Tuesday, November 22, 2011

DARTer co-founder Chad Randolph finds out that there are more to running ultras than just the distance.  Recently he, along with Todd Hartung and Val Matena, ran in the 49th annual JFK 50-Mile Race.   Visit the new DART blog to find out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

San Antonio Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon 2011

DARTer Tommy Wagoner ran his first marathon, the San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, this weekend. Did he visit the Alamo?   Visit the new DART blog to find out.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Opie At The Races: 2011 Recap Of The Mayberry 10K

DARTer Bobby Aswell ran the Mayberry 10K this weekend. How did he do? Visit the new DART blog to find out.

Click here to read Opie At The Races: 2011 Recap Of The Mayberry 10K

Sunday, November 13, 2011

DARTers have great races in Richmond, Charlotte

Over a dozen DARTers ran full or half marathons in Charlotte and Richmond yesterday. Want to find out more? Read the recaps over at our new blog at davidsonrunning.com.

First, Sarah Ferris recaps her experiences at Charlotte's Thunder Road Marathon.

Then, Dave Munger recounts his effort to get a BQ at Richmond's Suntrust Richmond Marathon.

And make sure you update your bookmarks and readers to point to the new site, so you don't miss a thing.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The BARF Strategy for the Suntrust Richmond Marathon

by Matt Williams

About an hour before the start, BARFers (Birkdale Area Running Friends) will meet at Fleet Feet and run to the start (looks like the closest one is in Roanoke; pack an extra Gu).

Just before starting we will discuss a not too hilly route with Dave Munger. Dave will present various elevation graphs and maps showing markers for every water fountain and bathroom. We will also discuss if Todd Hartung unfairly elbowed out a 10 year old at the "Pumpkin Chunkin 1 Mile Fun Run."

In the early miles, Tim will complain about the pace after having done a speed workout two weeks earlier. Terry plans to run in the grass on the side of the course to prevent getting run over by other bigger participants.

Around mile 5 or so, Matt will eat a Gu, make bodily function noises, and blame Mark Ippolito. Competition will begin to drop like flies.

Between miles 8 and 11 we will debate why you can't see the light from the sun out in space at night time. If that is resolved we'll note how in low humidity the road noise from the interstate is amplified.

The course is primarily flat and rolling, but there are some hills around this point in the race. We will focus and repeat to ourselves, "It's easier than Grey Road. It's easier than Grey Road."

Around mile 16 there is a bridge we have been warned about. It is long and somewhat exposed, allowing wind to be a potential problem. But us BARFers are not concerned because we have run across the covered wooden bridge at the bottom of South Street many times. Although we didn't do any specific bridge repeats, we should be okay.

Some people say a marathon can be divided into two halves - the first 20 miles and the last 6.2. But BARF member Terry Ake is much better at math than those people and has assured us that you are way past halfway at mile 20.

The Wall often shows up around this time. The stategy for this is to shout "Hey Teacher! Leave us kids alone!" and push through.

Whatever energy the BARFers have left at this point will be used to silently cuss each other for the peer pressure to sign up for a marathon and to plot revenge.

At mile 28, Tim will vow to never again run a "marathon" course designed by Chad Randolph.

Time For Some Rock 'n' Roll: Recap Of The 2011 Savannah Marathon

by Bobby Aswell, Jr.

When I first heard that a new Rock 'n' Roll marathon was coming to Savannah, Georgia, I was captivated from the start.  What could be better than running an inaugural Rock 'n' Roll marathon in one of my favorite cities to visit?  With all of its southern hospitality and charm, I knew Savannah would have something great to offer!

When the race was announced, I immediately booked a room at the Inn at Ellis Square in downtown Savannah.  Logistically, it was the perfect hotel located across from the waterfront only 2 blocks from the starting line and 3 blocks from the ferry ride to the expo.

Arriving Friday afternoon, the first order of business was to hit the expo to pick up my packet.  Opting not to deal with the traffic and parking issues, I headed to the ferry for the short ride over to the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center.  Luckily, I arrived into Savannah around 2:30 pm so I missed the masses taking the ferry and only had to wait about 20 minutes before getting aboard!

Glad I got there early!  Very long line to the ferry for the expo.
One thing about the Rock ‘n' Roll races, they definitely know how to put on an expo!  I grabbed my number, t-shirt, swag bag, and then proceeded through the expo for some freebies.  While there, I saw almost as many Charlotteans as I did vendors!  With packet in hand, I left the expo, boarded the ferry, and returned to the hotel for a little relaxation before dinner.

Race morning arrived with the temperature around 48 degrees and 43 degree wind chill.  There was definitely a chill in the air and the wind was blowing 13-15 mph from the NNE.  Based on the course map, I knew we’d encounter some headwind but it also appeared that we’d get some tailwind.  Well, the headwind wasn’t shy and made itself known early in the race.  On the other hand, the tailwind must have been in hiding because I never felt it!

At the start bright and early to check things out!
With Joan Jett & The Blackhearts ‘I Love Rock’n Roll’ blaring from the speakers, the countdown began and we were off.  Billed as a flat course except for a ‘noticeable’ hill in mile 21, I was looking forward to a fast race.  However, I was almost immediately surprised when we encountered a decent climb in the first half mile.  That made me wonder what other surprises awaited us!

Since this was my 3rd marathon in the past 21 days, my plan was to settle into a comfortable pace and maintain the effort as long as I could looking to finish in around 3:05.  After a couple of miles, I was on pace and felt comfortable.  The miles rolled by and I was still running well through the half-marathon split off.  At that point, the field became much sparser but I continued running well and was still on target through 20 miles despite the wind that always seemed to be slapping me in the face!

With only a 10K to go, next came the ‘hill’, an overpass bridge leading to a desolate highway we would be running on for several miles.  The hill wasn’t too bad and ending up being the least of my worries as once we hit the bridge, the headwind became much more intense!

Running along what seemed to be a highway to nowhere, Mother Nature must have been getting a good laugh as the headwind was really smacking us in the face!  With nowhere to hide and no one to draft behind, I did my best to maintain my effort but my pace was definitely slowing!  After several miles, we finally exited the highway and thankfully, the wind became less intense.

With a mile or so to go, we merged back in with the half-marathoners in route to the finish.  Slightly uphill, seeing all of the half-marathoners motivated me as I always like having ‘targets’ to shoot for!  With the finish line in sight, I put my arms in the air and crossed the line in 3:09:14, Rock 'n' Roll marathon #1 in the books!

Rock 'n' Roll Marathon #1 is in the books!
After the race, I went back to the hotel to clean up and check out before having lunch with fellow DARTers Marc and Johane Hirschfield who finished the half-marathon.  After scarfing down a ½ pound cheeseburger, sweet potato fries, and a couple of cokes, it was time to hit the road for the 4 ½ hour drive back to Cornelius.

Delicious post-race lunch!
Even though I missed my goal by a couple of minutes, I was happy with my performance.  My first Rock ‘n' Roll marathon was in the books and a success!  And, as you’ve probably guessed, it won’t be my last!

Moving to a new site!

The Davidson Area Running Team has a new site: DavidsonRunning.com. It's the same bloggy goodness, with all the features you're used to, and a few that you're not.

So please update your bookmarks, subscriptions, readers, and so on. We'll post reminders here when we put new stuff up over there, but we think you'll prefer to head straight to the source.

See ya there!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Time Keeps On Slippin’

by Allen Strickland, as originally written on his blog.

Dedicating this post to Jerry. Thanks for all you did for runners, Jerry. We'll miss you, buddy.

While many of my running pals near the Verrazano bridge, I’m sitting here with a bunch of aches and pains, coughs and wheezes.  If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was 85, not 45.

Back in February, I was all set to run New York today with my pals.  Caitlin paced me to a 1:29 half marathon at Myrtle Beach, fast enough to qualify for the New York marathon.  But I wouldn’t be running  in New York just yet – fate had other plans for me.  I discovered later that you had to run your qualifying time before January 31 in order to run this year’s race.  D’oh!  So I registered for the Savannah Rock and Roll marathon instead.

I ran through the spring with no formal, specific training plan and things were going well.  I ran my master’s PR in the 5k, an 18:58.  Then I broke 40:00 in the 10K for the first time.  Depending on what race time you entered, the McMillan Running Calculator predicted a marathon time for me of somewhere between 3:04 and 3:10.  Nathan wrote a training plan for me and I was excited about heading to Savannah and shooting for a huge PR.

But somewhere between the spring and summer, things began to go awry.  My left Achilles started bothering me.  Some lower abdominal pain crept up (psoas? It’s excruciating when I cough or sneeze.)  My race times started slipping downwards.  By late summer, the pain continued to worsen.  Then I ran a series of long, grueling races – Hood to Coast, Blue Ridge, and Salem Lake.  By the end of Salem Lake, I was hobbled.  A week later, I limped through the LungStrong 15K just to keep the streak of consecutive years alive (4, at this point).

After Salem Lake, it became apparent that I wouldn’t be running a marathon in 2011.  I’m down to one or two runs of 3-5 miles a week with stationary bike rides the rest of the week.  I’ve been reduced to vicariously enjoying the marathons of my friends.  I got text updates from the St. Louis marathon as I followed Dean (who missed qualifying for Boston by the narrowest of margins, 1 minute!)  I planned on heading down to Savannah to cheer everyone on but an unexpected cold (what is wrong with my immune system?!) halted those plans so that I could only follow everyone from afar.  And today, I’ll be watching New York results from my condo in Cornelius (with a taped delay viewing on NBC later in the afternoon).  Sigh.

Moral of the story – never take running, or life for that matter,  for granted.  In the past, I’ve spent so much time being frustrated when the rival du jour beat me by a few seconds instead of just enjoying the fact that I could race at all.  I vow to never take running for granted again – I plan to enjoy every step.  I want to follow the wisdom I once heard, I think from Benny Hill, yes British comedian Benny Hill: “Live every day as if it were your last because one day you’ll be right”.  On Wednesday, running friend Jerry Friesen passed away suddenly during a little run in his  neighborhood.  You never know which run will be your last, so enjoy them all.

The Achilles still hurts (now the right one has flared up too – what the?!)  The abdomen (psoas?) still hurts.  But I can run – these pains are manageable.  I ran a little 5-mile training run yesterday and the pain was minimal.  I need to start upping the mileage again soon if I have any hopes of running Boston in 5 months or so.  And if I’m ambulatory at all, I will finish Boston, even if I have to crawl a la Sian Welch and Wendy Ingraham in the 1997 Ironman.  I plan to enjoy each and every step along my road to Boston.  See you there in April.