Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sweet 16!

Patrice: Our 16-miler was relatively easy (really...did I just say that?) Our lovely chauffer, Amy, drove us to the Countryside Y in Lebanon. We couldn't convince her to run with us, and so she headed off to show off her swimming prowess at the pool.

We ran from Lebanon to Loveland (12 miles) and then back to Maineville to get in our 16. Most of the run was completely f-l-a-t. LOVED IT! Pam had strategically placed water and gatorade in several places so we stayed hydrated and full of energy. We also used Gu at a couple of places. (The consensus was that we liked the Tri Berry flavor the best.) It was a pretty uneventful run with the exception of a flock of wild turkeys that ran in front of us around mile 9. We stopped at the Running Spot at mile 12 where they let us have water and use their restroom, then it was a 4-mile run back to our cars, parked near the Monkey Bar. We all agreed that the last 4 of the bike trail were a lot easier than the last 4 miles last week along Eastern Avenue. Not sure why, except maybe it was because we did quite a bit of hill running last week.

Even though the view didn't change too much, it's still a pretty run - lots of trees, the Little Miami River, grass starting to turn green, and good friends all around.

We finished our 16 miles in 2 hours and 45 minutes -- a pace of 1o minutes, 18 seconds per mile. There's something to be said for flat trails and speed!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekend Update

Patrice: The day after our 15-mile run was warm! Shorts-running weather warm, and I just couldn't resist running in shorts and a lightweight jacket. My legs still felt a bit sore, and I probably should have listened to my body more, but the training schedules we have all show runs the day after our long runs, so run I did, with Elizabeth & Amy. We did the "Landen Lake 6" in just over an hour. It was a nice pace, but my legs felt tired most of the time.

We filled Amy in on our 15-miler and told her we were running to the Lebanon Y for our 16-miler. She BRILLIANTLY suggested we start at the Y and run toward Loveland, thereby running DOWN those nasty hills that would have been toward the end of our long run. And she even offered to drive us to the Y and drop us off. What a great friend! (Though, it may be added that she did not offer to run with us - darn her!)

Pam & I ran 6+ on Friday, and I took Saturday off. So glad to have a day off of running. My legs needed it.

Ran by myself Sunday. An afternoon run, which is always a nice treat! (6 in 55 - was shooting for 54, but my body just couldn't do it!) Now looking forward to a few off days to get my legs ready for Wednesday! PATRICE THAT IS AN AWESOME TIME!!! (Julie)

Julie -- tell us all about your 9-mile run!

Okay! Not a lot to tell. On Saturday morning, I couldn't run until 10:00. I arrived at Mojo as the fast runners had returned from their morning 11. I picked up the 9 mile map and noticed that it was a straight shot from Mojo, up the Beckett trail (past Mulhauser Barn and Beckett Ridge). Ran across 747 at the Kroger's and McDonald's and then continued on Smith all the way to Tylersville. Turned around and ran the same thing back to my car.

I wore sweats and a long sleeved shirt, but no jacket, no gloves, no hat, no neck warmer. Feels so good to be lighter! I was amazed at how not a big deal 9 felt. Funny how long that run used to be! I ran it in 95 minutes which for me is very fast for that length. I attribute my speed to downhills on the way home, my iPod and sunshine.

Didn't run in the rain today and had to take yesterday off. So, I will be running tomorrow, despite the long run on Wednesday ahead. Hoping to do a short 5 tomorrow to keep in shape.

Can't wait to run the Lebanon Trail again! Miss you all!

Patrice: Don't go crazy on your run tomorrow, girlfriend! You are going to need those legs on Wednesday!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

4 x 15 (ish)

Julie:This is the map of our run. To drive it would take awhile, what with the various crossings, lights, neighborhoods, and eventual final stretch on Eastern. To run it—two hours and fifty minutes.

We started grumbling about rain, too much to do at home, and the inevitability of having to keep moving for 170 minutes. It's daunting. But at least the weather cooperated. We had forty extra degrees to work with compared with last week's 14 miles in 10º weather. This time, we started in upper forties and ended in the low fifties. Ideal. The sun waited to warm us until our cool down, which we appreciated.

It didn't take me long to get in the right mental space. For some reason, starting at Sawyer Point and then running along the river front past US Bank Arena, Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium put me in this incredible mood. We rounded the first big turn watching a train above us sit stationary on the trestles and I thought of the state inspector, like I always do when I see trains.

We entered a shady area where the sidewalks had cracks and Elizabeth had to wave us off of broken concrete, scattered rocks and elevated manhole covers. We trudged by a prison, inmates indoors. When we made the turn to 7th, we discovered that we had to make an adjustment in our map to avoid being crushed by cars ramping to the freeway. Once safely across 7th, we jogged through downtown and a couple of homeless people cheered us on after asking for spare change. One woman yelled, "You're doin' great, ladies!"

Time flew by (for me). When we got to Reading Rd, I realized I hadn't even thought once about running. We waved to the castle HQ for WCPO and then began the first ascent of the long run. Patrice had warned us about it and we were prepared for it to be a doozy. It wasn't. In fact, the ascent to Eden park, past Mirror Lake and Krohn's Conservatory, felt like a comfortable steady incline with enough relief here and there that none of us were breathing hard at the top.

We stopped in Eden Park for a quick triumphant photo:

I snapped the following as we got back under way (I take my role as team photographer seriously!). Patrice is running, I promise. In fact, her sly low-kick style enables her to out pace the rest of us every single time! A common comment throughout our runs is, "Patrice, slow down!" We take turns attempting to rein her in.

After we left Eden Park, with Elizabeth suggesting we return some day for a picnic, we headed to our mid-point destination. We did so by running to Madison where that gorgeous church is on the corner. To get there, we had to decide whether or not to obey traffic lights (an ongoing question throughout the run—to jay-run or catch our breath during a stop light!) and how to dodge construction workers, wet cement and varieties of yellow tape and orange cones. Pam, the ever-law-abiding, and I used all legal crossings. Patrice, the renegade speedster, and Elizabeth did not.

With all this distraction, I continued not to even remember that I was running. Exhilaration!

We turned down Madison and made our way to The Running Spot where the workers let us drink water and use their bathrooms. One worker told us we were ahead of schedule—that the Running Spot runners were running 13 this weekend. In the way of marathoners, we were gratified to be ahead! Might be our only claim to competitive edge for the duration.

Once watered, we all took a squeeze of lemon chiffon Gu (not the nicest flavor). On we ran, through Obryonville and into Hyde Park. We remarked on changed stores and old shopping habits. Words were starting to come out wrong. I made some comment about texting everyone on my camera and it took a moment to even figure out why that sounded wrong.

Suddenly, we were confronted with an enormous hill! Steep! Straight up! Accusations of "Liar" flew as we berated Patrice for not knowing every inch of the run she mapped. (It's a habit of lazy runners to blame the kind-hearted diligent soul who prepares the run and frankly in this case, Patrice could simply outrun us and leave us destitute to our mapless condition, if we were too bull headed. Instead, we huffed and puffed up the hill, silenced by the steepness and need for oxygen.)

At the top of the hill, we were then treated to (I use that term loosely) a steep, impossible-for-the-knees, descent. Elizabeth told us she would google us some message and we realized she wanted to email us. But we couldn't remember the word and the whole mess of language that included random uses of phone, camera, texting, email and google made us laugh so hard, I did pee a little. You really do lose your words when running.

The last stretch past "The Precinct" restaurant and up to Eastern Ave. continued our return to Ohio River level. Unfortunately there was nothing to look at for the next 3.8 miles. Did I say nothing? Well there were broken bottles, random chunks of cement, rocks, asphalt and the uneven surfaces of sidewalks. Eyes glued to the ground, in any case. Pam got short of breath and we took a couple of brief breaks with 10-20 yards of walking here and there to regroup. We agreed that water and snacks of some kind are imperative next time. A little rain sprinkle revived us. We noticed that purple is a popular house color along the river. Garish purple. That helped.

Finally, we re-entered Sawyer Point (the park) and were heartened to see runners in SHORTS! Men pointed out how little farther we had to return to get to our cars. By the time we got to the Boathouse, we ran just a little longer and then collapsed into these poses:

We did get lost looking for our cars and wondered if our legs would take us any farther, when just like that, we saw the lot. We had overshot it, but were so grateful to see wheels. Turns out with the extra walking, we did pass our 15 mile mark and we are proud!

The Wednesday run was the most glorious run of my life! The sights, the friends, the weather, the sense of well-being that rushes in at the end...!

I love Cincinnati. It's such a cool city to see at ground level. I wish more people knew how wonderful it is. I heard on TV the other night that Cincinnati is looking to brand itself as a Mecca of the Arts for mid size cities. One thing that struck me on our run is just how beautiful the old architecture is, and how nice it is to have Mt. Adams to house the art museum and playhouse, botanical gardens and Eden Park. There's a lot here. I love that the Flying Pig can show it off!

So, 15 down! On to 16 next week.

Patrice: Thanks, Julie, for summing it up so well. I had a great time, and really enjoyed this run. The first 8 miles just flew by. The last 8...well, maybe not so much. Really, just the last 4 were hard. Eastern Avenue is not my friend and never will be. It seemed to take forever, and I felt sure I had read the map wrong and that it was more than 4 miles. Alas, it was only 3.8.

We got 15 in, and probably went about a tenth more because of a detour we had to take at 7th street. The extra tenth might have done us all in. Poor Pam was lightheaded and seeing stars because we did not take things like hydrating very seriously. I blame the coach! We only had one water stop -- at mile 8 -- and that wasn't near enough. Already have plans for more water, gatorade & gu spread out throughout our next run...16 miles on my mom's birthday! (Happy Birthday Mom - Love you! ♥)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Running with Deer

Is that a Kevin Costner film?

Guess not... it's a film in which running women scare deer into the woods with their swift feet and wind-like velocity. Observe!

Deer spots the women.

High-lifted feet cause alarm, as deer (nor human) has ever seen such 
striding among this marathoning crew.

Path cleared of threatening wild life, photographer emerges to capture the rest of the run.

Friday, February 11, 13º on the bike trail

Weekend News

Patrice: How'd everyone do this weekend? I ran six on Saturday, and I tried our old route around the trails of Landen Lake, Strawberry Hill & Woodfield...hoping that the snow and ice would be melted. Unfortunately there were still places that were quite icy, especially the hills of Strawberry Hill, but about 80% of the run was good. My time was 56 minutes, which I was happy with considering I had to walk through most of the icy areas.

Elizabeth and I ran for an hour on Sunday. Bike Trail STILL a mess in many places. Not sure how far we went because we couldn't see the trail markers (and we're not good at noticing them anyway without Pam or Amy with us). It was so nice to dress in just one layer and not have to deal with gloves, ear muffs, neck scarves and the freezing temps! Can't wait for an even warmer run this week! Next up: 15 miles downtown on Wednesday :)

Julie here: I ran the 6 on Friday with you all, 3 on Saturday (no time, so I just hoofed it to get something in before my day got away from me), and then 6 with hills at Sharon Woods on Sunday. It felt good to be in the sun. I'm moping today because I don't want to run in the windy cold any more! My body is rebelling!

The lake was filled with people to the point of occasional traffic jams between dogs, children, bicycles, clusters of friends debriefing about Valentine's day, marathoners, short distance runners, and every variety of walker. My least favorite part of THAT run was when a woman clearly older than me sped by me at a pace I couldn't catch, try as I might. She didn't appear to be going faster, but clearly she was! Drove me bananas! Additionally, this woman sported a blonde pony tail of high swingy, ends-all-matching quality while my brunette locks dripped with sweat and hung in disarray. Are ALL blonde runners faster than me? It's a theory I'm working on. Eventually, blondie turned onto a trail and vanished from sight. I thanked the invisible running deities for that small favor.

The path was very well cleared of ice and snow, except for the longest hill of the lake (if you go in the direction of the mile markers). I came up to it on my second pass and there was a veritable cascade of humanity descending it, including a runner with a baby in a three-wheeled running stroller. The narrow asphalt pathway was on my left and so since I was running UP the hill to most people's left (as they made their way down it), they expected ME to chug up the ice, slush and snow on my right. I had to dig the tips of my toes into the slushy ice to keep from slipping backwards. It was hard work and by the top I was completely breathless (and nearly vomiting). But I persevered. As I rounded the corner out of the lake area, to the path along the street, for some hair-brained reason I thought running up ANOTHER hill would be a splendid idea and so I diverted off the flat lake path to the nearly vertical hill with alacrity.

By the top of that one, I felt quite dizzy and quite proud, imagining Patrice's nodding approval. I live for that nod!

Galumphed down it back to the lake path and completed 6. Not record time or anything (66 minutes). Sad about that, but glad to do it anyway.

Today: jury is out whether or not I will run... I want to, sort of. And with that, I'll leave you in suspense.

Patrice here: Alacrity! I love it when you make me look up words! Happy to hear about your hill runs. Good job...nodding approval as I'm typing! :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I think we're amazing!

Despite frigid temperatures that barely made it in to double digits (less than that with the windchill), the four of us bravely met at Pam's yesterday morning to set off on our longest training run to date -- 14 miles. Wrapped in layers of clothing plus scarves, ear muffs, hats, etc., we ran to our water drop off point and then hit the roads of Foster's Point and the hills known as the Sibcy Loop. Despite blind curves, we managed to avoid all traffic (or should I say the traffic managed to avoid us). We made a quick stop for water after 7 or so miles, only to find that the water in our water bottles had frozen. Yes, that's right.

You know it's cold when after 10 miles we're still bundled up in all of our clothing. Normally after a mile or two gloves come off, ear muffs get removed and we run in comfort. It's definitely harder to warm up when it's 11 degrees, which made for a challenging run. We ran for 2-1/2 hours, and we were all ready for that run to end. (We're almost always ready for our runs to end!)

I don't know about the rest of my group, but I was pretty tired the remainder of the day. All I wanted to do was take a nap...but couldn't rest my weary bones and tired out muscles until well after 11:00 pm. But it's amazing how good we all feel by the next day. :)

Despite how hard a run it was, how cold we were, and how sore we were immediately afterward, I am already looking forward to our long run next week when we get to tackle part of the Pig route, including THE HILL! I can't wait!!! What about you guys?

Julie here: So glad you summarized the run! I've got pictures and will post them tonight. It was a tough run, but I'm so glad we made it. Today, legs feel pretty good, though I have a right glute that is still whining a little. I had a hard time eating yesterday, but made up for it today with Cheezits. :^) I'll get those photos up as my contribution later! Thanks Patrice!

Pam takes calls, even on long runs. ;^)

Patrice and Elizabeth set the pace.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


There seems to be an abundance of dread about tomorrow's run. We're meeting at 8:30, when the windchill is supposed to be something with a minus sign in front of it. And if that misery wants company, our trails are still not great for running so we'll have to hoof it through Foster's Point (b-o-r-i-n-g) and the Sibcy Loop (Dangerous!). I guess we could look at it as Flat (Foster's) and Exciting!! (Sibcy). We shall see. Happy that everyone is planning on keeping to our schedule and running, despite the weather. I'm even happier that there are 40 degree days in the 5-day forecast. Happier still that I get to run with amazing friends. ♥

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Worst run of the week

Due to the public (Facebook) inducements of Coach Mosby, I dragged myself out for an afternoon run in the pelting snowfall after Pam and I colluded to sleep in and skip the early morning run-in-the-rain. That meant I ran in wind and snowfall at 2:37 p.m., which meant running up and down hills in my neighborhood, leaping over chunks of snow-covered ice. Cars that drove by featured drivers who were clearly astonished or laughing uncontrollably at my absurd gear (ear muffs, neck scarf, and ski goggles).  Sometimes I felt like I was running in slow motion. I probably was.

I found the running to be quite difficult today - thigh muscles in the back finally complaining after nearly 35 miles logged this week already. But I did squeeze in my 5.0 (and possibly an additional 5/100ths in an attempt to ensure the true 5.0). I limped up the snowy ice-encrusted lawn and lunged through the front door. You'd think it was my longest run to date! (It most certainly was not.) But I did it and I'm glad.

Wondering if Pam got out there or not.

Skinny Trails

Thankful today (which has now turned to yesterday...) for the truck that drove down the Loveland Bike trail creating two parallel trails for us to run on. Single file we went using arm signals to point out the dreaded black ice, and jumping from one trail to another when necessary to avoid ice, built up snow and large sticks and branches. Whoever said training for a marathon was easy? (Well, I don't think anyone did.) We ended up only running 4 miles because our nice trails got covered over with too much snow. After two miles, we had to turn around and head back. Amy joined us today, and she always helps to keep us at a good pace, because she is a giver... ~Patrice

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Coolest cool down

Rocky sure approves.

Snowy Half.1 on Red Mill

Our long run happened to be on the windiest day of the year (yes, we're in February, so I mean, that's like a whole month of days to compare to). We had snow flakes blowing around our heads that we tried to catch on our tongues but mostly got trapped in our lashes and up our noses. I'm the un-stylishly clad runner in the red down vest. 

Our distance today was 13.2 miles and we made good time.


There are a lot of very amazing things that I could say about our 13.2 mile run today, but I am only going to comment that I am pretty sure I overheard Julie and Pam say something behind my back about zapping me with a pet-zapper! RUDE!! ~Patrice

Of course she dares to say that while I am uploading pictures of her backside. Ah the power of editorial control! ~Julie

So it's true! ~P

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Follow the leader

We have a follower! Welcome, Joules. You have put more pressure on us to contribute fun, witty and inspiring posts. Yikes. (We are counting on Julie to be the force behind all that.)

Ice day today in Cincy. Schools closed, runners still considering whether or not to give it a try. Black ice is the worst to run in, and we have a long run scheduled for tomorrow, so if I run, it will be a short one. Staying in my jammies for a while and watching movies with Montana would be so much more fun! What are the rest of you going to do?

Julie here: I got my cross training in by ice-picking and shoveling my driveway. It's a skating rink! No running for me today to save up for you all tomorrow. But one good thing: I didn't take a three hour nap after my long run yesterday. :^D I must be getting better at this running stuff.