Monday, June 1, 2009

Bob Potts Marathon Weekend with pictures

Sagwa (cat) and Gilligan (dog) on our car trip to York, PA for the Bob Potts Marathon. You will notice that the two critters are completely encroaching on each others space. They are so cute. In our little family, this is part of a love triangle in which Powder Puff loves Gilligan and Gilligan loves Sagwa. Sagwa is very skittish but seemed to settle down and was comforted by her brother, Gilligan.

With my friends Amanda and Dan from a variety of races. Amanda and I have run numerous bits of races together including recently the Lower Potomac Marathon back in March. She is so sweet and encouraging. I was fortunate to run about 10 miles with her then after I finished the race, I ran backwards on the course and jogged with her to the finish.
A typical scene along the course, the railroad, tree's and river the heritage rail/trail parallels. It was such a beautiful course, an exceptionally well run marathon and everyone (runners, volunteers, race organizers, spectators and townspeople) was so friendly.

With the Turkey Hill Cow after the race...I was bummed that there was no ice cream at the finish, but this was okay because Gilligan and Sagwa could not partake in race we took a slight detour to:

At Brusters getting a post race ice cream/frozen yogurt. Gilligan is enjoying his ice cream in this picture and Sagwa got her ice cream in the car. She only ate a little then shared the remainder with Gilligan which he liked. A girlfriend cat and one that shares ice cream is the BEST! I really enjoyed Brusters as well and was a nice way to celebrate my 4:30:03 marathon time.

After a 15 mile long run for me and a hike to the top of Old Rag in VA, mid-day Saturday my husband and I traveled to York PA in preparation for the Bob Potts Marathon. I initially was going to get up about 4 in the morning and head to the race but because of lack of quality sleep during the week, I decided it would just be safer to get a hotel room.

Motel 6 is pet friendly, so Tristan, Gilligan (our dog), Sagwa (our middle cat) and I piled into the car to drive to York. Initially I was supposed to drive to the Marathon but after bursting into tears as we passed Catoctin National Park/Cunningham Falls and the Catoctin Wildlife Refuge. Several years ago my mom volunteered at this park and traveling by it made me remember that I will never be able to hang with my mom. This outburst got me out of driving my portion of the trip.

Arriving at the Yorktowne Hotel I was able to pick up my packet. Then Tristan and I drove to our hotel and settled Sagwa and Gilligan into the room. As we drove to York we had seen a few signs for a Greek Festival and ultimately were able to figure out that it was not too far from our hotel so we headed to the Festival. We arrived while they were still having dancing so we were entertained while we waited on line for our food. Tristan got pastischio (one of his favorite meals) and I got a half chicken. Tristan kept asking me if the meal choice was okay before a marathon, but realistically I no longer really worry about pre-race meals for anything less than a 100 miler. The meal was really good (particularly since I ate my honey covered puffs first then ate my chicken, orzo with tomato sauce and salad next). By the time I finished my meal I was stuffed!

Calling it an early night, I headed to bed while Tristan watched Harold and Kumar do Guantonamo Bay (a classic comedy). During the evening Gilligan decided he needed to be in bed so he discretely climbed up into the other bed. And Sagwa slowly became more comfortable in the room (although she cried a bit). Over the night Sagwa continued to cry now and again and was very restless jumping in and out of bed. Perhaps we should have brought her a cat sibling.

At 5 a.m. I got a wake up call and my alarm went off. It was time to get ready for the marathon. The weather was predicted to be beautiful and thus getting ready was pretty easy. Also I decided to bail on my contacts so had not packed them. This means all I really needed to do was glide wherever seams were as well as likely chaffing spots like under my arms, below my sports bra and at the edges of my undergarmets. Unfortunately I missed a bit under my armpits which meant my last few miles were a bit discomfortable but not too bad. With my drymax socks all I need is just a light coat of glide over my toes and my heel (which is more for dry skin). Then I was ready. After a 15 minute drive from the hotel, Tristan dropped me off at York College Grumbacher Athletic Center. A quick last moment bathroom break (in a real bathroom, wahoo) and it was time to walk to the start line. The start line was about a 15 minute liesurely walk in which I just followed the crowds because I did not have any idea where I was going. Luckily everyone else seemed to know what they were doing!

The marathon is in honor of Bob Potts, an accomplished marathoner who passed away several years ago during a triathlon. His family created this marathon to honor his memory and I think did an exceptional job at this. The marathon was extremely well run and the event seemed like a fitting tribute to such a well respected person. For me it was especially poignant because it was my first marathon since my mom passed away.

At the starting line, I met up with my friends from the marathon maniacs and 50 staters club: Amanda, Lauri, Faye, Mama Jean, Larry H., Keith and a bunch of others. It was like a huge reunion. Pretty soon one of Bob Potts grandchildren were singing the anthem and then the race director gave a few last minute tidbits of information. Then we were off!

The marathon was beautiful. The very flat course was a rail-trail that paralleled a operation train track. For the most part it was treelined with just a few sections in the sun. There was one section through a tunnel which was a bit ominous but interesting. The trail would sporadically go along side or cross a cute river/stream and occasionally passed several small towns during the 13+ miles out and back. The crowd support was amazing particularly considering how small the marathon was (it was capped at 400 runners). And the runners were so friendly and encouraging. I really liked facing runners during the out and back which for me started at mile 7 and seemed to end about mile 15 or 16.

For the first 13 miles I ran with Faye (the co-race director of a race I have coming up in Sept: the Trails for tails 40 miler) and Amanda. They were really good company and the conversation flowed for the entire 2:30 it took to get to the halfway point. At mile 13.1, I decided to put the pedal to the metal and ran a 2 hour 13.1 mile (okay a 2 hour and 3 second half marathon) to get a speedwork out.

I was pleased with how my body responded to my "burst of speed" but am a little bummed I could not do a sub 2 hour second half. In my defense I think I did do a sub 2 hour second half but my 2nd potty break, slowing down for several cups of heed and hanging with the hawaiin themed aid station slowed me down a bit. I am curious if I could run a sub 4 hour marathon; however, I think wa sub 2 hour second half illustrated to me that I am able to push through the "wall" that typically sets in during the second half of a marathon. In fact my last 10 km was run in 56 minutes and 30 seconds because I had to make up for my bathroom breaks and picture taking sessions (the only reason I know this is because there was a clock that read 3 hours 33 minutes and ~30 seconds at mile 20). At this time I was unsure if I could make it to the finish in 4 hours 30 minutes but decided to put it all out there and try. Sadly a final hill, the brutal heat on the track and a headwind in the final 800 meters all slowed me down just enough to lead to my 4:30:03.

I now have 3 weeks off until the Niagara Ultra 5o km (which I will turn into a 60, 70 or even 80 km depending on what time I wake up and how fast I can run). During this running hiatus, we will have a memorial service for my mom at Pocohontas State Park in VA and I will ride a Metric Century at the Tour De Cure in Reston VA. I am not sure how much of this event will be on the bike and how much I will just jog alongside my bike (because for sure I can jog ~63 miles!)


Nyght said...

I hope the running is helping with the grieving. I'm sure your mom is so proud of you and smiling at the finish line!

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Dogs with cat girlfriends?

You're breeding cats with DOGS?

Sister, that is just UNNATURAL!

But ... good luck with it.

And nice job on the marry, especially the second half. Looks like a pretty course.

Runner Tammy said...


Thank you.

The running definitely helps and while I can no longer call my mom from my cell phone (or recieve calls, which invariable she would be chatting away for 10-20 minutes when finally I would say "I'm kind of running a race, can I give you a call later when I finish the race?") I still close to my mom during the event.

In fact after the race, when I ran towards the finish for a second time with Amanda, after finishing she gave me the best hug and suggested my mom would be proud of me. This was so special and made me feel so good.


Yes, our current critters (and former critters) definitely believe in interspecies romance/relationships. Gilligan's predecessor (a rescued Samoyed: Snowball) loved his cat sister Pepsi (a cute black and white domestic shorthair). In fact you should consider getting your dog Morgan a feline sibling/ girl- or boy- friend.

The one sibling that Gilligan sort of accepts but is not sweet on is Zaboo. But this is probably because we let Zaboo raise Gilligan from puppyhood (in retrospect this was a big mistake because Zaboo did a poor job as a parent and now Gilligan is kind of a wild child and a bit stubborn:-)

Maybe our next pet or offspring Tristan and I can do a better job raising and hopefully we have learned a valuable lesson about not subcontracting out to one of the other critters.