Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Top 3 Marathon Posters and The Beer Stand

I made a point when running the marathon to watch the people cheering and read the signs they made. I was out there to have fun, after all. So here are my top 3 posters (that I can remember)

#3 "Chuck Norris never ran a marathon"

this wasn't the actual sign holder..taken from here

#2 "Press Here for Turbo Charge" The sign had a big yellow circle that damn near every person smacked, including me!

#1 "Go ahead a poop your pants, I just did." This one was held up by a lady and her baby. I actually laughed out loud to this one.

There was also a beer stand. I completely forgot to mention this is my race recap, but it deserves attention! At mile 24, there was a beer stand. A group of people was handing out shots of beer! There was a man with a microphone shouting inspirations and announcing that he had beer for all. Bless you, sweet man. Had I thought I could down the beer without throwing up, I would have taken some. Sadly, I passed but really enjoyed the entertainment.

I imagine this guy was probably there

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Race Recap

Disclaimer...there are a LOT of pictures in this post. And it's really long.

We (by we I mean me, Joel, Kara, and Joel's momma) piled in the car and left bright and early on Friday morning for Memphis. -Side story: Joel was born in Memphis and his mom's best friend lives there so she hitched a ride.-

I'm ready with my bags and wine :)
We dropped off Joel's momma and went straight to the expo at the Cook Convention Center.

find your name and remember your bib number
get your bib

I grabbed my bib, goodie bag, and t-shirt. They set up a huge St. Judes booth near the bib pick-up, before you could see the rest of the expo. Clever strategy and for a worthy cause! I enjoyed the other vendors too. Lots of samples. Got me some local chocolate milk!!

After the expo, we headed to Michelle and Will's house. I've known Michelle since middle school (I'll see if I can dig up some proof..we had some serious swag..heh) and she and her hubs (Will) moved to Memphis almost 1 year ago. It was a great way to see them and use them as a cheering squad ;)

Anyways, carb load, chug water, and sleep later, it was race day! 5:30am wake up call!! I did my usual pre-long-run-day breakfast (oatmeal, banana, some sort of nut butter, and green tea) and got dressed. The forecast had changed a million times and ended up being much warmer that my recent training weeks. Glad I brought an obnoxious pair of shorts "just in case". My race day outfit was supposed to be bright and obnoxious so my friends could find me in 18,000 people. Glad I could still wear my highlighter shirt for a bit.

We headed to the race at 6:30ish am. I managed to forget my watch and could NOT run 26 miles without it. We turned around but were still downtown Memphis by 7:00am. (I realized later that I also forgot my extra GU). We cheered on the 7:30am 5k starters while Will parked the car. I'm glad we got there early enough to be stress free before the race start. Plenty of time to find a potty for last minute business! And take pics

I look like I already ran the race
starting to freak out a bit

7:45am came and went, and it was time to get in my corral (10ish min mile pace). Joel walked me over while the rest of the crew scouted a place to watch. The race started at 8am and I was in the 7th corral so I had another 15ish minutes to get really nervous.

getting in my corral
yes, the girl on the left is laughing at me

Finally, we start the race! My race crew was amazing! They caught me right out of the gate. Apparently I was really excited to be running. Probably the best running picture of me to date.

I'm a looker

Miles 1-3 were great. I was keeping an easy breathing pace. It helps that Memphis is flat. Mile 2 was a little crazy down by the river. The street was narrow and there were waaaaay too many people trying to fit. I was happy when it opened back up.

Mile 4 we came back up a teeny hill towards Beale Street. There were so many people cheering us on! I saw my friends again!! Surprise! We had discussed crossing paths twice during the day - once at the half-way mark and at the end. It was great to see them and all of the support for St. Jude in the city!

still super happy

Miles 5-9 were still good. Nothing crazy to report. Keeping things comfortable. Lots of music and people around. Grabbed my first GU at mile 9.

Miles 10-12 were still pretty flat. At this point we were headed back downtown. I took a walk break in mile 12 to remove my bib and all 4 safety pins from the highlighter shirt and pin them to the tank I was wearing underneath.  It was getting warm and I knew I could drop it at mile 13 with my sag crew. And running while using sharp objects seemed like a bad idea.

Mile 13 I was on target for a sub 4:20 finish even with my little walk and feeling great! We split from the 1/2 marathon crowd just before mile 13 marker and the runners really thinned out but I knew my sag crew was close! I could hear my friends before I could see them! That's how great they were! That and Will's voice carries like no man I have ever heard.

here friends, take my shirt

Mile 14 took us on a U-ie. We basically ran a few blocks down, over one, and then back up a parallel street.  Surprise #2!! The crew had walked one block over to cheer me on more! Joel jumped in and ran with me for 5 minutes or so. It was really nice to get that fun break with him!  Just after Joel turned around, I got a bug in my eye. I felt the thing fly in and messed with it a little. I didn't want to end up pulling out my contacts and figured I was imagining things, so I left it alone. Only to find it still in there after the race. Gross. 

Miles 15-19 took us away from downtown and the cheering sections and support was lacking. We still had GU and water stops fully supported (thanks to all the amazing volunteers!) but my mental game was forced to kick in. These miles were on a slight incline. My legs were starting to really feel the fatigue.

Mile 20 was near Rhodes College so there were frats out helping with water stops and cheering. I was told I had a nice ass by a frat boy. Cracked me up but helped a little with the motivation.

Mile 21 was the 4th GU station, and man I needed it! I hit mile 21 and all the muscles in my legs started to burn! 

Miles 22-23 I thought I was going to have to stop or die. I was running really slowly at this point and I was getting delirious. The road was bouncing with me. I decided I should take the powerade instead of water at the next couple of water stops. Then an angel caught me! The pacer group that was behind me passed me. It was the 4:25 group. The pacers were super perky and grabbing everyone they could to help them through the last few miles. Only a 5k left, only a 5k left! They pulled me for about a mile.

Mile 24 I was feeling better and pulled in front of the pacers for the last 2 miles. They gave me my second wind!

Mile 25 I just kept repeating "I can do anything for a mile".

Mile 26 push to the finish!!

I did it!!!
my results! 
After the finish, I went straight for the food and my friends! Joel was really excited and wanted pictures.

pose for a picture...fine
do something else....ok
one more...Joel stop taking pictures

Thanks to my amazing race crew for supporting me through the whole thing!! Couldn't have finished without you guys! 

Michelle, Joel, me, Kara, and Will

Joel also took some recovery pictures to round out the day...

food, shower, sweatpants, then ice
Neyland, the dog-bear, helped

Monday, December 3, 2012

Recap: week 18 of marathon training plus MARATHON!

Helloooooo last week of training!!

Monday: supposed to be a 4 mile run at the gym but the treadmills were all taken! Did the elliptical for 40 min and walked for 10. Bad idea
Tuesday: worked in Nashville for the day and was feeling knee pain so I stretched
Wednesday: ran 2 with Ari..he was being a jerk and there was knee pain. cue nerves!!
Thursday: rest day/pack!
Friday: rest day/drive to Memphis/expo/carb load
Saturday: ran the St. Jude's Memphis Marathon!!! I finished in 4:23!!  

yay! I'm done!!!

Sunday: rest/drive home

I will give a full recap of race day and some tips I've come up with during the week. Stay tuned.

Oh yeah, and there was this guy...

mah buddy Neyland

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Marathon Week Inspiration

As the week of anticipation builds, I turn to pinterest for marathon inspiration.

found this gem
Ari would probably say the same thing...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Recap: week 17 of marathon training

We are down to 5 days!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday: rest day
Tuesday: 4 mile trail run with the little Indian and the dogs. Man I've missed trail running. Felt good to be out there!
Wednesday: had a 6 mile run on the schedule but it didn't happen...see Thursday. Also, sat in a car for 5 hours on the way to NC (should have been a 4 hour drive...thank you Thanksgiving traffic).
Thursday: Thanksgiving! I ran 4 miles (had 3 on the schedule) and my uncle convinced me to walk and talk for a bit with him. 5.5 miles later of speed walking, I had 9.5 miles under my belt. Turkey earned!

Thanksgiving spearmint, cinnamon, clove, chamomile tea..mmmm mm

Friday: ate bacon and drove home from NC.
Saturday: Ran 8 miles, spectated at Joel's cyclocross race, and spent time with high school friends. I've missed them!

beautiful day for a race
Sunday: Ran errands like no-body's biznas.

With the weak of the race going quickly, I am all over some inspiration. The Non-Runner's Marathon Guide for Women is hilarious. The passage below made me laugh and stuck with me!

perks of marathon training

Monday, November 19, 2012

Recap: week 16 of marathon training

We are down to 11 days!!! Since I went a little too hard last week, my knee has been acting up. I decided to play it safe this week.

Monday: rest day!
Tuesday:  Yoga focused on stretching
Wednesday: hit the road bike on the trainer for 45 mins - my biking legs are not with me anymore :(
Thursday: ran on the treadmill for the first time in years. still not a fan. and I kept hitting the emergency stop button on accident, so I have no idea how far or how long I ran :/

see that GIANT button? how could you not hit it??

Friday: Sushi with my baybay and fell asleep on the couch watching a movie..very eventful Friday night
Saturday: Ran 12 miles on one of my fav greenways. Such a beautiful day! That same greenway is attached to trails. Joel took Ari mountain biking while I ran. pretty sweet deal.

oh hey crazy pants

can't complain too much on a day like this

worn out Ari makes sure the important end is supported

Sunday: did touch-ups all day at the close to being ready to put on the market!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Recap: week 15 of marathon training

Let me just start out by saying holy shit..I ran 40 miles this week!

Monday: rest day..aka spent the day trying to find a place for all of my junk/dishes

Tuesday: ran 5 miles on a sidewalk near the house since it's well lit. toooo much traffic. won't be doing that one again.

Ari was left alone for 30 mins...this is what I came home to

Wednesday: ran 5 on the flat part on one of the greenways. felt great! Then had a nice dinner with Joel for his bday!
Thursday: ran 10 from UT. This was the worst run I have ever ever ever been on. The weather was actually quite nice but I managed to eat carrots/hummus about an hour before running. That was dumb. I had to keep stopping because I thought I was going to vomit everywhere! Remind me never to do that again!
Friday: Rest day!
Saturday: Hit 2 milestones: 1. ran 20 miles!!! holy guacamole! ran them on the Greenbelt in Maryville (the next little town over...also where my momma lives). The weather got into the 70s by the time I finished...beautiful!! 2. Shot my first snot rocket!! woop woop!! I now feel like a badass! Except I stopped to do it and no one was around. eh details. Then campfire time at the house for bday celebration. Nothin like beer and smores by a fire! Unfortunately no pics :(
Sunday: went hiking with some friends for more Joel's birthday week celebration. We had fun but this pushed me over the edge. Let taper begin!!!

Ari and Mylo can't wait to hike!
JB's hearty breakfast
photo bomb a la Ari..had to make this large bc the look on Ari's face
lots of ups and downs
taking in the views
from Mt. Mitchell area, NC
Shannon, JB, Joel and I
people friends
pooch friends
all hiking pics photo credit to JB

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Recap: week 14 of marathon training

This week is a hard one for me. Disclaimer...lots of words in this recap.

Monday: sports massage (this was the easy part of the week, obviously)

Tuesday: ran 4 miles (was supposed to run 5 but somehow read the wrong week's mileage). I took Ari to a park we visit frequently for this run. He ran off leash for a while and needed it. About a mile from the car, he spotted a critter of some sort and took off after it. He does this often but comes back quickly. This time he ran way off in the brush to where I couldn't see him. I shouted and watched and shouted and watched. No Ari. So I sprinted the last mile back to the car as it was starting to get dark. I jumped in and drove around shouting Ari's name. Still no Ari. Luckily a road crosses the greenway about 100 yards from where Ari took off. So I could drive back with headlights. My mom, stepdad, and friend all came out to help look. They brought flashlights and jackets (it was freezing). Joel was in class but left when I told him Ari was missing. So..long story longer..about 1.5 hours after taking off, Ari was found. My Indian friend that I run with often and dogsits on a regular basis, JB, drove up while the rest of us were down the greenway shouting and clapping for Ari. Apparently Ari had made his way back to that spot where the road crosses the greenway and was growling at a couple (not at all typical for him). Then he tried to bite JB. JB made the call and thank goodness Ari was found!!!! I didn't notice until we got home, but he had either been in a fight with another animal or had gotten into a fence. He looked really beat up. Talk about emotional day.

Wednesday: Ran 5 miles with Joel and Ari (who was still acting off) for Halloween. Then we curled up to watch Hocus Pocus! One of my all time favs! After, we were getting ready for bed and I tried to squat. My right knee was completely swollen and I could hardly bend it! What?? I've never had knee issues. It didn't even hurt!

Dressed up the trouble maker as punishment 

He didn't care..he just wanted to sleep

Thursday: Knee was still swollen and out of fear of destroying myself so close to race day, I took the day off.
Friday: Iced the hell out of the knee.
Saturday: Ran a very slow 14 miles on the greenway.
Sunday: Made the big move!! I officially live with Joel! Wooooo!!!

Super emotional week. Here's to hoping this week is less emotional and little more fun!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

2012 Baltimore Running Festival

Overall the 2012 Baltimore Running Festival was pretty amazing! Huge success in my book! They've put this event on for several years and have worked out most of the kinks. I will take you through our experience:

Expo! The expo was held at the Raven's Stadium and was very well organized. We got there around lunchtime and there was a smooth flow of traffic. There were tons of freebies and vendors and we hardly had to wait in line to get our shirts. The race shirts were purple this year for the half-marathon. They are tech material Underarmour t-shirts and super lightweight. They had a women's cut (thank you AU!) that is pretty flattering with a wider neckline. I have since run in it a couple of times and it's overall pretty swanky.

outside the expo (near the finish line)

we got skills
Joel and I took it easy the rest of the day and found an Italian place in walking distance to carb load the night before the race. I had spinach gnocchi. So good!

Saturday! Race day!! I woke up ready to run! I get a tad excited on race day..esp if I have friends running with me! I woke Joel up with excitement (he wasn't quite as excited as I was) and we got ready to race! It was CHILLY out but there were no clouds. Thank goodness for drop-bags. We bundled up for the walk down, dropped our bags, and headed to the start line. I have to give them credit, the line for the drop bags was pretty efficient. The line was really long by the time we were done but I hear it moved quickly. And there were tons of porta potties. You can tell 2012 wasn't their first rodeo.

We got to the start of the half (it had it's own location due to the # of runners) and this is where my only complaint comes in to play. Coming from the drop-bag area (near finish line), we had to cross over the full marathoner's course. Our start was their halfway point, but we were separated for 3 miles and then converged until the finish. The marathoners started at 8am and we started at 9:45am. So many of the runners were coming through while we weaved through them to get to our start line. Thousands of half runners had to cut off the full runners. I would not have been pleased as a full runner. At any rate, that is my only complaint. 

We started in the 2nd wave and did lots of weaving in the beginning. After 3ish miles, the weaving was at a minimum but there were still plenty of people. The roads were wide with plenty of room to get around. The support on the race was serious! Water stops pretty much every mile after the first 2 or 3. They were well prepared! I somehow missed the powerbar station but had taken GU anyways...tends to treat me better.

The route was surprisingly hilly - long and gradual hills, but the community support was awesome! There were rarely times when people weren't on the sidelines cheering us on! Hands down, my favorite section of the race was through the hood. People were banging pots and pans together cheering us on! They showed some runner love in any way they could! 

I hit a bit of a wall around mile 7, slammed my GU and was back at it around mile 9. Joel was amazing and stayed with me the whole time. We ran his first half together...awwww. I was going to suggest holding hands when we crossed the finish line, but I was far too focused on my PR. Was not going to waste 10 seconds trying to get our hands together.

We pushed hard the last 1.5 miles and smashed my old time! Poor Joel had knee problems (which is why he slummed it to run with me) and suffered through the last few miles. But he hung in there and finished!! 

PR baby! Those are Joel's legs behind me

The after party was pretty well organized other than the food line. We somehow ended up waiting almost an hour to get food. I'm not really sure how that happened. We got 2 beer tickets and food and space blankets. There were food vendors and a band playing for entertainment afterwards. The metals were pretty great too! They were purple with Maryland crabs!


We found Lisa not long after we finished and partied it up with her for a while. This was her first half marathon and she rocked it!! All in all, I had an awesome experience and would gladly do this run again.

Joel, me, and Lisa! 
On a side note, my heart goes out to the NYC runners and coordinators for this weekend! Good luck to all!

My stats:
DistanceHALF MAR
Clock Time2:01:45
Chip Time1:54:36
Overall Place2124 / 10230
Gender Place744 / 5937
Division Place204 / 1434
Age Grade57.4%
5 8M0:51:35
6 9M1:01:25