Wednesday, October 19, 2011


...and other happenings in the past few weeks.

First of all, a photo from my endeavor at the Great Race taken by Beth.

Since the Great Race, there was a little trip to Hawaii. However, before I got out there to join Beth in the 80-degree temps on the Big Island, I endured a 40's and rainy weekend, where we were at the Central Catholic Invitational. My pants and shoes are evidence of it.

Next, it was a few days of school and then across the Pacific to Hawaii.

Beth had an awesome race (as you can read about
on her blog). My day started with dropping Beth and her mom off at the start area and parking the car. Then, I met up with them and we said our good lucks and good byes to Beth and she went in for the swim start. We saw her come out of the water and then back past us 8 or so miles into the bike. We let her know she was in 5th place in her age group.

Then, we had some time to kill, so back to the rental house with the rest of the crew. Somehow, it worked out that the PSU-Iowa game was the "regional" college football game on ABC, so I was able to catch the 2nd and 3rd quarters. (Side note: PSU is somehow 6-1. It's been ugly, but 6-1 nonetheless while Pitt's "High Octane" team mustered 100 yds of offense last week....hee, hee).

We went back down to position ourselves for the run before the pro's came through. We (Beth's mom and I) were around mile 2/9 (ish?) on the run and had a chance to see the pro race unfold. Then, some more waiting and random photos like this one to kill the time.

Beth came through and looked great. After a stop at McDonald's for a Mango-Pineapple McSmoothie, I went up on to the Queen K (around mile 24) to cheer everybody in.

By the time we got back to the house and also knowing that I was going to do a 19 mile run the next day, I opted to go to bed while the rest of the Kona crew headed back down for the midnight finish line.

So about my runs in Kona. Between Thursday and Monday, I got four runs in and totaled 39 miles (plus my running around on race day). Each time, I was too stubborn to drive anywhere, so I finished on a *little bit* of an up hill. It looks so innocent on a google map....

...however it just shoots up and up and up from the Queen K.

Here's the gate and the entrance looking back towards the Pacific.

Then, up to the first stop sign.

And you get to the first stop sign and go up more.

Up to the next little circle.

Through the circle and up some more.

Halfway up the "up some more."

Finally, make a left and get a little bit of flat relief.

Hang a right up the hill (Do you see the angle of the hill?????)

And then around the corner.

Make it to the driveway (which, of course, is uphill).

Make it to the front of the house (which, of course, you have to scale steps!!)

Whew. I'm tired reliving that!

One of the good things of being up on the hill was that we had an awesome view of the sunset each evening from our place.

We said goodbye to our gecko friend and packed up on Monday (in addition to an interesting day at the Kona hospital for Beth's blisters on her feet).

Our time in Hawaii wrapped up on Monday night with an 11pm red-eye flight through Phoenix, then back home. By 4 pm on Tuesday, we were back to the Pittsburgh International Airport. After a stop at Chipotle in Robinson with
Chad & Jen, we got home and started to get transitioned back to reality.

Back to school on Wendesday and all of the sleeping on the plane must have worked. It wasn't too bad getting up at 5am (or 11pm Hawaii) the next few days.

The one down side was the pile of homework and tests that needed to be graded since I left...

Saturday was the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon. I've run it twice before -
2009 and 2008. I was just getting into my long distance shape back in 2008 and was pumped with my sub-1:20. In 2009, I was in pretty good shape a month out from the Philly marathon and somehow averaged 5:50 miles. My goal for this year was to be in the neighborhood of 6:00-ish pace. However, as the race drew nearer (and I was feeling sluggish with an 8:30 pace run on Thursday) in my head it was becoming 6:10 pace....maybe 6:15 pace.....okay maybe just keep it under 6:30 pace...

You get the drift.

Fortunately, I ran into Beth's Ballou Skies teammate Jason Jacobs at the start line and he was shooting to run 6:00-ish pace, too. So, off we went and we ran the whole thing side by side as, what we termed, a really fast and hard partner tempo run.

Before getting to the splits, just like the Great Race, a disclaimer about the race being point-to-point and net downhill:

Here were the splits:
6:09 (11:53)
6:01 (17:54)
6:05 (23:59)
11:50 (35:49) - mile marker missing
5:49 (41:38)
6:02 (47:40)
6:09 (53:49)
6:07 (59:56)
6:13 (1:06:09)
6:08 (1:12:17)
6:42 for the final 1.1 for 1:18:59 and 6:02 pace.

I'll take it coming off of all the travel and everything. It was really great having Jason along. I don't think I could have kept going that fast for that long without having him push me. Thanks, Jason!

Check out what Jason's GPS said we did:

A 14.5 mile half marathon at 5:27 pace. Those GPS devices were always a little fishy out in the wilderness...

Five other Lebo friends came along and ran and had outstanding days as well, including a couple of first-time half marathon people (not pictured)

A BIG thanks to Beth who, during her Post-Kona recovery, got up early on a cold, blustery Saturday and was Team LEBO's driver, coach, equipment manager, cheeleader, and photographer!

Up next is the finish to the cross country season. We have the Tri-State Invitational Thursday (a preview for districts), then WPIAL's (districts) next Thursday. The top four teams then go on to the state meet on November 5th. We've had a good year on both the boys and girls side, so we shall see how things stack up at WPIAL's and states. Could this be our year?


Beth said...

I'm still waiting for my team manager hat!!!

I can't believe you ran up that hill every day. It should be noted that I drove down the hill daily to start my runs/rides. :)

Can't wait to watch your teams kill it at WPIALs!

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