It’s true: Not everyone has gone through the effort of setting up a website that lists personal race statistics. (I’m poking fun at myself here.) Athlinks does this work for you and gives it a better look than I ever could.
The front page is simple: Type in a racer’s name and search. (Simple is good.) What’s returned is just so cool. Any race result that includes a match for the entered name appears. It’s this next nugget that’s a bit curious. You’ll notice pretty quickly just how many racers share your name. But that’s ok! Athlinks lets you set up a profile. You can then claim those specific results belonging to you.
Storytime: I’ve always registered for races using my full name. However, I shortened it on 1 occasion. (I have no idea why.) Coincidently it was my best 13.1 time. The issue was that different results would appear depending on how I spelled my name in the Athlinks “Search”. Quick emails to both the race to update my registration and then to Athlinks to refresh their postings resolved the matter. Thank you, Athlinks!
Now my favorite part: Upon claiming races, Athlinks puts you through their statistical blender. “Total Races” and “Total Race Miles”. Not a big deal. But highlighting your best 13.1 and 26.2 and then calculating your percentage rank indicating where you fall among your peers? Very nice!
The ability to claim races is a feature that deserves even more discussion. Perhaps you had a race you prefer to just forget. Well, you don’t have to claim it. Also, on 1 occasion I injured myself shortly before race day. The race had a no-transfer policy. No one likes losing an entry fee, so @HalfMarathonGal just grabbed the bib and ran in my place. (I won’t be claiming that race but perhaps she will.)
There’s quite a bit more that I really haven’t delved into. Following and messaging others. A “Rivals” feature (guessing this provides the ability to enroll yourself in a little friendly competition). And there’s a race finder as well.
Any respectable review has some constructive criticism, right? The profile picture posting seems a bit buggy. I’ve only been able to add one race picture to my profile (and that took multiple attempts). That’s about it. Their mobile website is nice as well.
There’s no doubt I’ll be posting my Athlinks profile link to my website: www.athlinks.com/athletes/rkalff/Profile
October 5, 2014: 13.1 Miles
Last year I ran Smuttynose (NH) 13.1 in 2:04. Two weeks later I ran Baystate 13.1 in 2:03:35. This year I’ve been chasing the dream of a sub-2. I set a goal for myself of running four 13.1s. Usually my times improve in the Fall. So when I ran Newburyport (MA) 13.1 on June 1, I ran it for fun -but ended up dealing with an issue I had not previously encountered. Only 4 days before the race I had the stomach bug. Still, I persevered and finished the race. Then Old Port 13.1 (Portland, ME) in the middle of July. Again, just for fun, with my only goal to beat my time from last year (I did).
On to Smuttynose 13.1. My weekday training was only 4 miles per because I’m now working at my kid’s school and I have to get everyone ready, run, showered, and out by 8:00 AM. The shorter days can also make life tougher. Finally, I’ve recently encountered some slight knee and achilles issues too. But my running became stronger and despite some things going not as planned, I felt I was going to reach my goal. This was the third year in a row running this race. And the first time it was sunny! Either way, it was going to be a great day. The course was changed this year because some of the residents complained (I would love to tell them some choice words). All was going as planned. Pre-race I cycled through the potties 3 times in 1 hour and got lined up with the 8:30 wave. The first 8 miles were great. I was 3 minutes under my goal and then, I had to pee. There were no good places to peel off into the woods so I finally found a port-a-potty (3 actually). I followed a guy thinking he would be quicker than the 2 women. Wrong. I lost almost 4 minutes waiting for the guy! I was upset. There was nothing I could do, so I went to one of the other potties and never saw the guy come out. Mile 10, I was back to an 8:50 mile. Then my knee and achilles took turns the last 2-3 miles bothering me. SOB! I finished in 2:06. If I hadn’t encountered the pee issue, it would have been 2:02. And if I had just sucked up the pain, it would have been under 2. Oh well.
I had fun of course. But I’m also frustrated with myself. I get mad. I cry. I feel like I could have dug deeper and done better. One day I believe I will. I will not let this define me or make me stop running. I am better than that and I remind myself, it was still 13 point freakin’ 1 miles! I will beat you Smutty!
October 1, 2014
Well, the countdown is almost over for Smuttynose 13.1 (10/5). I’m still running every other day, but it’s getting tough. Sunrise isn’t until after 6:40 AM! As much as I LOVE running, it will be very tough once I get done with Smutty. I will still do it on the weekend. But in the winter it will be too cold in the early morning to head out and it is completely dark at 4:30 PM :( And no, we don’t have a dreadmill. So as I prepare for Sunday’s race, I’m sad I won’t be able to run as often to help keep off the winter weight.
Looking forward to taking a friend there who will be running his first half. In the last year, he has lost +40 lbs through diet, running and biking. He has also learned the joys of outside running -which he used to think was inferior to a treadmill. Also looking forward to hanging out after the race with a few friends that I learned are running it as well. Praying for a nice day on Sunday so I can enjoy the beer tent, lobster rolls, and clam chowder -this is my 3rd year in a row running Smutty, and it has rained the last 2 years!
September 25, 2014
I know, I know. I have been so terrible about writing this year :( But I did run another half in July. I went back to Portland, ME to run the Old Port Half. I knew I wouldn’t PR (hills) but that’s ok. It’s always such a nice family day. I did beat my time from last year (which is always good). And I did enjoy my 2 free Shipyard beers by the water. And I had a wonderful mid-July afternoon tooling around Portland.
My life took another turn when I got a full time job working at my kid’s school. As, a result, my running schedule had to be adjusted. The other issue is – the days are SHORTER! So, I wake up @ 5:45, get into my running gear, and get all the lunches made …then I wait for the sun to start to come up. One positive from all this -almost every run I PR! I’ve decided to run the Smuttynose Half again (Hampton, NH). I am really hoping to break 2 hours. I guess we will find out in 10 days.Now on to BIGGER and BETTER news…..Rich (Runner’s Resolve) found out yesterday at 2:48 PM – after waiting (sometimes patiently, sometimes impatiently) for a week and a half – he made it in to Boston for 2015! We are so excited. I’ve had the hotel room booked since June 13 and the kids think it’s the coolest thing ever. I couldn’t be more proud of him. He has worked so hard. The journey has taken us 2 years so far – due to injuries last fall and the fall before. But here we are. The countdown is already on. Persistence paid off. Boston, here we come!
June 14, 2014: 3.9 Miles
I know it’s been too long since I last blogged. At the beginning of May I ran the Stoneyfield 5k with my 8 year old daughter. At times she got mad at me but as she blazed down the final stretch to the finish line and heard the announcer say her name, the look she had was priceless and her smile went on for miles! A truly proud moment for me.
I also ran my first half of the year on June 1. It was the Newburyport River Run (Newburyport, MA). I didn’t do it in the time I was aiming for -and that really pissed me off.
I know my training wasn’t what it should have been, but I was on track with my work-outs to do it in 2 hours. On the Wednesday before the race I had a stomach bug (puking and all). By race day I thought my body was back from being sick but I guess not 100%. Never before have I felt like I was going to throw up while running and that day I did. After a disappointing race, part of me wanted to hang up my trainers. But then I realized: some of the things that went wrong, I had no control over. Moving on, I have run 3 times this week (after taking a week off) and last night I signed up for the Old Port Half in Portland, ME (July 13)! I ran this one last year and it was HOT. This year they are adding misting tents at 3 water stops on the back half of the course. I know this is NOT a race I am going to PR in (hills), but I sure am going to have a damn good time running it!!!
The order seems to change for me with every finish. (I partly put this together because sometimes I overlook details when shopping races.) What did I leave out?
1. Finisher’s medal included? (Been burned before.)
2. Flat and fast?
3. Course certification: It’s not a given.
4. Proximity to home: packet pickup, gas, hotels, etc.
5. Age group awards.
6. Bag drop-off.
7. Time of year.
8. Pace teams?
9. Pace signs at the start?
10. Established race: Gotta be careful with those inaugural signups.
Others Receiving Votes: Port-a-potty details, Post-race festivities, Photography (at least 1 race has offered free photos), Size-of-field, Historical participant finish times, Start time, Parking (shuttles -ugh), Shirt, Locale, Terrain (pavement, trail), Registration fees.
April 22, 2014: We’ve received some good feedback on our New Hampshire/Old Man Of The Mountain 26.2 and 13.1 brands. I think it’s a good example of a simple logo that works. (There certainly are no graphic designers at work here!) We’re in the process of ordering a round of techwick shirts and Euro decals. If we get some interest, perhaps we’ll try moving some of these items at a few New Hampshire running stores and races, or setting up a store on this site.
Thanks to Chris Simmonds (Shirts) (@okitlogo) and Car Stickers (@CarStickersInc) for the assistance.