Archive | April, 2012

Illinois 1/2 marathon – 4/28/2012

29 Apr

I would say my trip to Illinois was a great success. Lots of bondi band love was spread and a I have a new 1/2 marathon PR! The Illinois marathon is a top notch event. I would probably say it is one of my favorite races I’ve run besides my Disney races. The community really goes all out to make sure this event is a success, more about that later though.

Thursday and Friday were expo days for me. This was the longest expo I’d ever worked, and this was also the first time I was running the event  after working the expo. I wasn’t sure how my legs would hold up being on my feet so much, but I was determined to give it my best effort after last weekends 1/2 marathon fail.

Luckily Thursday was a short expo day, because I was already tired from driving to Illinois and having to set up before the expo started. I always love talking to other runners, it makes the time go by so quickly. Before I knew it the expo was closed, and I was able to relax at the hotel a little that night. Friday was a Looooooong day. The expo was open for 11 hours, then I had to pack everything up afterwards. Luckily it was super busy all day long, so 11 hours felt a lot shorter. I tried to at least lean on a chair when I got the chance so I could save my legs a little, but it was so busy that I didn’t get much of a chance to rest. Being on my feet wasn’t so bad, but all the squatting and bending over were what really made my legs ache. My legs were definitely tired by the time I got back to the hotel that evening. I finished up a few things at the hotel, then laid out my race stuff and hit the sack because my alarm was set to go off 7 hours later. Of course I tossed and turned for awhile, so I have no idea how much sleep I actually got.

When my alarm went off race morning I felt pretty good. It was raining when I got dressed, so I put on a layer of throw away clothes to wear before the start. Luckily by the time I got to the race the rain had stopped, but it was still a chilly wait in the corrals. One reason I loved this race was the fact that several radio stations had a pre-marathon show broadcasting that morning. It was great since I had a 30ish minute drive to the race, it really helped me to get excited about running! Everything was really organized in the starting line area. There were corrals based on time, and your bib had a letter on it based on what your estimated finish time was. There wasn’t anyone checking to make sure you ended up in the right place, but I didn’t have to weave around anyone after the start, so I think most people stuck to their proper corrals. I decided since I was feeling good to start with the 2:05 pace group. I’d heard the course was flat, but I didn’t know how my legs would feel running. I decided to drop back when I couldn’t hold the pace anymore. Another reason this race was awesome was because there were spectators everywhere. Usually there will be some spectators at the start and finish, maybe a few places in between, but there were people everywhere on this course. Usually I feel like a nuisance for others when I’m in a race because the road is closed and the people waiting to get across seem annoyed to be waiting for all the runners. I didn’t feel like that at all during this race. The community really seemed to embrace the event, and a lot of people were cheering in their front yards, or had signs in front of their house for runners. I stayed with the 2:05 pace group for the first 4 miles, but had to drop them at the second water station when I took a GU. I love the smart pace teams in KC because they stop at water stops so we can get a drink, not so for the pace teams here. There was no stopping, and I haven’t mastered the art of taking a gu while running. I ended up keeping a really good pace on my own. I passed the 10k time mat in less than an hour and was still feeling strong. It helped a lot that the course was super flat. Hills really throw a wrench in my pacing, so not having to slow down  throughout helped me keep a nice steady pace. Around mile 10 my legs started to show signs that they were tired from the expo. To add insult to injury, the GPS function on my watch was being wonky, so I had no idea about my pace for the last 3 miles. I know I slowed down, but at every mile I was doing the math in my head to figure out if I had a chance to PR. At mile 12 I had just over 12 minutes to make it to the finish if I was going to PR. I wanted to run fast, but my legs wouldn’t have it. My feet were barely clearing the ground and I even managed to trip and fall over nothing at mile 12.5. I wish the end was more of a straight shoot because there were so many turns, I started to get discouraged looking at my watch because I didn’t know if I was going to make it in time. I had pushed so hard during the race, I would have been pretty devastated if I missed a PR by a few seconds. When I finally saw the finish, I looked at my watch and it was at 2:09, so I sprinted like my life depended on it. I crossed the finish line exhausted, but on cloud 9 for having pushed so hard and setting a new PR. My official chip time was 2:09:13 which translates to a 9:52 pace. A few minutes after I finished the marathon winner finished as well. We finished inside the U of I stadium, and the spectators and runners went crazy for him, it gave me goosebumps being there, such a neat experience!

After the race the food area had pizza and some other food, but I opted for just the banana. I usually love pizza, but wasn’t feeling it after running so hard. While walking back to my car I passed a tent with the official race gear. I didn’t get a chance to check it out during the expo since I was working, so I glanced quickly before going to my car. They had 4-5 of the race jackets left, and I’d been wanting a new one. Most were XS, but there was exactly one left in my size, so I took that as a sign that I was supposed to buy it. I even got $10 off because I didn’t have exact change, and they didn’t have change.

The race swag was great too. The official shirt was a brooks shirt which came in a nice bag.

I’m out of room on my medal hanger, I’ve had to resort to hanging medals off the letters now.

One final picture because it’s so stinking cute. My nephew wanted to try on one of my bondi bands then asked to wear a medal. He’s definitely a future runner in training.

Illinois definitely a great race, I hope I can run it again next year!

Advertisements

playing catch up

23 Apr

I just came to check out my upcoming races and realized it’s been way too long since I’ve updated. I’ve run 4 races since my last post… In my defense, I did start a RNR USA post awhile back that got deleted. Since I’ve been super busy, and don’t see that changing anytime soon, I’m going to do super brief recaps of the races I’ve done since my last post. Hopefully I can get back into remembering to post right after races so I don’t get so behind again, but I make no promises. My spring/racing schedule is rather crazy, and it’s just getting started!

Rock N’ Roll USA – March 17th

I signed up for this race last October at the RNR St. Louis expo for a steal. It was my first non-Disney race that I really had to travel to. Having my parents living right outside of DC for me to stay with made this race super affordable, all I paid was the race registration and airfare! Being an inaugural race for RNR, I wasn’t sure how smoothly things would go. There were only a couple kinks that I noticed that were more an annoyance than a problem. First, the volunteers in the corrals were letting everyone walk up into earlier corrals that they weren’t assigned. There was literally no one checking bibs, which I’m used to running at Disney, then the rope that was supposed to separate corrals was on the ground, not in the air.  I opted to stay in my assigned corral, but moved to the front in order to start without a crowd with people my pace. The other ‘kink’ probably wasn’t the races fault and is probably just typical of larger races. There were some seriously tight parts on the course where I literally had to stop and walk because it was so crowded. Some areas were unavoidable but it was annoying to be so crowded on roads that had another side closed to traffic and runners. If there are 2 extra lanes on the other side of the median closed to traffic, why do you not let runners over there to run? I was so on pace to at least meeting my PR for the first half of the race, but once it started getting too crowded to maintain my pace I knew I wouldn’t be able to make up lost time. I’m still thrilled with my time since I hadn’t trained at a fast pace, but it’s annoying to think I could have done better without the crowds. Tis the life of a middle of the pack runner I suppose…

Diva Dash 5k – March 24th

I ran this race last year the weekend after the princess 1/2, and it was absolutely freezing for the race. This year the weather was much nicer, and the number of participants probably quadrupled! Still a great race this year. I love getting to wear my Team Sparkle skirt for races, so this female only race seemed like a great chance to do so in KC. I’m not really into running 5k’s much anymore since I started longer distance running. I ended up only having 5k’s to choose from when I had to transfer my Rock the Parkway registration.

Ruckus KC – March 31

before

after

This was my first obstacle/ mud race of any kind, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I totally understand why you have to sign a waiver to run, some of the obstacles seemed more dangerous than hard. I think my bib lasted about 2 obstacles before I had to pick it up of the ground and repoke holes in it. The race was fun, but I did it solo and most others were with groups. I’m not sure I’ll do many more of these races in the future. For less than an hour of fun the price is too much for me. I understand it takes a long time to set up the course, which justifies the price, but it’s just not my favorite thing…

Garmin 1/2 Marathon – April 21

This should have been a great race for me. The weather was perfect, the course was fast, and I had a pace team to run with (love them!) Unfortunately mother nature had other ideas because of my brilliant hydration strategy. I was feeling great the first three miles pace wise, but had to take a quick stop at the porta potty by mile 3 and again two more times during the race. The porta potties were few and far between and I probably spent a good 25 minutes waiting in line total during the race! Sometimes I wish I was a male that doesn’t care about doing their business in public. By mile 9 I had to stop and finish the race walking because I was so uncomfortable. I hated that I wasn’t tired, and really wanted to run but couldn’t. The course was perfect! I definitely plan to come back next year and own this course!

 

It seems like I’ve been busy racing already this spring, but it’s about to get a lot busier! I have 4 1/2’s in the next 6 weeks (including 2 race expos for bondi band.) The weekends I’m not racing I’m either out of town, or running a 5k with my GOTR girls! I’ll be excited when summer gets here so I can have a little break, but I have my eye on a couple 1/2’s still that I haven’t signed up for, including a trail 1/2! I have 13 more 1/2’s to run in the next year if I’m going to make it to my 25 1/2’s by my 25th birthday, so I’m trying to take advantage of all the local running I can do!