FOOTPRINT Lake Grapevine Runners & Walkers
Over 30 RAW Members Participate in the Annual “Too Hot to Handle” Sizzler By Thomas “T.O.” Okazaki
ver 30 members of RAW converged upon Winfrey Point at White Rock Lake in Dallas, to participate in the annual bake-off called Too Hot to Handle 15K/5K. The race successfully kicked off the club’s first ever “Double Feature” RAW Off to the Races. The second half took place at El Scorcho Dos at Trinity Park in Ft. Worth starting at midnight. There was a significant club turnout at both events with a handful of members impressively running at both ends of town within 24 hours in both races in such warm conditions. With race morning temperatures already warm and humid, RAW scored well by carting home loads of hardware again at this club-favorite event.
The Too Hot to Handle 15K/5K kicked off the club’s first ever “Double Feature” RAW Off to the Races.
Mindi Rice successfully defended her 15K women’s title for the third consecutive year by running a scorching 1:01:38. Mark Fanelli was less than a minute behind, winning his age group with an impressive 1:02:31, with Troy Pruett streaking to a 1:03:00 finish, rounding out RAW’s Top 3 in the 15K.
The annual trek to Too Hot to Handle results in several awards for RAW racers.
Randy Bobe is currently on fire scoring yet another PR with a blistering 19:36 5K with Mark Miller coming in 3rd overall with an outstanding 18:27. Thomas “T.O.” Okazaki rounded out RAW’s Top 3 in the 5K with a 21:20 finish, good for 1st in his age group. Once again, traffic into Winfrey Point was crowded before the start of the race. Timing chips were distributed at outdoor tables this year. Both the 15K and 5K courses ran north with the 5K runners turning off east into the surrounding neighborhoods before turning back toward the finish. The
15K participants ran the same route, circling White Rock Lake once as in the past. There was plenty of watermelon and snacks, including a cold shower available to welcome and cool runners down after the race. RAW had a tent set up in the finish area along with assorted snacks for its members to munch while waiting for the awards to be handed out. RAW runners were also greeted by the famous RAW cowbells at the 9 mile mark by T.O., along with music blaring from a jam box, ice-cold drinks, and wet sponges.
P.O. Box 2982 Grapevine, TX 76099
RAW Board and Committees PResident | Thomas Okazaki ThomasO@RunnersAndWalkers.com ViCe PResident | Mary Keeffe MaryK@RunnersAndWalkers.com seCRetARy | Kathryn Gleghorn KathrynG@RunnersAndWalkers.com tReAsuReR | Brad Liles BradL@RunnersAndWalkers.com diReCtoRs
FootPRint editoR | Kevin Wessels email@example.com CooRdinAtoR | Tony Flesch TonyF@RunnersAndWalkers.com designeR | Lorraine Wessels distRiBution | Kirsten Keats
Membership data Kirsten Keats
Lake grapevine Runners & Walkers Club
Congr atulations • To Matt Green on becoming an Eagle Scout. • To Tony Dominiec on his retirement after 25 years with the Nissan Corporation. • To Henry Galpin on being honored by the Lehigh University Track Team at his reunion. • To Steve Rush on his engagement to Sharon Martin. • To Tony Flesch and Erika Schneider on their engagement. • To all the incoming RAW Board Members for their commitment to serve our club for the next year. • To all the RAW members that participated in summer events locally and around the country. speedy reCovery • To Kelly Eppelman for injuries suffered from a fall. • To Gabe Pugliese from back surgery. • To Gregory Lamothe recovering from triple by-pass and aortic valve replacement. thank you • To Bridget Smith for organizing the 4th of July events, Henry Galpin for serving as race director of the “60 Minutes to Freedom Run,” David Smith for his grilling skills, and to all the other RAW members that volunteered, helped, and participated in our annual 4th of July extravaganza. • To Noreen and Ray Henry for opening their home for a RAWsome Luau. • To all our volunteers who put out water and sports drink for the weekend runs. We appreciate each and every one of you. lost & Found • Items in the Lost & Found are piling up! If you’ve left something at the clubhouse please check to see if we’ve found it. All unclaimed items are in the white cabinet along the north wall of the clubhouse. Deadline for the next Footprint is October 1st. Send your articles to lgrawfootprint @verizon.net. We want to hear about you and your friends, send your footnotes to TonyF@RunnersandWalkers.com.
FootPRint submissions Send your articles to: firstname.lastname@example.org Send your footnotes to: TonyF@RunnersAndWalkers.com
Send your race results to: email@example.com
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Interested in running trails? Join us for a run on the trails every Wednesday and Friday morning. The trail runs start at 7 am from the clubhouse.
Wednesday 7 am Trail Run Friday 7 am Trail Run
Pics from the Annual RAW
RAW Around Town Social Calendar & Events
Check the RAWforum for information on all club events: www.runnersandwalkers.com
RAW Walk/Runs Starting from the clubhouse Saturday & Sunday Walk/Run - 7 a.m. Wednesday Trail Run - 7 a.m. Friday Trail Run - 7 a.m.
Bridget Smith and Laurie Lukanich bid “mahalo” for a “nani” and “ono” party.
Saturday Night Live Dinners 1st Saturday of every month, at 5 p.m. September 6 – Amore’s, Grapevine October 4 – California Pizza Kitchen, Grapevine November 1 – Los Amigos, Grapevine
RAW off to the Races Communities Against Crime 5K Run Saturday, September 6, 9:30 am River Legacy Park, Arlington, TX DRC Half Marathon Sunday, November 2, 8:00 am Norbuck Park, White Rock Lake, Dallas, TX
Susan and Ray Harris thank their hostess, Noreen Henry (r), for a RAWsome luau.
4th Wednesday of the month, 7:15 pm at the clubhouse September 24 October 22 November 19* *Rescheduled due to holiday conflict.
Park Clean-up Keep Lake Grapevine Beautiful Saturday, November 1
To see what’s happening, log on to www.runnersandwalkers.com
Newly-engaged power couple, Erika Schneider and Tony Flesch, practice for their wedding photos.
September 2008 |
Letter to the Club A perspective to the members from RAW President Thomas “T.O.” Okazaki
ime eludes us. No matter how hard we try to save it, or use it to the best of our advantage, or to spend it wisely, time gets away from us. Often it does so without much notice of its passing. Our running club has already been in existence for over a decade. The hospital system I work at is over a hundred years old. And I am … well let’s just say that I am older than I have ever been. All this points out for me and others a lot of time has passed and rather quickly. When you first start off in life, the years expand before you. A year seems like a very long time. But as we go through life and become older, we look back and realize just how little time we have had together as a club. All these ideas should make us realize two things. First, we should learn to do it now. The reasons for the wisdom of this statement are legion, but none more pressing than a realization of the limited amount of time that has been given to us. Whatever goals or dreams you have in life, do it now. Whatever you are going to do for your fellow man, do it now. Don’t wait until tomorrow to serve and get involved with your running club, start that diet and exercise program, or to train for a race. Start it now.
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Second, we should realize that time is a strict master. We all move at a measured pace and our steps can never be retraced. Do it well. Whatever you are going to do with your life deserves the very best of your attention and talent. It is easy at times to just get by. Perhaps you did this in some of your workouts. Perhaps you are doing this at your current place of employment. Well, whether you do well or poorly, time marches on and you will never have a chance to live even a single moment over. A wise use of time demands that we give every moment our best. These are lessons of last resort. We may only be able to see them clearly as we look back, but strive to look ahead. They will serve you well in life. “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift” …………
Steve Prefontaine (1951-1975)
.” Okazaki “ T.OThomas
Molly Tucker Has a Summer of Gold Medals By John Tucker
olly Tucker concluded her summer track season after competing in four practice circuit meets, the Region 4 track meet, and the state-wide Games of Texas.
The following day, in 100-degree weather, Molly ran a 2:30.23 in the 800m for a second gold medal, also the fastest time in the regional entries. state Meet: At the Games of Texas State Meet, held on July 24 – 27 in San Antonio at the Gustafson Stadium (Northside), Molly wanted a different outcome from the 2007 state meet in the 800m and 1600m, when she had placed second in each.
Molly Tucker won the Texas 1600m finals with a new state record.
At the practice circuit meets at Arlington, Mineral Wells, and Southlake, Molly competed in the 12-U 800m and 1600m and running up in the 14-U 3200m and 4 x 400m relay. She set a new personal record (PR) for the 3200m in the 14-U, running up a bracket, at 11:58. region iv Meet: At the Regional Track meet at the Lewisville High School Stadium on July 11, in the 1600m 12-U, Molly ran a fully automatic-timed 5:21.42 for the gold medal. A protest had to be filed however because the timing field crew transposed Molly’s name with her sister’s, who was running in the same heat. The error was corrected in the state entry forms, showing her correctly as seeded first in the race, with the fastest time in the state among the regional entries.
The 800m was held between heavy rain showers, which soaked the track and participants waiting on the field. Molly had two challengers that stayed with her through the first few hundred meters, but she pulled away for the gold with a 2:28.88. It was a PR, but she did not set a meet record. The record time of 2:25.33 was set back in 1995. In 2007, Molly and Hannah Booher (Region 1) of Deer Park, both broke the record set in 1995 of 5:37.86 for 12-U. Molly ran a 5:34.22 for the silver and Hannah set the new state record for the gold at 5:33.14. For 2008, Hannah and Molly were again in the same heat for the 1600m, and despite a restart when one girl fell a few meters into the race, Molly took the lead in the first turn and held it to the end for a 5:23.32 and the gold. Silver was won by Renae Rodriguez (Region 5) of Caldewell Mach Track Club at 5:27.67 (which also broke the record set last year). Molly is taking a few weeks off and looking forward to middle school cross country and track for Carroll.
RAW for Life
Fitness Careers, Health Issues and Training Tips for the 60+ Athlete By Pat Noell
s we pass 60, many LGRAW members turn to walking rather than running. When we were runners, we paid attention to our pace, but as walkers, do we notice our pace? Why are we still out on the roads and trails? Exercise? Competition? We are constantly advised to have goals for our exercise in order to get the most beneficial return from the efforts. We need to know what our pace is. Casey Myers, age 79 when he authored Walking: A Complete Guide to the Complete Exercise (2007), discusses pace in terms of its effect on health and fitness. He lists three walking pace brackets: Stroller, Brisk, and Aerobic. Most people could be called Strollers. • A Stroller’s pace is 18-30 minutes/mile. The average Stroller walks a comfortable 20-24 minute pace. • The moderately intensive Brisk pace is 14-17 minutes/ mile. This is the pace of most long-term walkers, delivering enough cardiovascular improvement and caloric expenditure for the time spent to the best allaround exercise. Most Brisk walkers comfortably maintain a 15 minute pace. • An Aerobic pace is high intensity, 10-13.5 minutes/mile. This pace is in the same range as a slow run or jog, with an aerobic intensity of 60%-85% of maximal heart rate. Most fit walkers who learn aerobic walking level off at a 12-13 minute pace. Myers, who started walking 3 miles daily when he was in his mid-50s, consistently maintained a 10-12 minute pace. When Myers was in his mid-70s, he had knee-replacement surgery due to osteoarthritis, and his pace dropped to 14-15 minutes. My favorite story which he tells is of a 70 year old woman in one of his clinics at the Cooper Aerobic Center in Dallas. He taught her the basics of race-walking. She went on to compete nationally and internationally winning the World Record for the 1.0 mile race-walk (F 70-74), gold medals in the 10K and 5K (F85-89), world record in the 3K (F85-89). It becomes more of a challenge to improve pace as one ages. I’ve found that the most fun way of challenging myself to improve my pace is to walk events. Unfortunately, I don’t find any club members in my bracket (F 65-69) and it has intrigued me how few 60+ walker-members compete in events. It’s more fun to engage in the effort when you’re doing it with friends! As a 60+ LGRAW athlete, let’s target some walks this year. What events would we as a group enjoy training for? LGRAW’s next event is Double Trouble on October 18. The Double Trouble would be a great time to get an initial reading on your pace. Then, let’s train together to improve our paces, targeting another event in which we can check our progress.
September 2008 |
Vestal EXXposed By Kelly “K2” Richards Author’s note: Direct quotes from Rick Sanford’s and Kevin Wessels’ 2005 Vestal XX article in the August 2005 FOOTPRINT are italicized and identified with an asterisk (*).
estal is a town in upstate New York*. Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with Kevin Wessels knows the term “Vestal” actually means the Vestal XX, a 20k race held each June. Since Kevin’s arrival at RAW in 2003 and the subsequent running of the Vestal XX by Kevin, Jon Korte and Rick Sanford in 2005, Vestal has become synonymous with grueling*, tortuous, and outrageously hilly.* The mere mention of Vestal will turn Rick and Kevin, two ordinarily quiet runners, into a couple of garrulous competitors, each vying to outdo the other in describing just how hilly and difficult the course is. Since neither of these two is usually given to eXXaggeration, I bought this hook, line and sinker. I took every word to heart when I started my own Vestal planning. Rick’s constant reminder of the behemoth* hill at
Mile 11 had me so concerned I did what any reasonable runner would do: I ensured I’d have fresh legs on race day and didn’t train for the race. This actually fit perfectly into my master plan, which was not to be in a position to feel any temptation to challenge Rick’s 2005 spectacular time of 1:35:12. The race day strategy was very clear: stick with Kevin the first few miles. Rick beat it into my head that Kevin knows the race course and to stay with him early or pay the consequences of going out too fast.
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I still smile each time I think about Kevin’s pre-race advice. Kevin, who has never run a step in his life with anything less than perfect form, said to me, the Hunchback of Grapevine, “Sometimes I find myself leaning over a bit when I’m running all these hills so I try to focus on running straight and tall with my head held high.” This was his subtle way of telling me not to embarrass him in front of his life-long friends by running in my normal stooped-over fashion. Finally, the race began and Kevin’s instructions continued: If you feel good at mile three…wait until mile six to speed up. If you feel fantastic at three, you can pick it up then. I felt like running and at mile two I separated from Kevin. It is true that Vestal is one hill after another. Some are short and steep, some are long and
gradual and the one after you turn the corner at the10k mark is a quad-killer! No one ever talks about that hill. The other thing no one talks about is all the fast downhill sections. There are many besides the screamer from Mile 11 to 12, where I ran a 6:58 mile! Between Mile 6 and the top of the hill at Mile 11 I felt great, but kept holding back because Rick beat into my head that the hill from Mile 10 to 11 went on forever. “It actually seemed to touch the horizon,” he told me. “You must save yourself for this hill.” So I did. When reaching Mile 10, I was
Running buds, Kevin Wessels and Terry Ross, searching for a monster hill on the Vestal XX course.
glad to see the hill didn’t start yet. I started thinking the bump on the horizon, where I could see plenty of space between the peak of the hill and the blue of the sky, was just a teaser that the real hill, the monster-mile*, the beast* I had heard about for years was behind the hill I was smoothly running up. Finally, I made the realization that this was THE HILL and I had saved too much. Before I knew it, I started my sub-7:00 minute descent back into town and the finish line. There wasn’t enough race course left to use all that I had saved. Immediately after finishing I called Rick to let him know I was mad. THE HILL hadn’t beaten me nor had it impressed me. I intended to eXXpose Vestal for what it wasn’t. There were hills, but definitely not legendary peaks to boast about conquering! There was no beast to be tamed. I was mad at Rick and Kevin for building the hills into mini-mountains to be feared and not enjoyed. Or maybe I was just mad at myself for not running hard enough to eXXperience the famous Vestal Vomit* and my goal time of 1:40.
“Double Boiled” or “Hard-Cracked”? By Robin Pearson
ast year, Kevin Wessels wrote an article that was published in the October 2007 FOOTPRINT called, “Trying to Achieve the ‘Double Boil.’” This article brought out his participation of running in the inaugural El Scorcho and Too Hot to Handle races in the hot month of July one week apart. This installment is an account one year later. However, the race events mentioned, Too Hot to Handle (THTH), held in Dallas, and El Scorcho Dos, held in Ft. Worth, were 17 hours apart, not 7 days. Both events lived up to their names. THTH started at 7:30 AM with starting temperatures of 83° and a humidity of 64%. El Scorcho began at 12 midnight with temperatures of 85° and a humidity of 49%. Both races involved running loops. The THTH 5K looped out and back while the 15K looped once around White Rock Lake. El Scorcho looped
along the banks of the Trinity River and meandered through Trinity Park with a distance of 3.1 miles. If one ran the 25K, it was five loops and 50K was ten loops. Charles Cline from “My View” of Cline’s Running Corner, quoted, “There’s no doubt one has to admire the stamina and zealousness of anyone who competed in the Too Hot to Handle…and El Scorcho Dos.” But he added that “some might question the sanity of anyone who would do both.”
Doug Noell, Thomas “T.O.” Okazaki, Robin Pearson, Michelle Putze, and Bridget Smith.
There were eight members of RAW who were “cracked” enough to participate in both events, so perhaps they achieved the “double-boil” as Kevin coined one year ago or maybe they achieved “hardcracked” status, because there was less than 24 hours recovery.
But I must add my compliments to the aid station captains. Immediately after running the THTH 5K, Thomas “T.O.” Okazaki set up a RAW recruitment tent at Winfrey Point and then a support stop at mile 8 of the 15K which he manned wonderfully with food, drink, and cold sponges. Kelly “K2” Richards, Rick Sanford, David Smith, Lorraine Wessels, and Leah Benoit did an outstanding job at El Scorcho supporting the runners. They stayed up all night into the wee hours of the morning.
“Hard-cracked?” Well, perhaps this is a new term I created from the aid of my never-used candy thermometer: soft ball, hard ball, soft crack, and hard crack. Yeah, “hard-cracked.” It fits. The hardcracked receivers of this title go to: Jack Green, Brad Liles, Laurie Lukanich,
Can we give these aid station captains the title of “soft-cracked?” Actually, we are eternally grateful for their sacrifices. We achieved a personal greatness in our challenge to become “hard-cracked,” but not without the support of our awesome “soft-cracked” members!
September 2008 |
Ask Spareribs Dear Spareribs: A friend asked me if I would join her on a trail run next month. I’ve never done one but I heard they’re fun. Any advice? -Noreen in Grapevine Dear Noreen: Yes. Don’t go! I got tricked into running one last month when my socalled friends at RAW swapped a trail run for our normal, enjoyable road run. Nightmare is too soft a word to describe my initiation. Rick Sanford and Kelly Richards arose from hell to direct the run, and to ensure that maximum unpleasantness and fear would accompany me on every step. Maybe I’m being harsh here. I guess my problem with trails and trail runners is an identity thing because I’m a road racer, and we’re different. For one thing, we’re clean and neat. My shorts match my shoes and my shoes are clean. They also match my Ferragamo terry-cloth headband, which doesn’t look like a piece of faded calico ripped from my grandmother’s dress with long strings hanging down the middle of my back. Trail runners on the other hand look like….how do I put this delicately? Okay, stumblebums. When I see a trail runner at the club, I always feel like he’s going to ask me for a quarter. Admit it, when you’re driving down the road and you see Marty Metzger running toward you in the drainage ditch, don’t you mistake him for someone in a work release program running from the truck that takes the workers back to the farm? (“Officer, I saw him headed into those woods!”) So back to this trail run and now we’re at the start. I mill around looking for someone who looks good and won’t embarrass me. I’m a fashion ad in blue shorts and shoes, and matching Oakleys. The others are trail runners, a who’s who of reprobates in orange tops with the name of their correctional facility just above their names: Wessels, Benoit, Green, Keats and Hase. I finally find a nice-looking woman wearing those trick trail running shoes, but hers are clean, a good sign. I learn her name is Letha somebody and I figure with her being a woman, I should be able to beat her easily.
Now one of the race directors in an ugly hat mumbles “go” and we are off down the hill on the pavement. I feel remarkably good and excited, with this Letha person showing the way. This is going to be fun after all! Well, after about 200 yards of joy, the other escapee from hell waves us onto a narrow dirt trail filled with stones! And no more than 20 feet up a short hill the path splits, confusing me. I see that the two malefactors have decorated the trees with neon green and orange streamers, no doubt to lend a party-like sense of gaiety to the run. Somehow I go the right way, with no help from the speedy Letha who is now 200 meters ahead and quickly disappearing. Now it gets worse, as things keep touching me, which doesn’t happen in a road race. Sometimes it’s cobwebs, or branches that people snap back at me, or prickly bushes that flay my legs. But even this is not as bad as the 900 croquet wickets that Nurse Ratchett has cemented into the trail and disguised as tree roots. I trip and stumble for about an hour, but I don’t dare look at my watch. If I don’t focus on the streamers and the ground I’ll fall down or get lost. I finally peek and see that I’ve run for 9 minutes. So I run maybe an hour more, thinking the finish line is somewhere near Alpha Centauri, and now coming at me on the narrow trail, looking like extras from “Apocalypse Now,” are the annoying speedsters who have turned for home. Resisting vulgar hand gestures, I slog along to the aid station, where again I find Hannibal Lecter and the Harpy. “You’re halfway there,” they cheer brightly. On this upbeat news I head back into the woods and now run along the edge of a cliff with a sheer drop of 700 feet down to a body of water filled with poisonous snakes. Trying to pick my way along the shaky ridge, hardly able to catch my breath and wondering which of my sons will want my golf clubs when I die today, I hear a voice behind me, “And then in this ultra, it was so dark that they had glow lights in the trees, cackackackackack, there was no food left at the aid stations, cackackackackack, my feet were soaked through from the icy stream, cackackackackack, I tried to chew on a piece of whale blubber to get some nutrition, cackackackackack.” He’s trying to torture me to see if I’ll cry and for awhile I succeed in tuning him out. But just as my ears begin to seep blood, I find I’ve come to the same place I’d been just two minutes before. I’m lost! I stop and turn to my tormentor, “Okay T.O., you lead the way.” After that it was pretty easy coming in, just ahead of Stephen Hawking, and to wild cheers from the inmates who had already finished: Green, Wessels, Keats, Hase et al. Letha (whose last name I learn is Weapon) had already showered, changed and left. It was a horrible day. So Noreen, if you want to save yourself some anguish and discomfort, stick to the roads and run in style with me. I’ll even throw in a Fila headband. -Spareribs
The opinions and recommendations expressed by Spareribs in the “Ask Spareribs” column are solely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of LGRAW members. Give credence to his ideas at your own risk.
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September 2008 |
Tri-ing Our 1st Triathlon
Lillie Van Meter & Robin Pearson’s Recap of the TWU Pioneer Power Sprint
Lillie Van Meter’s Chronicle
hat drives a person to attempt their first triathlon? Curiosity? The challenge? Stupidity? After my husband, Mike, had completed his fourth triathlon, the intrigue of attempting to do one myself seemed to grow more each day until, finally, I signed myself up. What better way to motivate oneself then to “just do it?” My biggest deterrent in not wanting to attempt a triathlon earlier was I was a weak swimmer. I had maybe a semester’s worth of lessons when I was a kid, but beyond that, I winged it in the pool. I tried a couple of private lessons over the years but nothing consistently. About three weeks before the triathlon, I traded in my mountain bike which only had 30 miles on it and traded it in for my very first road bike. What a difference! I road my bike a few times at Lake Grapevine, but discovered I really enjoyed the beginner group rides at Mad Duck on Wednesdays. The guys at Mad Duck were most helpful in explaining how to ride and insisted I be patient as my body adjusted and became stronger over time. I only had two weeks before the triathlon. Running, I thought, would be my best event, since I figured that’s the only thing I definitely knew how to do. I set it aside though to concentrate more on the swimming and biking. Training for a triathlon definitely requires more juggling as I attempted to do a little of each every week. I wished I had more time to train, but too late, I paid my money. I was committed. The day before the triathlon, my family decided that we would spend the night at a hotel and treat it like a mini-vacation. We arrived on Saturday, picked up my packet, ate dinner, and decided to drive the course. The old statement “ignorance is bliss” applies here. After driving the course, I have to honestly say my heart sunk as I realized this was not going to be easy. The run, however, was mostly flat and shaded in sections which I did like.
On the day of the race, I got up at 5 AM, drank my Ensure® drink and ate a granola bar. I woke the family and we headed to the race. I had prepared my bike and transition bag the night before which was good. We arrived 45 minutes before the race start. I didn’t feel rushed which was great. I got to the transition area, got body marked, and headed to my designated rack. I set everything out and tried to mentally think about what I was going to do during each transition. After getting set up, I headed to the pool.
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Once at the pool, we had to wait according to our number which was based on our estimate to complete the swim portion. I said 20 minutes just to be safe. I didn’t want anyone to pass me. When it was my turn to swim, I felt relatively calm until I hit the water. I swam freestyle to the end of the pool, and all of a sudden I started to hyperventilate and felt fearful. I decided to lie on my back and
Robin Pearson and Lillie Van Meter before their triathlon competition.
calm down. Well, let’s just say I never turned back around. I knew I didn’t want to quit, but I also didn’t want to drown. This was my first triathlon and I would finish it to the end no matter what – despite the fact that I felt embarrassed. I completed the pool portion in 12:41. (Hey, I did set a goal of 20 minutes.) I transitioned in a reasonable amount of time and headed out on the bike. Not yet an experienced cyclist, I have to say the Texas hills feel more like mountains, but I survived. I finally got to the transition area again and moved on to the run portion. Talk about heavy legs. I was fortunate to not have cramps as I had put “electrolyte replacements” in my water. I really think that helped. I sort of ran and walked the run, but in the end it was a beautiful day and I tried to enjoy what was left of this “crazy” attempt to do a sprint triathlon. The kids, the dog, and Mike were real happy when I finished - maybe because they were tired of waiting. In the end, I finished. The goal was met. This was an eye opener in that I definitely know where my weak areas are. Hopefully, next time I won’t be last in my age group. As I told Mike, I did ALL that, just to come in last? A blow to me ego, of course. But, I won’t stop, I will improve, and I will succeed.
Robin Pearson’s Triathlon Story
riathlons. The word sounded big, menacing, and scary. Three sports in one race event? That’s for those “other” people. I can’t swim but to dog-paddle to save myself. I never thought much about competing in a triathlon until recently. A significant heel injury from the Marine Corps Marathon in October 2007 stopped me from running. It also stopped me to think about different workouts. I joined a gym in February to supplement my slow return to running. One morning in March, my husband, Brad, brought home a pamphlet from the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD natatorium on swim lessons. “This can add to your cross-training,” he said. I signed up for the six sessions and began lessons in April. I was taught by two high school guys that were good swimmers, but not the best educators especially in breaking down the components for me to learn well. However, I did what I could even though I come up gasping for air! It wasn’t until the third lesson that Brad said I wasn’t supposed to hold my breath entirely when my head was in the water, but to exhale before drawing in fresh air! In May, my daughter, Katie, competed in her first triathlon. I was so proud of her and commented that she should feel good about such an accomplishment. Shivering and not long after she finished the event, my 10-year old daughter said, “You’ve never done a triathlon, so how do you know how I feel?” She’s right. I didn’t, but it fueled my desire to do one this year. I can run. I can cycle. I have competed in a handful of small duathlons, so would it be that hard? I made the commitment. I signed up for a sprint triathlon with a pool swim. I had originally signed up for the women-only Power Maiden Sprint to be held in June, but found out it got cancelled, so I transferred my entry to the TWU Pioneer Power Sprint held in July – 300 meter swim, 20K bike, and 3.3 mile run. At RAW’s 4th of July party, I met Lille Van Meter who was also competing in the same triathlon and it would be her first one as well. We both talked anxiously about the upcoming event and vowed we would look for one another there. On the morning of the triathlon, my husband was great in loading up all three kids at 5 AM and we trekked to Denton. After getting body marked, putting my bike in the transition area, putting on my chip, and listening to the pre-race meeting, I
entered the natatorium and felt overwhelmed. The earlier seeded participants were swimming smooth and fast. I was in the last third of the group. I talked with the people around me, including Lillie, as we waited to enter the pool. The participants entered the pool every 10 seconds. I started out okay, and then after swimming 75100 meters freestyle, I got tired – or was it nerves, adrenaline, fear? Next I knew, I was swimming to the end of the pool, waiting a bit to let people pass, swimming to the bulkhead, waiting a bit, etc., swimming 25 meter segments instead of continuously. I wondered if the lifeguards were watching me as I clung to the side of the pool like a barnacle instead of swimming like a fish. The transition was a relief. I felt nervous as I put on my cycling shoes, gloves, helmet, and sunglasses. Once I was out the transition area and mounted my bike, I felt at ease. To be on the bike was familiar to me even though I remained breathless. The cycling aspect went well for me. I felt great pedaling 20+ mph until I hit the turnaround. Hmm, now I faced a mild headwind and saw my cycle speed drop to 15 mph as I returned to the TWU campus. My second transition went smooth as I headed out to run. It was a double-loop course around the campus. I started out well and relaxed, and I recalled someone yell, “You have a great pace. Keep it up!” But on the second loop I became fatigued, hot, and felt my sockless achilles being rubbed raw with each step. I stopped at a water stop walking as I drank and poured water on my head. Starting back up to run, I shuffled ahead slowly. As I turned the corner toward the finish chute, my daughter Katie ran the last 50 feet with me yelling, “Go Mom!” Excited and relieved, I finished! Now I can say that I’m a triathlete. I am one of those “other” people. To my surprise, I came in second place of my age group. I give my family special thanks for supporting me on the day of the race, especially Brad. And thanks to the fellow RAW members who shared their personal stories, advice, and wishes of good luck. Looking back in analyzing my race, I can’t help but wonder what if I could do better with my swimming. Well I guess I’ll have to “tri” again, and I will.
September 2008 |
You Don’t Have to be a Grandma to enjoy Grandma’s Marathon By Pam Neven
was one of the lucky ones. After realizing that I was going to be in Minnesota for a month, I was desperate to find a nice summer race somewhere in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” I stumbled across Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth and they had just opened up some more spaces for their full marathon so, $75 later, I had a new goal. Grandma’s started like most races…at the expo. But what was so different about this one was that, thanks to Michelle Putze, our group enjoyed the pasta dinner. Michelle, Brad Liles, Thomas “T.O.” Okazaki, and I had a table to ourselves and were even lucky enough to meet some of Michelle’s family. The all-you-can-eat pasta dinner had everything you could ask for. They even had a full loaf of bread and tons of water on the table. It was true family-style. One could not ask for more – runners enjoying pasta, eating ice cream for dessert, and being surrounded by friends and family with one thing in common. I did something a little bit different at the start of this race, I had an energy drink. Not the no-calorie kind that I usually drink, but the full sugar/ calorie kind. One of my favorite parts of doing races is the people that you meet. The four of us from RAW met up that morning to ride up to the start together. If you weren’t already aware, T.O. is a “Marathon Maniac” (see http://www. marathonmaniacs.com/ for more information). Wouldn’t you know it, but we met other “maniacs.” The funny thing about these guys is that they introduce themselves by their number. Kind of weird, but I’m not really going to say anything negative to anyone that runs as much as these guys do. We had a nice long bus ride to the start. The weather was good. It really was a perfect day to run.
12 FOOTPRINT | September 2008
(l-r) Thomas Okazaki, Brad Liles, Michelle Putze and Pam Neven lovin’ Grandma’s hospitality.
There was a Navy fly-over and a moment of silence for Grandma’s 2005 and 2007 men’s champion, Wesly Ngetich, who was killed in January 2008 during the violence in Kenya. It was a very moving start to a race. The next thing we knew the gun had gone off and everyone was on the 26.2 mile trek south to Duluth. I was able to get myself into a nice groove, laughing as I read the street sign “No Passing Zone.” The next thing I knew, a nice girl ran up next to me. She queried, “You seem to be running pretty steady. What is your goal time?” I answered, “Hopefully will do a 4:15.” She then replied, “Do you KNOW how fast you are going?!” We started talking and she kept my mind off the fact that we were hitting each mile marker at about 8:25 pace per mile. She wanted to come in at about 3:45 so around Mile 13 I let her go. I was getting tired, but she wasn’t. I cruised at about a 9 minute pace until Mile 20. It was at this point when I knew that 4 hours was in my grasp.
All I had to do was average a 10 minute mile. I did one at 9 minutes, another at 11, one at 9, another one at 10. With two miles to go, not only did I realize I would hit 4 hours, I knew as long as I didn’t stop I would break 4 hours. As I was running the last 100 yards, the announcer was getting the spectators to cheer for the runners trying to break 4 hours. They actually did a countdown of the last 10 seconds until 4 hours. Since this wasn’t my first rodeo, I knew that was the gun time, not chip time, so I cruised in at 3:58:45! I was excited. I hurt. But then I found ice cream and life was good once again. Grandma’s Marathon is a great race. This is a town that really knows how to put on a race and still care about all that marathon weekend should be. They had a decent expo, wonderful pasta dinner, and plenty to keep the party going all through Saturday night. I am actually planning on going back next year. Anyone? Anyone?
RAW in the Kitchen By Bridget Smith 2006 RRCA Masters Female Runner of the Year
0ERSONAL 4RAINING AND &ITNESS 3TUDIO /WNER 2!7 MEMBER SINCE
0URELY FOR &ITNESS
Fall is making its way and it is this time of year that we sometimes wish we could hang on to a little but of summer. How about whipping up one of those great salads from the 4th of July picnic? Michelle Putzeâ€™s Spinach and Fruit Vinaigrette Salad One large pack, or two small or one very large bag of spinach Bag of slivered almonds, chopped pecans, or chopped walnuts Two medium green apples One red onion thinly sliced One can of mandarin oranges Sliced strawberries Blueberries Raspberry or balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
IS A SMALL PERSONAL TRAINING STUDIO SPECIALIZING IN CARDIO AND RESISTANCE TRAINING FOR MEN AND WOMEN OF ALL AGES