Remember that time that I went to DC and ran my 10th half marathon?
Yeah.. life got a hold of me, and I forgot to blog about it.
Friday morning found me traveling to Baltimore, by plane. I then, took the bus to the train station, where I took the train into Union Station. I had the creepiest experience in the train station with an employee, were he was begging me for advice because he had cheated on his “old lady”. Maybe you should stop referring to her as your old lady… and asking random girls for advice… or maybe just keep it in your pants.
I thought traveling by train would be so “Serena Van Der Woodsen”. Turns out, it wasn’t.
But, Molly picked me up from there and we headed to the Expo…we did all the normal Nike Women’s stuff… like found our name on the wall.
Upon arrival to Molly’s house, I found that Becca had sent me some Sherrie’s Berrie’s. She used to do this for every race, but then I ran a bunch in a row and they were local, so.. can’t blame a gal for stopping! Anyway, obviously my friends are total rockstars and you should be jealous.
Lindsey stayed around while we did cake and sang to Cooper.
Sunday was the race, and lots of dancing and champs and naps.
Monday morning B drove me to Baltimore (THANKS B!!!) and I had to battle these….
Unpacking made me a little sad that it was over…
But this face waiting on me at the airport made it all better!!
Before telling you about my trip to DC, I think I will post my race recap!
FIrst off, the Expo, was sort of lame. You really couldn’t buy anything and it was just nuts. But, the packet pick up was separate and was a breeze, so kudos for that one. With all of the walking up and down hills, my calves were tight and I knew I wouldn’t be running on fresh legs.
I laid out all of my gear the night before….
The gorgeous sunrise heading into the city…
Molly’s husband drove us into the city, instead of taking the metro. He dropped us off about 3 blocks from the start line. It was awesome. I hope it was awesome for him too.
We entered into the 9:00-9:59 coral.. which, honestly, was completely pointless seeing as how they didn’t do a coral start.
We all just started out at once.. and we were behind the 2:10 pacer. I was NOT HAPPY about weaving around so many women in tight spaces. There were 15,000 runners, and a lot of them first timers, (I hate to stereotype..BUT) they probably didn’t know there are rules to racing. We spent the first two miles LITERALLY weaving in and out of people. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t get pasted the 2:10 pacer. It cleared a little after mile 2 when we were crossing the bridge to Arlington Cemetery.
We finally caught sight of the 2:00 pacer on the loop by the Kennedy Center.. I knew then it was going to be tough to catch up. Around mile 6, my IT band started making its presence known and I got a side stitch.. I knew I was pushing it too hard. I decided right then and there that I wouldn’t injure myself over a sub 2:00 half. I would run what I could and give it everything I had and I would be happy. At this point, Molly was pushing me and I felt bad that I had nothing to give her except facial grimaces. It didn’t help that around this point, it was completely boring as we were running around the golf course. I tried to find funny signs to help me out. I never realized how hard it was to try to catch a pacer… the mental stress that just adds to the run. That part was misery.
As hard as I was running, this was a very cleansing run for me. I let go of everything else going on in my life, and completely concentrated on the race and the steps in front of me. It was just very… freeing. I had nothing to do but run like it was my job. We saw Molly’s fam around mile 10 and it was a nice change of pace. B got some pictures of us and I realized how bad I hunch my shoulders when I run.. no wonder my shoulder blades go numb!
Anyway, it wasn’t long after that, Molly lost me as I couldn’t continue to beast up the hill. I knew then that I wouldn’t break 2 hours, but I might could possibly PR. Heading back into the tunnel was awful and not near as exciting as it was at the beginning of the race. As we rounded the loop and I could see runners running towards the finish line, I got really pissed off because I HATE when courses do that. We made the worlds longest loop and heading back, I could see the finish line. So, I attempted to push it and completely ran out of gas because I misjudged how far the actual finish line was. At mile 12.5 I was really pissed off. But I got my phone out because I knew I would want pictures at the finish line, and saw all of the Tweets, FB messages and texts that lined my screen. I couldn’t believe it.
I crossed the finish line with my hands held high and a smile on my face and guess what? There won’t be any pictures because Nike didn’t have photographers!! WTF NIKE?!?!
Anyway, as I stood in line to get my Tiffany, I told the girl behind me (yes, I told her.) “Hey, I’ll take your picture with him if you’ll take mine.” She looked at me like a crazy person, but also a genius.
So, it wasn’t a sub 2. It wasn’t even a PR. But you know what it was? It was my 10th half marathon. And that is nothing to shake a stick at. I ran my 10th half in a time that I never thought possible. That’s 131 miles in half marathons alone. Not to mention training cycles and 5K’s and 10K’s. I celebrated on Sunday. Everything that I have been able to do because of running. It has changed me in so many ways. I cannot thank you enough for the support and encouragement that you have given me on the Internet. From those who wished me good luck, to those who actually tracked my race online, I cannot thank you enough. It’s amazing to have that kind of support.
Now for the bling…
Now, would I run this race again? This race was amazing. The course was beautiful. I did not care for the lack of coral starts. Or the fact that the 2 hour pacer can’t hold up her sign very well. The runner tracking was a complete joke. I want something that posts to Twitter, not Facebook!! The fact that there weren’t any finish line photos royally ticks me off. I also don’t like the lack of information out there from Nike. But, I feel like I got my money’s worth and everything was well organized. I heard there weren’t a lot of port-o-potty’s, but that didn’t affect me, so I am not sure.
I can tell you one thing… I’ve been wearing Tiffany since Sunday!
This past weekend, I had a blast going up and visiting one of my favorite people in the world and the Internets, Molly.
We ran the Rock N Roll USA half marathon in DC, along with her sister Casey and her friend Ashley.
Molly and I braved the expo with the kiddos to pick up packets and I met/ scared one of my running idols, Skinny Runner. I randomly saw her while staring at her black compression socks with her tan TB flats. I reached out and screamed, ” ohmygod, Skinny Runner!!” I think she was frightened that I was going to make a coat out of her skin or something (I wouldn’t.. But I can’t promise I wouldn’t make a wig out of her hair.) anyway, we ended up on her blog. NBD. I also spied her on race day, but she looked frazzled trying to get to her corral.
Molly made us some delicious vodka chicken pasta, without the vodka (long story) for our pre- race meal.
Turns out that my best friend is better than your best friend, because somehow I always forget that Rebecca sends me chocolate covered strawberries before each race. I feel certain that Molly is glad she didn’t give her address to a serial killer.
Ever had those times in life when you try to do another person a solid and of backfires? This lady pops on the train and says, “oh hey! I’m a photographer and I wanted to get a shot for my project 52.” I’m all, “hey! Rock on sister! Fellow photog myself, feel free to get your shot!” stupid, stupid words. She hopped up on the seat and proceeded to knee, step on, and just generally kick me around in my own seat!
Have I mentioned that I hate crowds? This was the metro station when we pulled in. Not the best planning to have trains arrive at the same time. But, I won’t complain, I heard some people say their train got stuck in a tunnel and they missed the start of the race.
Side note- you need your ticket to exit the Metro. Learned that one the hard way. Never in my life have I been more proud to exclaim, “Alabama!” when someone asks where I am from for not knowing something. Yes.. I bet he thought I didn’t have indoor plumbing.
I really have a thing for glitter. It seems unhealthy. Loved my SparklySoul headband– it may be my favorite headband ever.
I thought it was an excellent race. A little hot at the end and more hilly than I was expecting, but it was a good challenge. The finish was on a hill, and had I encountered any race personel, I may have stabbed them after that. My most important lesson here is to look at your elevation charts.
My garmin said 2:32, but my official time is a little slower than that since I stopped to greet the portable toilet. I really wanted to break 2:30, and stood a good chance of doing so without all those hills. Which means, I shall train on hills for the next month and just crush 2:30 and possibly even 2:15 in Nashville.
It was such a blast!! Running big races with friends is such a high! Running tends to be such a loner sport for me that it really energizes me to run with friends and huge crowd support.
My only complaints are the Expo… super crowded, not big enough to maneuver through– if crowds make you nervous, it’s not the place for you! My other complaint is the Metro.. personally, I think it needs to open even earlier next year. Runners like to be early and not late.
As 2011 comes to a close, I wanted to look back on the year, and see if I had accomplished my goals that I set out to do. So, I went to my archives posts and realized that I never wrote a goals post for 2011. Cray cray. But, 2011 was a BIG year for me. In every aspect of my life. Let’s reflect shall we? (This is gonna be fun.)
I started and completed a Project 12 (More on this later!).
We took the girls out of school to help pay off some debt– we paid off two credit cards this year, leaving us with only one left!
I reached my goal weight.
We had a tornado rip through our town.
I marked several things off my 30 in 30 list!
I became a FitFluential Ambassador.
And I found out this week that I have been accepted as a Nike Fit Tester. Whoo!
2011 rocked my socks off.
How was your 2011??
Before I begin on our fun filled weekend, I thought I would give you the 411 on the Ruben Studdard Half.
This was an inaugural event so, I didn’t have high expectations for it. The Expo was at the Birmingham Museum of Art– pretty cool place. But, it wasn’t really an Expo, it was more like a packet pick up. No vendors. Parking wasn’t a problem. I think they said around 800 runners ran the half and they did a 5K and a fun run around Linn Park.
The course? It was kind of awful. I think that this has the potential to be an awesome race.. it’s a fundraiser for the Musical Arts programs and they could do bands or groups or school choirs at different parts around the course.. otherwise, it’s boring and you are running in a not so fabulous area of town.
I am just going to tell you.. I got super nervous for this race. Savannah seemed like so long ago (WHAT?!) and I was unsure of my abilities. I really hate failure, people.
Anyway, the course started towards Legion Field and I started out WAY too fast. Mile 1 was ran in 8:43. I have never in my life, ran a mile that fast. I reeled it back in, Mile 2 was 10:46. I passed the first water station and me being me, had my phone in my hand and looked down at it, and tripped over a patch in the road. I caught myself before completely tumbling, letting the Otterbox take the brunt of the force. It held up nicely. I, of course, flashed everyone behind me when my skirt came up. Whoops. Anyway, I was mentally a mess. All over the place. Trying to keep myself in good spirits. I was getting sick and trying not to let that bother me. As we were rounding out through a serious sketch part of town, I am just going to tell you, that the ghetto, has NO road budget. I was going down a slight hill, and tripped over a crack in the road and completely lost it. I barrel rolled at least once, if not twice down that stupid hill. I was in shock. I tried to survey the damage. My hand and knee were bleeding. I checked to make sure I didn’t rip my skirt.. nope. It came up as I fell and I had some nice road rash on my hip. My pride.. was pretty battered. A girl heard me fall.. (yep. That’s what she told me) and came to my rescue. I was so embarrassed. But also? A little disappointed there would be no video evidence, since I love when people fall. I even YouTubed clips to try to show you what I looked it, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Sads for you.
I knew we had an aid station coming up around mile 4.5 (Yep. I wasn’t even half way finished). I stopped and asked for a band aid. This guy, whips a band aid out of his pocket, and pours Powerade in my wound to clean it. In the process, he pours Powerade all in my Garmin and it quits working. Thanks, yo! Then puts a band aid on my dripping wet hand. Yep. It didn’t stay.
The course continued through more boring parts of downtown, with zero spectators, except for my Dad, Karen, and two adorable little red heads. Oh wait. Black Girls Run had an extra water station for us (THANK YOU!) and Lululemon had some of their awesome peeps out with their signs. I hit the 10 mile mark at 2:02 and basically fell apart. My quads were over it. I needed band aids and mentally, I was DONE. The fall may have helped me get my perspective where it needed to be (JUST FINISH!) Ashley came back and found me and ran/walked with me the last 2 1/2 miles and I’ll be honest, I probably would have just walked the rest of it if it weren’t for her. She helped push me and tell me what was up ahead.
Addison asked me if maybe when she was 7 if she could run with me. I told her she could run with me anytime. My boo boos. I won’t show you the road rash on my hip. But I will say, I am still pretty banged up. My legs aren’t that sore. I am able to walk around like a normal person, so maybe my body remembers what it’s like to recover. I’m going to have some gnarly bruises though. Battle wounds, some would say. Becca told me I was making memories on the course. Either way, I’ll take it. Half marathon #4 done. 2nd in 2 weeks. 1st fall. Definitely a runner now.
I think this race has some great potential, but I am not sure I would run it again. It was not flat, like the website said. It needs more aid stations and course entertainment. The bling was nice. You know, I am all about the bling. Finish time 2:46. Not the sub 2:40, I wanted, but with two falls, I will take it and not complain.
P.S. Apologies on the different picture sizes.. still trying to figure all that out.
So.. I am starting to think that starting half training during the holidays was stupid. A) I am running around doing other stuff and forget to run. B) It’s freaking COLD outside. 20′s!!! Seriously?? I don’t own enough layers to be out running in that. As for that fleece lined running jacket I saw at the Nike outlet and I laughed at… I am really wishing I have that thing right about now.
I also keep trying to figure out the best times to go running. Since John gets off at 4:00, I am trying to wait until then to go, but I am so tired by that time, I don’t feel like going. We all know I’m not a morning person either, but maybe I could wake up at 5:30 and go? But then, it’s even colder!! I am trying to train outside, but I may have to take it indoors for a few weeks. I hate to ask people to watch the girls so I can go run. I feel like I neglect them when I go for a run. Claire starts Little Lambs two days a week in January, so I know I could do it then, but that’s still several weeks away. I want to train properly and it’s already getting off on the wrong foot.
I am getting in a running funk of, “Why do I do this to myself? It’s so cold! It would be so much easier to sit and cuddle with the girls and drink hot chocolate. Who wants to run 13 miles anyway??” I need to snap out of it!! I’ve still got 11 weeks of training!
I am running a race this weekend that is sure to be the coldest run yet… The high is 43 and the low is 21. Fun times.
How do you snap out of the funks and get on with training? I need advice people!!! How do you talk yourself into those runs when you aren’t feeling it?
Alright. I’ve gone and done it again. I have officially signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon at the end of February. I am so stoked. I truly love this race. To think about it, totally takes me off guard and almost brings tears to my eyes and the actuality of the accomplishment. My goal this year? To run the whole damn thing. Only stopping to pee, poop, or take a pictures with a princess. WALKING IS NOT ALLOWED.
That’s right. You heard it. Absolutely no walking. I am going to follow a training plan. It starts December 1st. By that time, I need to be able to comfortably run 3-6 miles on a regular basis.
I want to sub 2:45… I have hefty goals for this race. I do not want to have to tell people, “Oh, I didn’t run the whole thing.” I want to say, “Yeah, I ran the whole damn thing.”
I got up this morning, at 5 am… (YES, I FINALLY DID IT!!) I really didn’t want to, but I made myself. And I ran/walked 2 miles… I didn’t pick the best spot to run in the dark. I parked in the Warehouse District here and ran down around the high school and back. It was right at 2 miles. But, There aren’t a lot of sidewalks around there, and a lot of the ones that are, are all jacked up and with crazy overhanging trees that I had to duck under. Also? A good amount of people out! I saw numerous cars, several walkers, a couple of runners, and the CHS track team was getting ready for a run. Crazy.
I am trying my hardest to talk my best friend, Becca, into doing it with me. The feeling of accomplishment is like no other, when you do something that you thought you never could. I don’t want to do this by myself again. I really want a running buddy, but I’ll be okay without one.
Is anyone out there planning to do it??
Minnie and Mickey at the finish line!
What about this guy? He passed me at some point. The back of his shirt said “Running 13.1 miles for a kiss from a Princess.”