Thursday, May 19, 2011


Race at the Lakes 
May 7 & 14, 2011

From the looks of it, you can't tell I am in the middle of a race, but I am, and I am actually riding a a steady pace. I am probably watching the guys whiz past me - 25 plus MPH. So cool to see and hear.

I entered RATL knowing I would be the tortoise of the pack - hey someone needs to be the leader of the  newbie pack. If more women join me, we can create a greater pool in women's cycling and have more levels of competition.

Six Grunt Girls joined Snake Bite Racing to help build women's cycling in Northeast Ohio.

Our next event will be Tour of the Valley, July 8-10. I am going to enter the road race, Saturday, July 9.

Please join me. I'll be at the back of the pack - maybe... 

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Mohican Report

April 17: Forget the PR

 L to R: Kim Zepp, Heidi Finniff, Stacy Rhea, Tonya Faye, Andrea Chisnell, Jill Malusky, and Gale Connor

Crossing the finish line of any race is sweet success. Crossing the finish line of Forget the PR is sweetness topped with whip cream and two cherries on top.

Friday, April 15
Bags are packed and we, Kim Z., Andrea C. and I are on our way to Mohican State Park. (6:15 p.m.) We are meeting nine others. We rented Al’s cabin for the weekend. Al’s cabin is the premo spot, as the race starts less than a thousand feet away from the Al’s front door.

After settling in, we gathered around the fire ring and shared childhood stories and other fun tales. We laughed until it was time to call it a night.

Saturday, April 16
Nothing beats sleeping in, especially the day before a 25/50K. Napping is great too.
Mid afternoon, two more of the 11 arrive: Heidi and Gale. Since it is raining, five of us go to the “fun” town of Wooster for groceries and a little sight seeing. I think the locals were entertained by us. Not exactly sure why, but they could tell we were not from the area. Once the rain stopped we hiked the first 3 miles and then some of the course. We wanted to see just how bad, the “Bad Ass Hill” would be.

The rest of the evening was spent munching on food and sharing more fun stories of past race experiences.

Sunday, April 17: Race day
Alarms were set for 5:30 a.m. Coffee is on, and the bathroom is in full use.
The kitchen looks as though a tornado hit, but that’s what happens when you have 11 runners, their gear and food in a room ideal for four.

The excitement is building. This is what we live, eat, train and sleep for ... for the most part.

7:30 a.m. The 50kers are off.
8 a.m. the 25Kers are off

This is one of these races were you wish you were carrying a camera. I am looking for pictures via the Internet. In the meantime, here is what runners had to say about the race.

Gale Connor describes the course perfectly

I just ran the craziest, bad ass, LONG (17.1 miles) 25K of my running career!! Waist deep river crossing, root climb, crazy stream trail that didn't seem like it was a real trail. Ran behind a waterfall and over, under and between fallen trees and boulders!! High winds most of the time as well, but perfect temps!!!

My thoughts on the course
The course was amazing. Climbing the exterior roots, straight up the hill side was the coolest. To get to that point, we had to climb numerous rocks, fallen trees and cross the creek several times. The 5-mile loop by the covered bridge was absolutely beautiful.
Running behind a waterfall was a unique experience. I wanted to stand there and take it in. Words can’t describe this course.

Beth Trecasa shared this on her FB post:
Drove almost 4 hours and 200+ miles to run almost 4 hours and 17+ miles. So worth it. Beautiful, tough course. Relentless hills; mud; hand over hand root/rock climb; and a freaking thigh-high frigid river crossing. Thanks to Rob and the volunteers and to my new friend Greg who held my hand across the river. I felt alive today!

To keep the run even more fun, the RD posted signs. Tonya Faye recalls the signs:
Yes, they actually labeled the hill. And the "top" of the hill you see, it's a false top, that's only about the halfway point. Other signs said "Don't hate the hill, hate the race director," and "remember, you paid to do this."

Andrea Chisnell summed up the weekend with this comment
Wrapped up a great weekend with one of the toughest 25K races EVER!!! It was beautiful, challenging and simply fun!!! Got to spend it with wonderful friends and watched Lee (Connor) and Shaun (Pope) win!!!

Misc. pictures
Lee with RD Rob after her win - 50K
first women
Kim Zepp after her 25K

Gabe at finish of his first 50K
We will be back next year!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cycling away the pain

Sunday, April 10, 2011
Ride on the Stow Bike & Hike

After Saturday's hilly road 25K, Jackson Laughs, my legs are fried.
Normally, I would take an ice bath after such a long run, but I was so cold after the run that I wouldn't even consider it. I did consume my recovery drink - berry Fluid. I stretched and took a nap.

Today, I rode 21.76 miles on a flat course to get the blood flowing through my legs. Normally that is a huge help, as of now, 11:31 p.m. my legs are still tired and sore.
We met some great people today: LaMar, April and Eric.

I am gearing up for the Forget the PR in Mohican next Sunday.
If you wanna get some hills in, you gotta check out this course. It's new for 2011 - hillier
I will post pics after the event. I am seriously not looking for a PR, just a scenic trail run and the company of the Grunt Girls.

We did this event last year and had a blast. We rented a cabin again for Friday and Saturday night.

Until then, here's to a great week of training.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

C-Training Race: Jackson Laughs 25K

Saturday, April 9, 2011
Inaugural Jackson Laughs 25K

Temps were cold this morning. Although the temp was 43, it felt much colder - overcast - typical Cleveland weather. I layered up appropriately: base layer, followed by a comfy thick middle layer and of course my Grunt Girl Racing shirt. No need for the wind resistant layer.

The first 5 miles of the race was fairly flat. The gentle rollers began shortly thereafter. It was mile 13 that we hit "the hill." Thanks Sharpie! (Sara Harper designed the course. Harper is a KSU student, and excellent cyclist who is preparing for RAAM).

When I hit mile 7, I knew the next 9 miles were gonna be tough, this is when my mental toughness kicks in. For 9 miles I felt as though my legs were going to explode. I am not used to running on the road, not for 16.16 miles. I have been logging the miles on the CVNP trails: Buckeye Trail, Oak Hill, Ledges Trails, etc.

As I continue to prepare for the Cleveland Half-Marathon, May 15, I will incorporate more road running. I knew I had to, but was hoping I might be able to avoid weekly road runs.
The trails are much easier on the body, but challenging do to the rolling and rocky terrain. Trails help build balance, stability and strengthen the core. The scenery is gentle on the eyes and calming to the mind.

Turning a small corner, at mile 15.5, I could see the Kent State logo on Dix Stadium. That gave me the boost of energy I need to get to the finish line. I crossed the line at 3:02. I plan hitting at PR at the Cleveland Half - 1:58

Next event: April 17:  Forget the PR 25K

Train smart, stay focused and never give up!