Archive for February, 2008

As Good As Ever

 

Anne Lundblad (Swannanoa, NC) lets her legs make her decisions.  After what most would consider a highly successful 2007 campaign, littered with wins and even a National Championship, Anne wasn’t convinced that she hadn’t stepped into her “golden years” and had slipped away from her “prime”.  Although successful by any standards, Anne wanted to run faster and questioned when many of her results were slower than what she had expected or hoped for.  She began to wonder whether it would be the calendar or her strong desire to still dominate the world of ultra running that would ultimately prevail.

At last week’s Mt. Mitchell 40 Mile in Black Mountain, NC, Anne found her answer.  Anne ran a 13 minute PR on a very tough course.  Her time of 5:38:55 was a course record by over 11 minutes. 

Anne proved that hard, consistent training and a burning desire to succeed trump Father Time.

Sounds Like a Good Plan

Saturday, 2/23 found Sean Workowski (Botetourt, VA) at the Mt. Mitchell 40 Mile in Black Mountain, NC. Sean remembered from a past mistake not to go out too aggressively in order to avoid paying the price later after the climbing and rough terrain took its toll. He went out much more conservatively than last year but his preparation and careful consideration of how to pace himself paid off. His time of 6:39:11 was nearly 51 minutes faster than his previous PR set in 2007. Sean reached the finish line happy with his improvement, slightly upset that he still had excess energy left in his legs, and very hungry for his next race.

Mixing It Up With The Big Kids

Glennis Lofland (St. Catherine’s High School, Richmond, VA) is not afraid to mix it up with college competition. At the Carolina Chick-Fil-A Invitational at UNC Chapel Hill on Saturday 2/16, she ran a good, well paced race establishing her best time of the indoor season of 2:22.37 for 800 meters. Glennis opted to go out at a pace more in line with what she would hold for the duration and dropped toward the back of the pack when many runners started out too aggressively. She picked people off one at a time and waded her way through the field. After conservative laps of 35 and 35 the first two laps, Glennis finished up strong and even with laps of 36 and 36.

I Think She’s Getting The Fever

Miriam Smith (Blacksburg, VA) was a sworn trail runner. For years, Miriam ran an amazing number of miles enjoying the terrain and challenge of the extensive trail network in Jefferson National Forest, just west of Blacksburg. She rarely considered racing, but gained strength through the long grueling climbs from creek bottom to ridge on Brush Mountain or Gap Mountain. A change of venue due to working for just over two years in Sweden forced Miriam to run flatlands instead. At the same time, she began to do a wider variety of speed work intended to stimulate her leg speed and turnover. The plan was for her new found ability to combine with her great strength to ready her for the next trail race. Recently she took a job back in the United States and decided it was time to find a gauge to monitor her progress and to see if all that road and track work had paid off. Miriam went to the starting line at the Bi-Lo Myrtle Beach Marathon last Saturday, 2/16 not knowing what to expect because she hadn’t raced in so long. Her lone marathon experience was years before.
Miriam went through the first half holding around 7:40 per mile pace and slowed slightly the second half, but steadily passed scores of runners that had gone out more aggressively. Her time of 3:26:59 landed her 158th out of 1751 competitors. It was also a PR by over 22 minutes.  That’s not bad for her first race in several years and not knowing what she was capable of.  Although Miriam ultimately sees herself as a trail ultra marathoner, she has already planned her next two road races for the spring.

Impressive Focus and Resolve

Colin O’Sullivan (Wilmington, NC) headed into last Saturday’s Bi-Lo Myrtle Beach Marathon with apprehension.  On top of recently increased responsibility and a demanding and unpredictable work schedule as a hospital administrator and family business to attend to– both of which required extensive travel and time requirements, Colin caught a cold at the start of the week, just 5 days before the race.  With a realistic goal of 2:59 in mind, Colin headed to the starting line questioning whether his exhausting pre-race schedule had taken too much from him to execute his goal.  The first few miles turned out to be right on pace and after passing the half marathon mark, Colin continued to concentrate on the race at hand and not on the factors that had piled up against him before the race.  The remaining miles clicked off right on pace and even slightly faster than planned to finish at 2:58:31.  The finish puts Colin right on target for preparation for his late spring race.

Not Even Close

 

On Saturday afternoon, February 9, Dalton Kuhar (Scottsville, VA) took another step down a long road toward setting her 2 mile PR closer to what she is capable of running.  Dalton ran the Virginia Independent School Championship at St. Christopher’s High School in Richmond.  In the afternoon seeded section, Dalton went out at 5:58 through the mile looking comfortable.  She was running alone as the field had strung out ahead and behind her.  Through the next few laps, it appeared that Dalton lost concentration slightly.  When a competitor threatened to pass her, she shifted gears and got back on pace, but slipped off pace again for a brief period.  With the finish line in sight, Dalton took off, recording a 40 second final lap of the race, indicating that once again she had a tremendous amount left and was capable of much more.  Her time of 12:21:65 was a PR by 36 seconds.  Dalton was elated with such a fast time, but afterward stated “I can go faster”.  Darned right you can, Dalton.  Keep up the good work. 

Super Run on Super Bowl Weekend

Oz Pearlman (Pronounced Oh-Z, like Ozone) (New York, New York) had a super weekend. He began by performing his trade as a magician at a pre- Super Bowl party in Glendale, Arizona entertaining the likes of NFL stars Joe Montana, Matt Hasselbeck, Jason Sehorn, and others. After the show, he boarded a plane and flew to Tallahassee, Florida for the Tallahassee Marathon. The event started and finished on the track at Florida State University and looped campus before heading out and back on a paved bike path. In a picture perfect weather condition in the high 40’s and low 50’s, Oz found himself at the mile behind a host of guys that he estimated were out over their heads. As he maintained a smart pace, despite wanting to blow by them early, Oz moved into 3rd place by two miles. At the half-way turnaround, he was well behind the eventual winner but also well behind another runner who he felt he could run down.  The half marathon split was 1:14:45. By 20 miles, Oz had begun to cut the gap on 2nd down, as that runner felt the effects of a very strong first half.  While maintaining his composure and concentration on remaining strong and relaxed, the mile splits continued to click off right around the 5:40+/- mark.  At 24 miles, Oz proved too strong for the long time runner-up and moved into second place, pushing all the way to the finish. As he entered the track for the final portion of a lap, a quick glance at the watch showed 2:28:00.  Oz realized that he was going to achieve his lifetime goal of sub-2:30. With fists pumping and with shouts of triumph through the final part-lap, he crossed the finish line in a 6 minute PR of 2:29:22. His second half split was 1:14:37, to complete a negative split marathon—a testament to his incredible strength.