Wednesday, January 29, 2014

House of the Rising Sun

It's been almost two weeks since a few of us headed to the capital of Louisiana, Baton Rouge (aka the Big Raggedy, according to some people in New Orleans, aka the Big Easy). Highlights from the trip included fried food, way too many trips across Lake Pontchartrain on the I-10, a visit to LSU (and a basketball game!), beautiful weather and 2 of us even ran a marathon while we were there.

The Louisiana Marathon started at 7am on a Sunday, with temperatures just below 50 degrees. It was comfortably cool then, but the mercury quickly began to work its way up as the sun rose. Brennan Feldhausen had been planning on running the marathon all along; I, on the other hand, signed up the day before the race, and actually just had them switch Conrad's name to my name since he couldn't run. The goal was to run 3:15 pace until 18, at which point Brennan was going to pick it up. We enjoyed the first 10 miles of the race as it wound through campus and around their beautiful lake(s), and then the half marathoners headed home while we went to perform a squiggly out-and-back through some neighborhoods. We were running steady miles but as we hit mile 14 - which happens to be the farthest I'd run in 3 months. All along I knew the pace wouldn't bother me, but at some point, my weak little legs would kick out. That happened almost precisely at mile 19. Brennan gave me a fist pound and took off, and as soon as he did, I may as well just have stopped! I shuffled in the final 7 miles, running slower each one. I finally crossed the line at 3:24 something and Brennan had put nearly 20 minutes into me!

After the race it was warm and sunny, we ate some alligator gumbo and jambalaya and stuff, and headed back to New Orleans. It was a nice weekend, and many thanks to Conrad, Amy, and Andy for being a fantastic support crew, who, due to various hitches, were unable to run.

Also that weekend, Ed Aramayo ran a 4:25.34 in the mile at the Terrapin Invite. He finished 5th in a competitive field. A week later, Mary Cain would run slightly faster, but as it's been pointed out, hers was on a banked track.

Pete Mulligan ran a 50k somewhere, just a no-frills event. Our Purple Drink Athlete of the Week went to Brennan. And our KC Masterpiece Award went to Amy Flashenberg, who killed it in both navigating us in the car and finding restaurants, and making sure we didn't have to wait in line to get in!

This past week was also pretty quiet, following the return of the Polar Vortex. Inhospitable conditions are making everyone curse winter, with folks feeling the freeze, resorting to treadmills, or even - gasp - riding bikes inside or taking up swimming!

But a few people did race, including Kevin McGrath, who ran a very chilly Fred Lebow Half Marathon in Central Park on Sunday, or Collin Anderson who ran 17:02 for a 5k in Salt Lake City. At the BRRC GPS 8 Miler in Loch Raven, Johnny Lyons took 10th with Denise Knickman a place behind. Denise took the women's win, but probably only because Megan DiGregorio was 10 minutes late and had to catch up! Meg D still managed to finish 7th. Mr. Peck also ran, good to see him back in some results.

Ed continued his indoor season, and also likely wrapped it up, with a 3000m in Boston at the BU Terrier Invite. He was disappointed with how he raced, but still ran a PR of 8:48.58 and will take it.

Another snowbird race this weekend allowed Pete Mulligan to pace the 4:40 group at the inaugural Town of Celebration (Florida) Marathon. Nobody was feeling that bad for him when they saw the weather!

Our PDAW this week went to Denise, because hey, she won.

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