Last week I ran the Magic City Half Marathon in Birmingham. (I know, I know. Last week turned a tad crazy on me.)
It was a pretty chilly morning, but was promising for excellent racing weather.
John and Addy came down with me… Claire was with GiGi and they spectated at Railroad Park.
We always have a pretty strong Cullman crew representing at races.
It ended up being delayed about 30 minutes for the Powerade truck not being there yet. But once the start gun went off, I was in good spirits. Donnie was supposed to help pace me, but had been sick like me so we weren’t sure how long we would stay together. He ended up waving me on around mile 5. I was glad that I turned on the virtual pacer on my watch– I really think that helped me stay on track. The miles really flew by and I was just enjoying the race, the people, and the city. They had the 5K people merge with us around mile 6, but by the time I hit them, it was mostly walkers and I wasn’t a fan of that at all. My hip started protesting me around mile 9, but I was still in good spirits mentally. As I made the turn into one of the loops, I saw Shannon not far behind the 2:00 pacer and I didn’t think she was going to be able to pull out her sub 2 hour goal. Honestly? This is the worst loop in a race. I really hate when races loop. You never know how far ahead those people are who are turning out. As I turned out, I could the 2:20 pacer close behind me, and just thought, “Stay in front of her. Stay in front of her.” But it took a lot out of me to cross the overpass over the railroad tracks. The 2:20 pacer ended up passing me around 12.5 and I just didn’t have it in me anymore. My foot had started to go numb and my hip was screaming at me.
I saw my family at the finish line, and I high fived the girls, but they ended up running out with me. I finished in 2:20:30. A 12 minute PR. Not too shabby. I certainly shouldn’t complain about it. But let’s be honest, while I am proud that I was able to shave that much time off my half marathon time, and only trained for about a month, I am a little peeved I couldn’t pull a sub 2:20 out of it. But I know I left it all out there on the course and had nothing else to give.
My dad took some pictures… I am not looking like I am having a good time.
After the race… I look like I am about to die.
Quite possibly the best race picture ever… and totally worth every penny I paid for it.
I blame Megan. It’s all her fault for asking me about upcoming Fall races. When I told her I didn’t have any, I could feel her judging me through Twitter. Okay, not really. But, the guilt set in. There was no reason I couldn’t squeeze one more in.. the strength training and cross training that I have been doing has made me a stronger runner and I have been running with strong partners as well.
On a race a couple of weeks ago, Shannon and I were discussing running another half. Magic City (formerly known as Ruben Studdard) fit into both Alabama and Tennessee’s football schedule.
So the training craze has started. My hip flexor is upset about things, and I was worried about essentially doubling my mileage overnight, but my body remembers what to do. I’ve also had a little bit of numbness in the arch of my foot. It’s not all the time, and it doesn’t hurt, just a tad worrisome since I’ve never had a problem with it.
So, I guess I better get started on those long runs…
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.
Some time last week, my friend Ashley and I were discussing our next races on the Twitter. I told her I was sort of, maybe, kinda interested in the Ruben Studdard Run, but I didn’t want to pay the entry fee of $70. It falls on a Sunday, after an Alabama home game that we weren’t tailgating for. Sometime during the night, a nice man tweeted me and said that Fleet Feet Sports in Birmingham had been doing giveaway entry fee contests for the race. He informed me in the morning that they were doing one right then so I should enter. It was a Twitter contest.. if anyone knows Twitter, it’s this gal, so I tweeted my “RUN RUBEN” to Fleet Feet and low and behold, I won TWO race bib entries for the race. SWEET!! So, I was getting my wish of running it for free. I offered the other bib to Ashley. So here it is, I will running my 4th (FOURTH? How did THAT happen?!) 15 days after my 3rd that was in Savannah.
I’ve been taking it easy since Savannah, running, but just recovery runs. Nothing major. It takes one day per mile that you raced for your body to recover, so I should be good today. My calves have been feeling a little on the tight side. Not sore or anything, just tight feeling. I took a couple of days off and have been trying to stretch good.
I would like to say that I have no time goals for this race, that I just want to finish. But it’s me. So, I do have a time goal. I want to finish in 2:40 or under. Nothing fancy, just somewhat close to what I did in Savannah. Although, I won’t have my buddies Kelsie or Lindsey with me for moral support.
It’s been pretty cold in the mornings this week, so I am a little lost for what to wear… Of course a skirt, but long sleeve shirt? Short sleeve with gloves? It doesn’t look like it is a corral start, so I am thinking I can just walk up and join the start line whenever it’s time to start. I have a feeling I’m going to be alone in my thoughts on the roads of downtown Birmingham.
This race will also secure my membership to the Half Fanatics. I realize that this might make me a crazy person to most people. Running two half marathons in two weeks is just not normal. But it’s something I want to do and am pretty pumped about attempting it. Don’t think I won’t put a sign on my shirt that says “Second Half Marathon in Two Weeks” Because I am.
Now, what should I wear?? I have a hot pink running skirt, that is a must to wear.
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway.. Today is the LAST Day!
Oh and in case you weren’t a TRUE stalker, I’ve been at my sisters this week, helping her out. She’s got some sort of Big News. Read about it HERE!