Sunday, September 30, 2012

2012 H.O.P. 5k

September 29, 2012 8:30 AM
Morganton, North Carolina

Time Pace Division Division
Bib #
Alicia 29:56 9:38 F8-9 2/3 19/77 75/161 111
Owen 29:57 9:39 M35-39 7/10 57/84 76/161 112

Written by Owen:

It was Alicia's turn for some one-on-one time with Daddy.  We chose a race that we had to travel to (that's part of the fun.)  We found a 5k that supports a good cause in Morganton, North Carolina.

We had to stay in a hotel with an indoor pool.
A large part of the appeal of the trip for Alicia was staying in a hotel with an indoor pool.  The water was ice cold, but we swam in it and had a good time.

Dinner at Geppeto's  Pizza in Morganton
We had a pizza buffet dinner at a nice pizza place called Geppeto's. After dinner we stopped for some ice cream and called it a night.

Saturday morning we woke up and made our way to the race which was a couple of miles from our hotel room.

Alicia at the start line.

Alicia took this picture of me.
The race started and Alicia almost instantly cramped up.  I told her it was OK and that we needed to walk it off and that she'd catch up after it was gone.  We were in dead last place, but eventually the cramp went away and Alicia was determined to pass her competition.  She had seen the medals before the race and was determined to win one.

She ran the rest of the race at a really good pace.  It was an out and back course, so once we started seeing runners running back towards the finish, we counted how many little girls there were.  When we got to the turn-around point we had counted three girls.  So Alicia knew she was in fourth place.  Alicia was cruising at this point.

We passed two of the girls (one of which ended up being too young so she wasn't in Alicia's division anyway), so Alicia took 2nd place in her division.

With about a half-mile to go, I could tell it was going to be close to 30 minutes, which is a big goal.  It sounds so much better to say your time was 29 something.  I told Alicia if she hurried she might beat 30 minutes.  I honestly didn't think she could do it, but I wanted to push her.  She was up to the challenge and crossed the line at 29:56 (based on my watch, which would be chip time if they used chips).  They didn't use chips and the clock showed 29:59 when she crossed.  Her official gun time was 30:00.6 but I always go by chip time, so I told her I'd count it as 29:56.  That was a big deal for her.

Alicia met Alison, who was one of the girls she passed, but ended up being in the younger division.

Alison told Alicia about the face painting.

Alicia with her silver medal.
After the race we stopped at a gas station for some treats, and headed home. Here is a video of her accepting her award:

And here is our Garmin data:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

2012 Bluegrass Half-Marathon

September 23, 2012 7:30 AM
Johnson City, Tennessee

Time Pace Division Division
Bib #
Michael 1:36:19 7:21 M1-14 1/1 18/237 23/485 264
Owen 1:36:26 7:21 M35-39 3/39 20/237 25/485 265
Malissa 2:41:26 12:19 F30-34 45/49 217/248 440/485 263

Written by Owen:

Wow, what a fun weekend! When you have three kids, it's very rare to spend one on one time with them for any amount of time.  Malissa and I have been making an effort to do that with each of our kids, and this was the weekend that we went away with just Michael.  We dropped Kyle and Alicia off at Opa and Neina's house, where they were spoiled by their grandparents.  Then Michael, Malissa, and I headed for Tennessee.

We got off to a shaky start in the car.  We drove through Boone, NC.  The canyon roads in that area are very twisty-turny and Michael has a tendency to get car sick.   He made it through the canyon, but as soon as we straightened out in town and hit a stoplight, he lost his breakfast.  Luckily we were prepared and there was no mess to clean up.

We stopped and had lunch at Applebee's in Elizabethton, Tennessee, just before we got to our hotel in Johnson City.

We drove there on Saturday, for a race on Sunday, and were driving home right after the race.  So not a lot to do, but we wanted to enjoy the day after checking in to the hotel.

Michael got a kick out of all the pillows they provided.
Malissa wasn't feeling very well, so she stayed at the hotel, while Michael and I found a Dick's Sporting Goods store to buy some Gu that we had neglected to buy beforehand.  Malissa gained enough strength to go out to dinner at a local Italian place where we all had a very large plate of spaghetti.

Malissa was still feeling flu-like symptoms so we packed it in early.

The start line of the race was on one side of our hotel, and the finish line was on the other, which made for a very convenient race morning. Our alarms went off and we all got ready.  I was still worried about Malissa, if she was going to be able to run a half-marathon feeling the way she was.  We looked at the course map together, and I told her if she wanted to start, the course runs near our hotel at mile 2 and again at mile 4 if she wasn't feeling well.  So we all headed down to the start.

In the hotel lobby before the start.  Temps were in the low 40's so it was nice to stay warm.
We got out there about five minutes before the start.  Michael and I said our goodbye's to Malissa and we wouldn't see or hear from her again until after the race.

 Michael and I started fast (as always), but this time I forced us to slow down.  At about the half-mile mark we were going at about a 6:40 pace.  Our goal was a 7:20 pace.  So I slowed down.  Michael and I both commented that it felt like we were walking. 7:20: walking?  It's amazing what adrenaline can do for you.  During training, 7:20 definitely doesn't feel like walking.

After a couple of miles, the adrenaline had worn off and 7:20 felt like 7:20.  But Michael and I both felt great and we decided to stick to our plan. 

Of course the first photographer was right were I took off my gloves, so I had to adjust my watch strap.

The plan was to stick together until either I couldn't keep that pace anymore, or until mile 12, whichever came first.  We had averaged right around a 7:20 pace everywhere except mile 9, which was much more hilly than the other miles.  Around mile 11.5 I told Michael I wasn't going to hold him back any more.  He immediately pushed the pace faster than I could go and slowly started to pull away.

So from that point on, I knew he was going to beat me, I just wanted to stay close enough to be able to see him finish.  I desperately wanted to see him finish.  So I stayed close.  My watch showed about a 6:59 pace for that last mile.  Which means he ran about a 6:52 pace for the last mile.  That's insane!

As we finished, I half-expected Malissa to be at the finish cheering us on, since she was feeling so lousy before the race.  But she was nowhere to be seen.  Michael and I went to the part on the course where we could see the course, but we could also see and hear the stage.  That way we wouldn't miss the start of the award ceremony.

We watched frantically as each runner passed, hoping to see Malissa.  A couple minutes before when we expected to see her (based on her goal time), the band playing on stage said they would play one more song, and then they'd get started with the awards.  I really wanted Malissa to see Michael get his award.  After that song, I heard them announce: "OK, let's get started with the award ceremony."  As they paid tribute to the sponsors, I saw Malissa coming!  I ran up to her, congratulated her, and told her we had to go to the award ceremony.

As we waited for Michael's division, Malissa had time to finish and joined us just in time for the award.  Check out the video below to see his name called.   I love when the announcers aren't robots reading names and actually show personality like he did.

Malissa finished right at her goal time, even under horrible circumstances.  I am really proud of her sticking to it and finishing. She was pretty happy that she was able to finish also.  It was a beautiful course and an amazing race.

After Michael won his award, I thought "oh yeah, I might win an award".  My focus had been 100% on Michael, so I was pretty happy when the announcer called: "3rd place, from Charlotte, North Carolina..."

A few notes:

I beat my previous half-marathon PR by 4 minutes, while Michael beat his previous half-marathon PR by almost 14 minutes!

Michael now holds the family record for 5k and half-marathon.  I still hold it for the 10k (by 2 seconds) and the marathon (he'd beat me if I'd let him run one).

My favorite part about running long-distance races with Michael is all the comments the other runners give us (him) as we pass.  Seeing an 11 year-old kid that is small for his age pass a very accomplished half-marathon runner at the later stages of a half-marathon is not a sight you see that often.  They're always very kind and complimentary and give us a big moral boost as we pass.  The comments at the finish line are a close second, everyone always comes over and talks to us and asks us how old he is, etc.

While I was disappointed that Michael was the only one 14&Under, his time was outstanding.  If they would have made his age group 19&Under, he would have taken 2nd out of 9.  He would have taken 2nd in the 25-29 year old male age group! I took 3rd in my division and he beat me!

We all ran the race so there's no video of the race, but here's video of a really well done award ceremony.  That's two races in a row where they really focused on how well Michael did.

And here's my Garmin data from the race:

2012 Tri the Creek – Kids Triathlon

September 16, 2012 1:00 PM
Charlotte, NC
Time Place Division 75 Meter
1 Mile
2/3 Mile
Bib #
Kyle 22:55 17/18 M9-10 4:17
Time Place Division 50 Meter
1 Mile
1/3 Mile
Bib #
Alicia 14:15 3/16 F7-8 2:31

Written by Malissa:

Kyle and Alicia were really excited when they heard that Highland Creek was hosting a triathlon for kids. Michael on the other hand was upset that it was only for ages 7-10. Going into this race we knew the swimming would be the hardest for the kids but they were up for the challenge.

The month before the triathlon, Owen took the kids to the pool and helped them with their freestyle. Even though they knew that the swimming would be the hardest, it's what they looked forward to the most. It was raining the day of the race and there was talk that they might have to cancel the swim portion and the kids did not want that to happen. Thankfully it was just a drizzle here and there.

Alicia was up first and was very eager to start.

Alicia shared a lane with one of her friends from school. Before the race her friend mentioned that she was really good at swimming. Alicia said her strategy was to try and stay up with her. Alicia took 13th out of 16 in the swim.

Alicia in the center of the picture on the bike.
I don't have any picture of Alicia during her bike and run. We weren't sure if they were going to wait to start the boys until after the girls finished so I stayed with Kyle at the pool. You can see video of Alicia's bike and run at the bottom of the page. Alicia made up a ton on the bike and run. Her goal in the bike was to stay close to her friend and then pass everyone in the run. She came in second in her heat and third overall for her age division. I think we just opened a can of worms because she told me afterwards that she likes triathlons better than 5ks!

Kyle was up next at the pool:
Kyle in the center wearing the green shorts.

Kyle said the swim was very hard and that during his swim he couldn't wait to get on his bike. He said biking is the easiest of the three and what he likes to do the most. Towards the end of Kyle's bike ride his pedal came off and he had to run his bike the rest of the way.

Even though biking is the easiest to him, Kyle made up the most time in his run. Must be all those 5ks we have been running. ☺

Kyle was very excited to see the finish line. He was very sore and tired but very proud of himself for finishing. He was bummed that he didn't place but I was so proud of him for not giving up when his pedal fell off and finishing with a smile on his face!

Isn't he sweet?!
Here's video:

Monday, September 17, 2012

2012 Hit the Brixx 10k

September 15, 2012 7:45 AM
Charlotte, NC

Time Pace Division Division
Bib #
Michael 43:15 6:58 M1-17 3/7 61/301 66/604 553

Written by Owen:

Michael's goal going in to this race was to beat the family record for a 10k, which is held by me at 43:13.  He already holds the family record for a 5k, and plans on beating my record at next week's half-marathon.  That would only leave me with the marathon record.  Of course, I know all of my records are inevitably going to be broken by Michael.  I'm just having fun with him about it while I can.

This course has some hills, and I set my PR on a very flat course.  I told Michael not to worry, that there will be plenty of chances in the future on flatter courses.  I didn't know what to expect when I was waiting for him at the finish line, as we don't run 10k's as often as 5k's.  I timed some people that finished in front of him how long it took them to run from where I could first see them, to the finish line.  That way I knew when to expect Michael if he was going to beat me.

That time came and went, but only by about 5 seconds, and then there was Michael.  Check out the video below, but he really turned it on and missed my time by two lousy seconds.  I was really hoping he would beat it.  He was disappointed in that, but very proud that he beat his PR by exactly a minute and a half, which he ran on the same day and course I ran my PR.  To beat your previous PR from a flat course in January on a hilly course in September, by 1:30 is just amazing.

I'm so proud of Michael, and am looking forward to next week's half-marathon that I get to run with him.

Michael attaching his timing chip to his shoe before the race.
Just before the start.
Just before the finish.

Michael knew it was going to be close.

One of my favorite award ceremonies ever, watch the video below.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2012 Camp Care 5k

September 8, 2012 9:00 AM
Charlotte, NC

Time Pace Division Division
Bib #
Alicia 35:55 11:34 F1-10 3/16 121/235 237/388 1216
Malissa 35:58 11:35 F30-39 34/59 125/235 242/388 1217

Written by Malissa:

Over the summer my friend Joana and I started up a Mother-Daughter running group. We followed the Couch to 5k running plan and met Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday to run. Every Tuesday night before our run we would do a small bible study with the girls were we talked about true friendship, wisdom, trust and obedience, prayer, taking care of our bodies, compassion, and being humble.

We started off the summer with five mother-daughter teams in our group but due to busy summer schedules we lost two of our teams. One of our goals was to make running fun for both the girls and moms. Our first night we had a huge water fight!

We also enjoyed running on the beautiful greenway that's not too far from our houses. It helped take our mind off the fact that we were running. The weather was definitely our biggest challenge. We chose to run right as the sun was going down in hopes for cooler weather. It did help some but we were always wondering if that southern evening thunderstorm was going to stop us.

There were days that the girls were tired and complained during the run but for the most part they seemed to really enjoy it. They loved seeing their progress.

We chose to run Camp Care 5k. This race was very special because the proceeds sent kids with cancer to camp. As a parent it was really hard to see so many kids that are battling with cancer but I really wanted our girls to participate in this special race. We met a special girl named Angel, who is battling brain cancer, at the race. She really loved Graycie.

The girls were really excited to start.
We were constantly telling the girls to slow down. They were running a crazy faster pace than during any of our practices and we were worried they would fizzle at the end and not be able to finish.

The course was very pretty but a lot of confusing turns.

Miss thing telling us what way to go.

This was on the way to the finish. I love how all three girls feet were off the ground.

We worked really hard to teach the girls team work throughout our training. I didn't want this race to be a competive one. I really wanted the girls to focus on working as a team and I told them if they really wanted to see who was the fastest we could enter them in another race and they could go at it. It was really tough for them but they crossed the finish line together and tied for 3rd place in their age division. I am really proud of all the hard work the girls put in and what a great job they did at the race.