Waves and Diamonds

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I’m getting ready for my third year of the Berwick Run for the Diamonds. I was looking forward to trying for the course record this year (50:54 for 9miles) but the weather may not agree with me. It’s supposed to snow anywhere from 4-8 inches over the next 24 hours and I’m not sure if that will allow for a record setting day. But no matter the weather, I’m still excited for the one race every year that my entire family is able to make it out to cheer and support! Having a race on a holiday is genius! No one has work so getting out to participate in an event is as easy as it will ever be!

Now that I’ve set the scene for present day, let’s take a moment to reflect on a race from the past. My first half-marathon…Big Sur!

Seals Kara and Megan Rolland

I traveled out to Monterey, California for the beautiful beaches, the perfect weather, and the longest race of my life. All three of those things did not disappoint. I had a blast the day before the race with my Oiselle teammate Megan Rolland and her family, visiting a Monarch Butterfly sanctuary and strolling along the shoreline checking out the sunbathing seals. It was so nice that I probably should have planned to spend a few more days just to vacation!

It’s a beautiful place to run and the race was put together by people who you could tell take a lot of pride in running a professional and quality race. My experience in the race itself was pretty good. If I’m being honest, I would have liked to have run a bit quicker but for my first half, I’ll take 1:14.29 and a second place finish.

I was surprised by the feeling in my legs at about 9miles. It was one I had never felt before. My legs got tired when the rest of me was still feeling pretty good. It was a difficult feeling of not being able to move my legs any faster, strictly because my legs did not agree. Usually fatigue sets in at one part of my body, every race is different (legs, lungs, arms, core), and moves to affect the rest of me. Thirteen point one miles gave me a brand new running experience and sitting back and reflecting on that is actually very exciting! What other crazy new things can running provide when I thought I had understood it entirely after eleven years of training and racing?!

We’ll see! I’m sure tomorrow will be a completely new experience in a race I’ve run twice before!

Big Sur Half Marathon Result

Kara just finished off her first ever half marathon at the Big Sur Half Marathon in Monterey Bay, California. She was second overall, first American, and ran a 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier!

It’s been a very good Fall preparing for this foray into new territory. Kara’s training has been very consistent and today was a great first step into the world of half, and full marathons.

It’s exciting to see what else this year will bring!

Genworth 10 Miler

Kara got her fall racing schedule underway today running the Genworth 10 Miler in Lynchburg, Virginia. It’s an incredibly hilly course in a town also known as “Hill City”. The goal was to go and run a hard effort without backing off the miles that she’s been running this fall.

Kara claimed 1st American and 5th overall running 56:43. It’s a very pleasing result. These types of races are all about her beginning to get a feel for the longer distances so she is ready to tackle her first half marathon on November 16. It’s a big confidence boost to know she can run that well on such a tough course while in heavy training.

It’s been an interesting Fall since Kara’s former coach Beth Sullivan departed for Tennessee. Kara and I had discussed having me coach her somewhere down the road, but I am not sure either of us were fully prepared when it was thrust upon us. It has been challenging for both of us, but I think that we have handled it very well and accomplished some very good training so far.

A coach-athlete relationship often times runs counter to a wife-husband relationship (it’s a lot easier telling an athlete what to do!), but it looks like we have passed the first test and produced a quality result. I am excited to see what else the next few months have in store given the work and sacrifice Kara puts in every day.

-Ryan