didn't recognize anyone, so headed back to my car until start time. I decided to grab my iPod before I went to the start line, I also grabbed a Cliff shot to put inside of my hand held bottle filled with Heed.

There was a 5K, 10K and 1/2 Marathon and we all had the same 900 start. We began on a dirt road near the church, where we would finish as well.

After the dirt road we were on asphalt county road for a very long time. I was surprised that we weren't turning into the state park. Where are the trails? Damn. It's hot. Within 2 miles I stepped off the asphalt, onto the dirt shoulder to remove my long sleeved top. To my amazement, I received good natured whistles. I tied my shirt upon my waist and continued to run on the asphalt. Within the next mile I came upon Dave Just. I asked him where the hell the trail was? He asked me if I hadn't read the Course Change bulletin at the church. Ah, no, I hadn't. He told me that the state park was closed to foot traffic because of all of the rain! The park was closed so the race was rerouted. ALL ROAD. At first I was bummed, then pissed, then decided whatever..enjoy the beauty of the day. And enjoy I did!

The miles clicked off, I had a gel and drank my Heed. I was listening to music, taking in the leave change and the other runners. It was a beautiful day. The course was all hills. Big hills. One hill after another. So much so that it reminded me of running Vermont 100, except during the second half of the run, we NEVER ran downhill. It was all uphill. I ran every hill, every step, telling myself this was *only* 13 miles, run as hard as you can, every mile. I did. I was panting and sweating and having a blast.

I kept leapfrogging with another gal. I would catch her, pass her and pretty soon she would be at my elbow. She had an iPod too, so I tapped her on her elbow and gave her a thumbs up "good running" I said. She said the same. We ran side by side up some god awful hill that lasted over a mile. I was losing steam, running as fast as my legs could carry me up hill. She said 'there's one mile left. Let's run a 730" Shit. I said 'you lead, I"ll follow'. She did, she kicked it up a notch and ran into the finish. Good lord, I hung on for dear life and felt every muscle in my body tighten up. 732. Wow. It was great, really. I haven't run so hard since I was breaking 10 hours at Ice Age this past May.

Thanks to the gal, I ran a 1:55. A PR for me, on one hell of a hilly course. Made me happy!

At the finish I watched Larry Pederson, Karen Gall, Mick Justin and Kate Havelin come it. It was an awesome day! I'm glad I decided to go at run the Nerstrand 1/2.


SteveQ said...

If that gal you ran with had red hair, that was Leslie Seymour - a former Olympic Trials competitor (until a car accident nearly killed her). I saw your name ahead of hers in the race results. You beat a legend!

I didn't see either of you at the race. The last six miles did seem entirely uphill and against the wind, didn't they? I ran the race with a heart monitor - averaged 174 beats per minute (96% max). I got to the race at the last minute and left right away (tooth pain), otherwise would've said hi.

Anonymous said...

Wow, another PR!! You are one awesome chick! Too bad they had to move it to the road.


Mel said...

Hello. Congrats on some great running! And you seem to do it in style! I have a question for you. My friend would like to run her next marathon in a hot pink singlet and I notice you are wearing one in one of your pictures. Would you mind telling me who makes it and where I might find one? (Sorry if this is an "off the wall" comment.) Your fashion advice is much appreciated! Best wishes, Mel

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Julie!!

I spent yesterday running at 3am to see the meteor shower, and then doing lots of swimming - finally have butterfly under control :)

The fires in SoCal started yesterday, and by last night we couldn't breath. Today all I could do was Yoga in my office at lunch - yuck. Hope the firest go out soon!! :(

I printed out your blog - the whole thing ;) - 3 full notebooks. I'm reading them one at a time - I'll be ready to condense into a book for you by Sunday ;) You are a great writer Julie - and so much info. LOVE IT!!

Thanks for your email :)


Anonymous said...

Sooo none of my business, but just speaking from experience. I have noticed you are eating a lot of food that is LOADED with sodium. I know when I do that, the scale does not budge sometimes at all. Maybe try reducing that a bit and see what happens? I know even if I don't "feel" like I am retaining water, I can be. Just brainstorming with you! You are really an inspiration!

How is your Mom?

Julie B said...

Mel-I buy pink tops where I can find them. All over the place, all different brands. If I see a pink top that I like, I buy it.

Anon-the sodium, all I see that is higher in sodium is the tuna packs, otherwise I don't think it is that high but I am probably missing something. Could you tell me the items you are referring to? I had Dave go through my menus, nothing caught his eye.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding it shoud be under 2000mg a day. I think I got that from the USDA website or somewhere. Here's what I have figured, again, not an expert, just someone who has been in the same boat as you.

whopping 890 with out dressing and 1630 with.

canned chicken can have 7 times the daily limit in some cases.

Eggs are minimal 50-60mg per egg

One cheese slice 250 Mayo 135-150
One serving canned fish over 300

You don't say specifically what kind of oatmeal, but after investigating I found some of the instant kinds, usually the packages of plain have anywhere form 200-300 mg a piece!

I one day started picking apart my diet when I hit a plateau. A couple days that I had salads on the go put me over my sodium for a week! I don't watch it perfect all the time, but when I get "stuck" I really watch it and it picks back up again.

Obviously you are doing AWESOME. You have stamina and have lots a lot weight already. I know when my numbers don't move, I get a little unhinged if I am doing everything 95% perfect. Usually it's the salt!

Anonymous said...

Oh, something else too. This is way out there, but I ran across it while researching this. If you have a water softener in your house or work and you are refilling a bottle or glass it can add 2.5 more percent sodium to the water.

Julie B said...

Wow! Thanks for the info, I appreciate it very much. Yeah, I have a water softener, never even crossed my mind. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Way to hit your goal setter!!

Anonymous said...

I ran briefly with you at VT, nice work on the half.
Do you ever try running/racing without an Ipod? it is REALLY hazardous to do...and having to tap someone on the shoulder during a race is not too safe either.
Try running without this 'crutch'.

Olga said...

Nice one, Jul! I need to make myself to enter a short race and work a bit too, otherwise it's all "fun and games":)

Julie B said...

All of my daily trail runs are without an iPod. So are most of my trail races. When road running, I prefer music.