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The Half Marathon Recap

Miles Today; 13.1

Miles This Week; 18.2

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You may want to sit back, grab a bowl of popcorn and beer, and get comfortable. This is going to be a long and picture heavy post.

This morning I woke up at 6am. Actually, I was awake since 5am but I forced myself to “sleep” until 5:45. I sat on running blogs until 6am when I finally got up. My first order of business was grabbing my coffee. I decided to do some multitasking and drink my espresso in the shower. I know, crazy. I wanted to give the most amount of time between waking up and the race for the coffee to “do it’s thing” ….i.e. clean out the system.

After the quick and actually useless shower, I got ready. I heard thunder as I was getting ready and kind of freaked. I hadn’t planned for rain. Lucky for me though, I had my Solomon jacket. I broke rule number 1 of running and that’s to NOT wear something new on race day. It worked out OK for me but I was a bit worried. I decided on wearing a visor as well, and again, this was a smart decision. I ate a Honey Stinger waffle and was out the door by 6:30.

Pre-soaked, I had no idea what was in store for me this morning.

When I arrived at the mall it was 7am. I was pretty loose actually from doing a bit of “sticking” in the morning, but I decided to take a quick walk around the mall as a test run for the jacket. I actually ended up not using my Spibelt for my gels and instead threw all my gels and phone into the pockets on my jacket. Again, good decision.

It was so dark out, it was almost weird. Before I took my quick walk I made sure to hit up the porta-potties. Again, good decision. This whole post should just be about my good decisions from the day. The lines got SUPER long as it neared 7:45 ….like, I kid you not there were maybe 100-150 people in line. I was super happy I decided to get that out of the way.

I’m not really sure why but I was shocked at the amount of people at this race. I think they said there were around 1500 runners, and for whatever reason I just can’t fathom what that amount of cars looks like. Evidently, it’s this amount.

After my quick walk it was back to my car to sit and warm up a bit. It was a bit windy and sprinkling and I wanted to take in as much heat as I could. As I sat in the car I contemplated not wearing my jacket ….SO glad I did (more on that later).

I lined up at the start around 7:55. The race began a bit after 8, but nothing crazy late. It was actually different that the other races I’ve ran because there was no National Anthem….we just kind of began advancing forward. Weird. But we were off!

The first mile was all down hill. The race begins in the mall parking lot and the first mile leads down to the trail. I tried my best to stay slow going down and not beat my legs up. This part seemed to go by forever though …and when we hit the bottom of the hill I SWORE we had already done 2 miles. Yeah …not even one mile yet.

That’s how the first few miles felt to me. I felt like I was running much faster than I was and that we were farther along than we were. I specifcally remember looking down at my Garmin at the 2nd mile thinking….wait, only 20 minutes? Really?!

After hitting mile 3 was when it finally hit me that I was running a half marathon. Before this I’ve only done a 5k ….I remember thinking “Well, this sucks.”. I didn’t really HATE the fact I was still running, but the fact I still had nine miles to go was not the best thing in the world. Then another thought popped into my mind ….my fueling. I need to drink water with my Clif shots and GU’s, so I had to wait for the first water stop. I didn’t know when it was …but was praying it was soon because I could already feel myself running out of gas.

Mile 4.5 was the first water stop I used. Except, I accidentally grabbed gatorade. Oops? I didn’t want to drink that and my gel, so I just drank the cup and figured the next stop I would take my gel. It was lemon lime gatorade which I ABSOLUTELY HATE, but for some reason it was like nectar of the gods at this point.

Mile 5-6 was when I was feeling really good. After I took my gel around 6.5 I started really chugging along. Getting to mile 7 seemed as if it took forever though. The course is an out and back so you begin to see the elite runners coming back. I kept trying to see where they were coming from and if it was close …but it just kept dragging on and on and on! Finally I hit the turn around and this is where I began to hit the proverbial wall.

My back was KILLING me and it was obviously from bad form. At this point I allowed myself to walk at all water stops and all mile splits. I would stop, stretch a bit and be on my way. Mile 8.5(???) was the next water stop and I actually took two gatorades. Again, the lemon lime tasted supreme. I wanted more!!! Miles 9-10 were painful and I just wanted more than anything to walk and be done.

And then ….it happened.Β  Torrential downpour.

THIS is why I was happy to have my jacket. The whole race I saw people who had their jackets on prior had ripped them off and thrown them. I kept mine on …I saw the sky, I KNEW something was coming…and it did. At this point I wanted to say “fuck it” and just walk the rest, but I couldn’t let myself do that. I kept thinking “Just a 5k on tired legs, that’s all!!!” It worked until about mile 12.

I kept pace with one other girl for a while who seemed to also be having back issues. She will never know but she got me through the back end of the race. There were puddles inches deep and at points I couldn’t even run on the trail. My jacket was soaked and my socks and shoes were so heavy …yet I kept trudging on.

Mile 12.5 was where I kept thinking HOW am I going to finish. It was only .60 from the finish but I could NOT keep running. I just stared at the ground and counted my steps til the end. Finally, at 2:33:44 , I passed the finish. I actually passed the first pad and walked to the second. I was so out of it ….I grabbed my medal, two gatorades and headed for the bus pick up station.

I was actually so out of it I forgot to get my chip taken off, oops!

I also forgot to shut my garmin off at the end …I actually let it go for the duration of the walk to the bus….oops! But I WAS DONE!!!! The worst part was walking to the busses. While I understand the premise and why it was necessary to walk, IT STILL SUCKED! I Just ran 13.1 miles, I don’t want to walk ANYMORE than I need to !!!! Haha. The bus also didn’t smell wonderful either, but oh well!

Awful, awful AWFUL pacing, but I was just glad none of my miles ever hit 13 minutes. I FELT like I was running 10s after the 6th miles, but boy was I wrong!!!

When we got back to the starting area it was actually kind of dead. That was the sad part of this race is that everyone kind of cleared out since it had been pouring. I actually didn’t even get a picture out there because I was so cold and needed to change. That’s another thing, I was reaaaaaaally hoping for those space blankets (I read from those in the past they don’t give them out so I didn’t hope for much) But boy did we need them today … I was shivering the entire walk to my car!

But I did it! My first half marathon, and while it was tough, I will definetly be doing another one! I just simply cannot imagine a better feeling than crossing that finish line today. On more than one occasion I thought of my celebratory Blue Moon and sushi that was awaiting me.

Icing time, take 1!

Assuming my favorite post-LR position; leg drain on the wall!

Post run foodage …Blue moon and sushi with Miso. MMMMMM!!!!

Jordan also ran a half marathon, he was very sleepy.

And that was my show. I had a great time, will totally be back next year if time permits …Weirdest of all, I can call myself a half marathoner. Hope you all had a great Saturday!

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Taper Twosday

Miles Today; 2

Miles This Week; 5.1

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Get it? Taper? And I ran 2 Miles? On a Tuesday? …….*crickets*

Good Tuesday everyone! I for one had a great one at work. Went by super quick, which is just what you need after a good long weekend.

Side note, you should check out this video to see yours truly at 1:46 finishing the race! πŸ™‚

So today I set out for an easy two miles. This is my last run before the marathon so I wanted to take it a bit easy, but also push myself a little. Does that make sense? Basically …I wanted to go out fast and see how fast I could kick it for the first mile and whatever I managed the way back was fine with me, as long as I kept running.

I was super thirsty and forgot my water bottle (JK that’s a lie, my handheld I packed up in my boxes for moving. STUPID!) so I decided to run the path on the trail towards a water fountain. Since I was SUPER thirty I somehow made it down there in 9:14. I looked down at my watch at one point and saw I was at 7:59! I didn’t FEEL like I was going that fast. Amazing what we can do when we don’t think, right?

Anyways, after stopping for some H20 I made the trek back. This was a different story in terms of feel. My left thigh started rubbing and it was not painful but it was an annoyance. I thought at first it was the drawstrings but they were outside my pants. Long story short, when I got back I found out it was a spider bite. BOO! The mile back I ended up running in 10:00 flat. I’ll take that. I was actually pretty spent from the run because I hadn’t eaten since 2pm and practically drank no water at work today. For shame! How dare I call myself a runner.

I honestly love this trail so much. However, it’s really hard for me to believe this is my last run before the half marathon. Just a few months ago I decided to give it a shot, and here I am just days away! To say I’m not proud of myself, I’d be lying. I will be even more proud when I pass that finish line Saturday morning. I CAN do this ….this little girl who kept getting stress fractures anytime she did sorts of physical activity rose above all that, ran injury free AND accomplishing more than I thought I could. Part of me thinks a full marathon is something in my future ………buttttttttttttt lets not count our chickens before they hatch, eh?

It’s crazy how we can accomplish something if we put our minds to it. To think, back in march I thought to myself “Eh, Couch to 5k ….why not” ….and here I am. Sorry to get all emotional and stuff but this is some crazy stuff, running your first “big race”. I am pumped. Packet pickup is Thursday and I can’t waaaaaaaait!!! Oh Saturday, hurry please.

Got home and stretched out a bit while enjoying some fruits n@.

Jordan needed a good stretch too.

And I’m off to carboload on some spaghetti ….like whoa. I think this is my favorite part of the training πŸ™‚

Labor Day Pup Walk

Since I ran yesterday (and pretty hard, to be honest) I decided that as MUCH as I wanted to run today, I would hold back and just go for a walk. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and take this mutt with me;

I walked the same trail that I ran the 5K on yesterday, and we ended up walking 2.25 miles. It was packed with bikers and runners because of the Labor Day holiday, but everyone seemed to be cheered up just a bit by his smiling face. It made me feel good that I was in some way helping them through their workouts. I know when I run I absolutely love watching the dogs taking walks.

Jordan’s favorite part about this trail is the river. He wasted no time in taking me to his first river spot. We didn’t spend much time there because I actually fell trying to get down and I got pissed off. So we got back on the trail.

There’s an even bigger opening down farther on the path where all the crew boats sit. I also think it’s home to Three Rivers Rowing. We spent about 20 minutes down here and he enjoyed swimming and saying hi to kayak’ers by.

I had about enough after three or four shakeoffs from Jordan. I was soaked from head to toe and smelled like nasty river water. I think Jordan was spent too because he started crying and laid down in the river after a bit. Such a baby.

I wore my Take a Step 5K shirt from the June race and a runner recognized it and told me he had ran it this year as well. Since he was running I didn’t really catch his name, but that was pretty sweet! I also wore my spibelt to carry all of Jordan’s treats and poopbags. Now that’s going to smell like Milkbones for the Half on Saturday πŸ™‚

After a mile walk back to the car we were done! I was covered in sweat and soggy river water. Getting out of my soaked shoes couldn’t come soon enough.

Tired pup! I hope you all have a nice, relaxing Labor Day!

First Sub 30 5k – Steelers 5k!

Miles Today; 3.1

Miles This Week; 3.1

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5K Number 3 is in the books!

I had a BLAST at the Gatorade/Steelers 5K. It was awesome to walk in and around the stadium and see so many past steelers and steelers fans! And ….I broke my goal for this race of running a sub 30 5k!

Chip times were announced and my time was 28:58!

Salty Face

Miles Today; 4

Miles This Week; 4

Tune of the Run; Katy Perry – Wide Awake

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Happy Monday all! I for one had an incredibly hectic Monday. Learning a new job while still having all the responsibilities of the old (and THEN some) is already taking it’s toll on me. I’ll handle it though, I actually enjoy being busy.

All the stress of the day really put me in the mood to run. I think I’ve finally tricked my mind into enjoying a run after a stressful day. I drove down to the riverside trail by my house and started on my four miles.

Enjoying the AC …for now.

I had a dilemma and that was that I was thirsty, and I forgot to fill up my water bottle before I left work. So the route I wanted to take was out since there were no fountains ….so I ended up running the opposite direction to a bathroom that had a fountain. I was really thirsty so I made it there in about 10 minutes, which was a whole mile. I was kind of shocked because I wasn’t even breathing hard.

I had intended on filling my bottle and running back towards the trail I wanted to hit, but instead kept going the same way I was headed to make it another mile and turn around. I ran the next mile through some woods and seriously think I swallowed every gnat in sight. Gross.

At the turn around I was still feeling pretty good so I sped up a bit to see how I’d feel. I honestly didn’t look at my Garmin unless it beeped the mile mark. By the time I had hit 3 miles and the bathroom I was home free.

I almost ran into two crew boats though, that was comical (not).

Before I knew it I was back at my car!

I still wore my compression socks to be safe. They were slightly sore this morning and my feet get cold at work anyways so it was win win πŸ™‚

When I was done, my face was EXTREMELY tight. I don’t normally wash my face before I run (I know, I know bad to run in makeup) …but it normally ends up oily, not dry. I looked at my face in my car window and I had STREAKS of white coming down my face ….sweet saltiness. I took a cue from that and am sipping on some GU Brew πŸ™‚

I’m kind of pissed I couldn’t run it in 40 minutes flat, but I’ll get there.

Other than that it was a great run. I’ve been having great luck with good runs lately, cross your fingers that it stays thisΒ  way! I’m off to ice and stretch, and maybe some core work if I’m crazy.