Sarnico-Lovere 2012

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Kowloon Tong,Hong Kong

Member Since:

Jul 02, 2007



Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:


5K - 17:11 (track Pre-kids and at BYU) (1998)

10K - 35:48 (track Pre-kids and at BYU) (1998)

10K - 35:34 (road - Shek Mun 10k 12/12)

1/2 Marathon 1:19:44 (UNICEF HM 11/12)

Marathon 2:47:08 (ING Hartford Connecticut 10/10)


St. George Marathon 2:50:40 (10/08)

1/2 marathon - Hobble Creek 1:17:14 (8/08)

10K - Deseret News 10K - 35:02 (7/08)

Short-Term Running Goals:

PR 1/2 marathon AGAIN

Long-Term Running Goals:

Break 2:46 in Boston!


I used to run for BYU, but only after trying out three times and finally walking on, so I was never a star. However, it was wonderful to run with great people and under Coach Shane. When you run with fast people, you can't help to improve! I graduated BYU in 1998, and didn't run a race until 2002, after having my second child. My hiatus and other crazy life commitments have made my competitive running suffer, but the last couple of years I have tried to get back into it the best I can. I have been married since 1996, to Paul Lowry, who is a runner himself. I have three boys (my three rascals), ages 12, 10, and 8.

After a great 2008 season, I was injured and eventually diagnosed and cross-diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a type of arthritis disease, which precludes running for all but the most stubborn.  So I am on medications, trying to stay healthy, and seeing my PT often.  And running!  Now beating the streets in Hong Kong.

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
NB RC900 Black/yellow Lifetime Miles: 183.31
NB RC1300 Red/Black Lifetime Miles: 195.31
2012 MTR Lifetime Miles: 4035.70
890 Blue Lifetime Miles: 310.55
NB RC 1600 Lifetime Miles: 96.76
RC 1400 Lifetime Miles: 90.60
NB 890 Baby Blue Lifetime Miles: 233.26
NB 890 Electric Blue Lifetime Miles: 319.67
NB 890 Tokyo Turquoise Lifetime Miles: 163.54
Race: Sarnico-Lovere 2012 (15.66 Miles) 01:35:53, Place overall: 4, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTrainer 1 MilesTrainer 2 MilesRacer MilesTotal Distance

What a race!  I kept a 3:56 pace for the 18k tempo with Roberto 13 days before this race, and that was hard and I felt myself flagging at around 14k in that, but it was a bit warm for that run, so I was hoping with cool temps I could do 3:55 pace for this race, but that was B goal.  C goal was to not totally embarrass myself (totally dying, not placing top 10, a bathroom incident, or 4:xx pace would all qualify).  The “A” goal was to run faster than my average pace at the Standard Chartered Half marathon, which was 1:22:05, which was 3:53 pace.  This course definitely was rolly in places, but the hills were manageable, nice and wussy, the perfect kind of hills for me.  I thought I would go out at 4:00/k the first couple of k’s to warm up, and try to keep the pace comfortable the first half, then keep a good effort up the biggest hill between 16.5 and 18k, then use the downhill to kick it back into a gear and finish strong.  With the above overall paces as guides depending on how I FELT.

The race started at 9:30 and my hotel was a scant 500m from the start line, which enabled me to have a relaxed morning (that is up until 20 minutes til race time, then I was scrambling).  I ate a substantial breakfast (one packet of oatmeal, two hard rolls with brie).  I then did a walk to the race area to ask a couple of questions, then went back to my hotel and stretched and rolled.  In my hotel I have the smallest TV screen I have ever seen in a hotel.  It is about a 14, maybe a 15”.  And all channels are in Italian, but there are three music channels that play mostly songs in English, so I would go through those (Mtv, Virgin and Playme), catching up on what’s hot, though they would also play old songs too.  Anyway, I went outside and ran 2.5k, enough to see the first 1k of the race, and it is flat the first half then a gradual uphill. This suggests no faster than 4:00 first k, because of hill and warming up. 

I have some issues getting my back to the drop off.  I can’t find my glide, I never did, and got a couple of reddish marks thanks to that.  I opt for no sunglasses (it sprinkled a bit in the warm up), and no gloves.  I don’t know what the starting temp was, but I would take a stab at 10C.  I had light arm warmers (black knee high nylons with a hole in the bottom for my hands), but 5 minutes to the start the sun came out and I rolled them down, but I kept them around my wrists because there were darker clouds in the direction we would be running (I never used and dumped at 10k).  At the start the top 10 or so male and female runners are announced.  There is a helicopter taking video.  The start was very obvious (a 10 count down in Italian with people changing in English) but still an (apparently) Italian man jumped the gun, however the directors don’t make us come back.  We start out fast.  Within 300m I probably have 10 ladies ahead of me, I look down at my watch and pace so far was about 3:45.  So I dial back a bit.  We hit the uphill and I take it easy, come in at the 1k at around 3:52.  I don’t want to start that fast but that k is now done and there’s nothing I can do about that. There’s some headwind coming off the lake, and I am at the back of a pack that is about 12 men and 3 women strong, so I hang with them and draft, draft, draft.  The whole course was very curvy so I also paid close attention to tangents.  I stayed in the back of this pack for probably 3-4k, we are going a bit faster than I would like (about 3:52) but I am afraid there might be no-man’s land behind me and wanted the pack for strength and drafting.  Naturally and slowly the pack broke into smaller groups, and I would hang with a group, draft and pass, draft and pass.  At one point (probably 10kish) I was taking the wind and was thinking, “How did this happen?”  Probably a combo of a good tangent and the group spreading out.  Sometimes a runner would be 20m ahead, then I would do a better tangent then all the sudden they are 10m ahead, so that’s one way I picked people off gradually.  Green shirt girl and I were back and forth for the first 4k, then she fell back, then another girl who was at the lead of the pack and I traded off for a while, but I never saw her after 9-11k.  First 5k was 19:20ish, second 5k was 19:05.  I was trying to keep the effort relaxed, but was also concerned about my pace thus far.  Around 8k we entered a tunnel and I thought, oh no, a repeat of Yokohama in the same part of the race—don’t go too fast.  So there was a person ahead of me and I told myself to just go the same pace as him, and that helped me stay calm. I think I might have passed him by the end of the tunnel but at least I didn’t tear it up while gps-less.  By 13k, I was feeling good and knew I just needed to stay relaxed through the hill at 18k.  Team Italia was able to send me because of one of our sponsors, Unigasket paid for the race. Well the Unigasket contact/big wig biked the race beside me or just ahead for 2k on (he had a bike permit so was officially sanctioned to do this).  He had been silent up to this point, but I told him, “Over halfway done!” I had an African girl ahead of me about 200m, and my goal was to slowly catch her by 18k (the top of the hill).  Big Wig tells me I am in 7th or 8th place for the women.  Well I passed her at around 14.5k without a fight, which made me miss my 15k split but according to my watch’s automatic 5k split it was 19:15. That then brought me to blonde petite chick. (I am not mentioning all the men I also passed, there were probably 2 guys for each girl I passed?) and I passed her and a man on the long uphill at around 17.5k!  Me, this is me, we are talking about.  Passing people on the uphill.  I crest the hill and try to push the downhill, going quite a bit faster than 3:50 pace for a k or so.  I remember being at 19.2 thinking 7k left—that’s nothing! The fourth 5k was 19:04. Close to this point big wig tells me that the next girl is about 200m ahead, but I don’t see her.  Then he tells me she is 150m ahead.  And I am wondering if he is feeding me a line to keep me going.  Then by 22.5k I am getting close to passing a man during a really curvy section of the run, and I look at the man closer and realize his butt looks a lot like a girl butt.  This is a girl butt!  So I pass a short haired girl who doesn’t respond.  This is fun.  Now there is no one in sight.  I have one last gu (this is the psychological gu) at 23.5k and I know I have one mile to go.  Right after taking the gu I fall apart for about 50m.  Those who know me know that means I slow and start to whimper-cry.  Big Wig has been encouraging me since 15k or so, and I know I have a witness if I wuss out at this point, and it is totally unnecessary.  So I got my crap together and decided I would not slow.  So there you go.  The 24.5-25k bit is a nice uphill, probably only 1 or 2 percent but it’s cruel to put at the end.  Big Wig tells me to not give up now, and I don’t, though I can’t say I conquered the hill.  My last split was 19:07  There is a short downhill then 50m flat for the end,  and I see 1:35:xx when I can finally see the timer with my sorry eyes, so I give a wussy mini-kick and come in 1:35:53. 

My watch showed the course short, 24.85.  Big Wig says it is 25.2 and that’s what the k markers showed.  There were some long tunnels with curves that would have affected my gps.  I did a mapmyrun and it came in just over 25k but I didn’t have the patience nor the satellite image accuracy to get all the curves right, so I think it was 25k-25.2k, somewhere in there.  I would like to think it was 25.2, that would be awesome because that actually puts my ave pace at 3:48.  Either way, it was one of those magical races where all went well, and my race was as good or even better than my training.  I am grateful, so grateful for this gift. 

I am grateful to Unigasket, Team Italia, and Roberto. Roberto is the one who obtains the sponsors for Team Italia, the one who helped me navigate preparing for the event, negotiated workouts with me, trained me on the three Italian phrases I know :D  Plus he helped me not despair when I moved to the HK. 

Paul has been a dear with the kids, even taking them to church in my absence.  Normally they take a “church holiday” when I am gone, and they have to wake up at the crack of dawn (for him :D)—7:30 to get there on time.  He said they got to church 10 minutes early—WHAT??!!!  Being here alone has been a bit lame, so I am excited I am coming back in 2013 with Paul (he has a conference in Milan). 

Ciao (yup, that’s one of the phrases).

RT1100 Black/rainbow Miles: 16.70NB 890 Grey Miles: 1.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 0.00
From allie on Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 15:21:40 from

congratulations, michelle. you always impress. so cool that you are in italy!

From Eric Day on Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 15:29:03 from

Prego ! Prego ! (Don't know if it written correctly). Good race !

From Jake K on Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 15:52:52 from

Great race Michelle - smart running, picking people off throughout the race, fighting all the way to the end! And you are racing in Italy - how cool is that? And you're family didn't self-destruct (yet) in your absense :-)

I love the descriptions of your competitors... your reports always crack me up

From Superfly on Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 15:53:53 from

Awesome race... your brave to eat brie pre race. I wouldn't touch that stuff with a 10 ft pole on a normal day:)

From Burt on Mon, Apr 23, 2012 at 18:19:41 from

I told you I'd read it later. Great job. Why didn't they announce you at the start?

From fiddy on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 13:46:50 from

It's a girl's butt! Always cause for celebration, no?

From Smooth on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 14:18:21 from

Bravo bravo bravo!!!! CONGRATULATIONS on such an EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT performance! Your report is so fun to by very exciting! :)

From fiddy on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 16:25:29 from

IAAF table says it's equivalent to a 1:19 half marathon.

From Christi on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 17:57:52 from

Great race!!! Awesome splits! Loved reading your race report!

From Tara on Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 19:08:00 from

Fantastic Michelle! Good husband too:)

From runningafterbabies on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 19:29:32 from

Great race, Michelle! I think the course measured short because you took the tangents really smart. Nice work.

From Paul on Sat, Apr 28, 2012 at 08:30:43 from

Congrats on a perfect race. But I have no idea what a "k" is. :-)

From Burt on Sat, Apr 28, 2012 at 16:22:53 from

Yeah. What's a "k"? Did you fabricate this?

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