Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cleveland to Debut New 24-Hour Race

I have recently learned that Cleveland will be hosting a new 24-Hour race this fall. This is very exciting news as I can sleep in my own bed the night before the race and actually be familiar with the course before I run it. Check out the website for the NorthCoast 24-Hour. Usually the weather in Cleveland in October is decent, not too hot. I can also vouch that the course will be as advertized (not like some races that you get to and the course does not match what you were told about it). I'll be looking forward to running it and encourage all out-of-towners and Clevelanders to sign up. I predict a first-class race.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's A Wrap - Curling Season Officially Over

Last weekend, we had our final Club Bon spiel of the season. All the teams are mixed up so you get to curl with people you may not have had an opportunity to play with during the year. I was paired with Wayne (a very experienced curler) and Angie & Tim (2 new curlers). While we had fun, we were not too successful on the ice. In between games, we played euchre, ate, and drank some beers. The Bon Spiel is called "The Memorial" and is dedicated to those curlers who have gone before us. This year was especially meaningful as one of the pillars of our Club, Chris Moore, had died about a month ago from cancer. He was the President of the United States Curling Association and was instrumental in getting curling designated as an Olympic sport. He also worked to give people with disabilities access to curling so there is now a wheelchair curling program. Chris was 53 when he died. A Foundation at the USCA has been set up called the Chris More Legacy Foundation, which will focus on competitive, wheelchair and junior curling programs. As part of the Memorial Bon spiel, we held a silent auction to raise money for the Foundation. We raised almost $5,000 which was amazing!

On Sunday, my team didn't make it into the finals. There was a silver lining to this cloud, however, as I was able to fit in a long run. The day was gorgeous, the vestiges of the bronchitis are almost gone, and I was able to run for about 3 hours. After the run I headed to the Curling Club to watch the finals, help with the clean up, watch the plug get pulled on the ice and assist in draining the keg. Not a bad finish to the season. Can't wait for November (the start of the new curling season)!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Delano Park - 12 Hours of Wet and Wheezing

I had been looking forward to the Delano Park 12-Hour race for a number of reasons. First, I turned 50 on March 11th and so thought I had a shot to break the 50-54 age-group American record for women in the 12-hour race. Hey, I would only be 50 plus 3 1/2 days! Can’t get much younger than that in my new age group. All I needed was 73 miles. My previously 12-hour best was at FANS with 67.73 miles. Second, it would be a great training run for the World 24-hour race in Italy upcoming in May. Third, I would get to see Jamie and David Donaldson, who are the sweetest couple I know!

My first objective started looking dim when, on my birthday, I reluctantly visited the UrgentCare as my lungs were just not working too well. Bronchitis was the official diagnosis. This was something new for me! The doctor, however, didn’t say I was forbidden to run, but only gave me the dire prediction that I would not do well (thanks, Doctor!) I kept thinking there would be a miracle cure by the 14th but that in fact did not happen.

Roger and I arrived in Huntsville, Alabama on Friday, the 13th (omen?) We immediately headed to a local restaurant, the Blue Plate, for fried catfish, cornbread and peach cobbler. We then visited the Marshall NASA Space Museum before heading to Decatur, which was the site of the race. We hooked up with Jamie and David at the hotel and then headed to pick up our race stuff and loaded up on pasta. Did I mention that it was raining the entire day?

Well, the rain did not let up. It continued throughout the night and actually until about an hour left in the race. The good news was that the temperatures were nice, between 48 to 54 degrees during the 12 hours and the numerous Dogwood trees lining the course were in bloom. The bad news was that I couldn’t breathe very well and parts of the course were under water (i.e. water up to my ankles).

Once I woke on race day feeling no change in my breathing, I decided that this was no day to break any records. I would just plod along and get some training miles in. Plodding was not all that enjoyable given the wheezing and coughing and wet and muddy conditions but somehow the hours “flew” by and with about 6 minutes left I crossed the finish line with 68 miles (there were no partial laps and I didn’t have time to do another lap). The entire race, my Drymax socks stayed comfortable on my feet even though everything was soaked!

Of course, the entire day, Jamie was flying by me looking fantastic. She ended up with 78 miles and was OVERALL Champion. Way to GO! She will be a force to be reckoned with in Italy. Look out FRANCE!! I ended up 5th overall, 2nd woman and “Grandmaster Champion.” I guess it paid off to turn 50 for the race!

After sandblasting our legs and feet to get all the grime off and attending the awards ceremony, the gang headed to Mama Blues buffet for more fried food!

Kudos to the race organizers for their Herculean efforts to drain the course of excessive water. Guys were out there in the rain with pumps, shovels and rakes all day long. We could have been running in a river but towards the later part of the race the course was actually pretty dry. Other than the water, the course was as advertised and a pleasant place to spend 12 hours.

Friday, March 6, 2009

No Eight-Ender at the Evergreen

We were not able to recreate our eight-ender magic at MCC's Evergreen this past weekend. Last year, at the end of the season Ron & Wendy Busch and Roger and I teamed up in the Club's final bon spiel and had what all curlers dream about but few actually attain - an 8-ender!

Since Ron and Wendy had chaired last year's Evergreen, they had an automatic entry into the 2009 Evergreen and asked Roger and me to play on their team. Photo Below.

We played three games and ended up 1-2. The losing games were close so we still had fun. Unfortunately, as the weekend wore on, the evil enemy "FLU" reared its ugly head and did a number on me. I was out of commission running for four days. I am still pretty congested but started back at it to keep up conditioning for next week's Delano 12-hour race. Fluids, fluids, fluids..... I WILL get over this before the 14th!