Saturday, June 29, 2013

I Got Lucky In TN - Part 2

So in Part 1, I blogged about the days leading up to my 13th marathon, the Asphalt Jackal. I did all the things you are not supposed to do before a marathon - stay on your feet all day, eat bad stuff, and don't drink a lot of water - but I knew this wasn't going to be a fast marathon so I didn't worry too much about it. 

Who knows, maybe I tried to sabotage myself in some way to make it as bad as it could be. Truth be told, I was really nervous and even offered to do the relay with Clark so I wouldn't have to run the whole thing. And damn Josh told me I didn't have to run it. I don't know, maybe he was nervous about me running it too. 

Whatever. I'd signed up for it and I was going to do it. 

But I really, really did not want a DNF. :( I felt like if I had one more DNF, especially now with all the crappy races I've had, that it would be the straw that broke the Coyote's back and I'd be done with racing. For good.

I love racing. I really do. I love the atmosphere and the excitement and going to new places and meeting new people. It's fun. Until my race goes to hell and then I'm frustrated and tired and trying to cover it all up because there's no whining in running. 

So my race was on.

I woke up at 5 on Monday and ate breakfast and got ready for the race. And must have gone to the restroom 6 times before I left for Pinson Mounds, where the race would be held. That's how nervous I was. I packed up all my stuff and threw it in the car and checked out and headed down to the race. It was about a 30 min drive there and luckily wasn't too hard to find. We waited for the park ranger to open the gates and then drove in to the picnic area that Josh had rented for us. 

I helped set stuff up and hand out bibs and shirts again while I finished getting ready for my race. It helped to stay busy and catch up with friends to keep me from dwelling too much. We got together for our pre-race pic:
And then we were off!

Pinson Mounds is a state archaeological park and the inner Indiana Jones in me loved the idea of running there. We would be running on one of the paved trails in the park and about half the course was shaded. We would be running 9 loops of the course. This is what the course was like:

The first 4 loops, I did pretty well. I ran most of it and tried to take as little time as possible during my stops at the aid station. It was pretty and not too, too hot but very humid. I thought I might actually have a decent time out there. As I came in for each loop, I filled my water bottle and had either a slice or two of frozen orange (totally like having an orange popsicle and my new favorite race food) or some potato with salt. I was also taking an Scap every 3 miles starting with mile 7 (I'd had one before the race).

I thought I was in good shape until I headed out for loop 5 when my stomach went majorly south and I had to walk for a while to let it settle. I still ran some though but I knew I was in trouble when I started yawning and feeling like my ears needed to pop. That's exactly what started happening at the 50K last September. When I got to the restroom that was on the course, I decided to wet my hat to cool off and  really knew I was in trouble when I leaned over to drink too and almost fell over. No more running. :( But the cooling off I did there helped. I was debating with myself the mile back to the aid station whether or not I should stop or keep going. I really didn't want to stop but I wanted to be smart. 

When I was close, I met Clark out on the course taking pics with my camera. I stopped to tell him about one of the setting for continuous shooting and we posed a shot so it would look like I was running and not walking. 
He didn't say I looked like hell so I took that as a good sign and by the time I got back to the aid station and filled up my bottle and had more potato and salt I felt better and decided to go out for at least one more loop so I could take my phone out and take pics. It really was very pretty. It was so green and there were dragonflies and butterflies flitting about. If it had been about 30 degrees cooler, it would have been the perfect day!
And this is the shady part:

My favorite part. :) One other thing that was fun was that some little running fairy (RIF #159 Diane) had left notes for us on the course. This was my note:

This note and the others made me smile big time! :) I also got a lot of encouragement from the other runners on the course which made me smile too. And a lot of them were checking on me. I wondered if Josh had said something or if they remembered last September too since Josh had posted about it on our Facebook group page. Or maybe I was just paranoid and they were just being nice. ;) Anyway, it was nice. :)

Josh came by on this loop and asked me how I was doing and I said fine. He asked me if I was lying and I didn't respond. Because of course, I was but there was no way in hell I was going to admit it to him. Besides the roaring in my ears was gone and so was the dizziness. As long as I kept walking, I would be fine but I was still contemplating quitting. 

And then a wonderful thing happened...

One of the other runner's caught up to me on this loop and we ended up doing the rest of the laps together. Her name was Carol and I swear to god we must have been separated at birth! What I was picturing to be a long, lonely drudge suddenly turned into a party. 

We talked about anything and everything out there and found out that we are both directionally challenged and can't sing well enough to save our lives. Oh, and we were both kicked out of school choir for that very thing (traumatized for life because of that!). And the thing that sealed our friendship for me was that she was shocked (or at least did a great job of pretending she was) that I was 45. Love that girl! You really get to know a person when you spend 3 1/2 hours with them. 

I found that  as we finished each loop, I didn't even think about stopping and headed back out with her. If not for Carol, I probably would have quit. But instead, the miles flew by (relatively speaking) and I did finish my 13th marathon. :) And got a big, ole medal for it:
Pretty fierce, huh?

Sadly, I took so long completing this marathon that I didn't really get a chance to relax and enjoy it after because I had a plane to catch...and it would be close! I missed out on the post race burgers and shakes too. :(

But I was lucky that I made it to the airport on time and everything went smoothly. If there had been any traffic or delay at the rental car agency or a line at security, I would have missed my flight. But the running gods must have been smiling down on me. I made it home a little after 11:30 that night and boy was I tired. But it was worth it! I slept like a baby that night. 

With all the racing thru airports and uploading pics for the race to the Jackal Marathons page on Facebook, I didn't really process the day. In fact, I still haven't. The day kind of seems dreamy to me. It was very pretty and I had fun seeing the other RIFers and making new friends. But I have mixed feelings about the race itself. Or I should say, my race. Because Josh did an excellent job of putting the race together and making sure we all had what we needed. I just wish I'd been able to run more. I wish I could be a beast in the heat like my RIF peeps were and that I didn't have to hold back. I know I'm not supposed to compare myself to others but it's not fair! Why can't my body do what I want? Sigh.

Still, there was a lot of good that came out of the day. I got to see a bunch of RIFers including 2 of my favorites: the great RIF #4 Marj and the awesome RIF #79 Dallas:
I got some great, fun pics from the day thanks to Clark and Josh who took pics with my camera while I was running. Including this one of Clark which I saw while I was on the plane and burst out laughing. 
The plane was pretty empty so everyone heard me and turned to look! Oops!

I figured out that I really did learn the signs of my body going south in the heat so I can back off when I need to.

And I'm going to start freezing oranges for a fun, cool, healthy snack!

Really, I have to be happy that I did get my medal for lucky marathon #13 because it was the icing on the cake. The real purpose of this trip was to help out on Saturday and Sunday and that was a success and would have been enough. Another cool medal to add to my collection is a bonus. :)

I feel lucky and blessed to be able to have had an adventure like this. And even though I've been struggling a lot with my running lately, it's adventures like this that remind me why I love it. 

Thanks for reading!

P.S. The headings in this post are from Nina Simone's Feeling Good. The lyrics just seemed to fit the weekend, especially the Asphalt Jackal. Have a listen if you've never heard the incredible Nina. Or even if you have. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

I Got Lucky In TN - Part 1

This past weekend, I went to Jackson, Tennessee for the Jackal Marathons - 4 marathons in 4 days put on by RIF #1 Josh (@bayou). I went to help out at the first 2 and run the 3rd one on Monday, the Asphalt Jackal. It would be my 13th marathon!

Being the normal person crazy runner girl that I am, I woke up at 2:30 am on Friday morning to get a run in before flying to TN. My flight left at 6:05 and that is darn early! But I made it and my connection so I made it to Memphis at 2:45. I picked up my rental car and drove to Jackson to check into the hotel and go for run #2. Yes, I'm that nuts. I only needed to get 2 more miles in to hit my plan for the day and figured how bad could it be...

BAD. Very bad!

Holy cow, it was hot and humid and I was soaked within the first mile. Granted, it was about 5 in the afternoon and there was no shade but I was seriously reconsidering the idea of running on Monday. I took it easy and checked out the area. I needed to do 6 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday so was hoping to run near the hotel before I left to help at the races. This test run didn't seem like it was such a good idea to be running there so early in the morning though.

I finished my run and then showered and got ready for the first pre-race dinner at Fazoli's. There were 7 of us there and it was fun.
I had the spaghetti with meatballs and it was pretty good. After that, I drove to pick up the timing clock and then took it over to Josh's parents house to help with race prep. Clark was there as well and once we finished with cutting up the oranges & potatoes and getting the bibs & shirts ready, we left Josh slaving over a hot stove and went swimming. It felt good and was pretty nice...except for the part where Clark attacked me with a huge killer frog! And when both of them teased me about serial killers in the woods! Boys!

I relaxed in the hot tub for a while, just watching the fireflies (the first I've seen in 16 years!) and looking at the stars and then I went back to the hotel and got ready for the next day.

Clark and I were going to do the timing and race support for this race and I'd told Josh I would be there about 6:30 and he said they would be there about 6 so I skipped breakfast (not my best idea) and met them there about 6:15 to help set up. It is a lot easier to get ready when you aren't racing! I wore the race shirt I'd gotten from Josh the night before and was ready to be Ms. Race Support for the day. Here is the back of our shirt for the weekend. It's a new favorite!
As we got stuff set up, I handed out shirts and bibs and checked people in. Then it was time for the pre-race pic and prayer and then they were off!

I'd never been a co-RD for a race before so I was a little nervous but there weren't that many runners so it wasn't hard. Clark and I checked people in as they came thru each lap and we wrote down their times. We made sure the water jug was full and the ice was good for them and helped fill bottles, etc. When Clark took over for timing, it gave me a chance to take pics out on the course and cheer people on. It was a lot of fun.
This is RIF #179 Arthur and RIF #27 Anthony out on the sunny portion of the trail. This is what running one of Josh's races is like...running with friends and having a blast. Of course, we pay to do this!

I also got to meet Monique on Saturday. She designed the shirts and medals and Josh introduced us. She is going thru some of the same things I did in that she's losing weight and just starting out running so I've been trying to help ease the pain of beginning running. Guess what? She brought me presents to thank me!

Very cool Wonder Woman socks, a "never, never give up" necklace and a bracelet with my favorite George Eliot quote. I was not expecting that at all and it was really nice to know that I'd made a difference, even a little bit. :)

About lunch time, I was starving and so was Clark so I went and got burgers for us. Also not my best idea because I needed to get a 6 mile run in. With the heat and then the burger, I wasn't feeling a run. :( There also wouldn't be time between race clean-up and meeting the Donnas (RIF #181 Donna Pittman and RIF #277 Donna England) at the hotel (they were staying with me) and I for sure didn't want to run after the race dinner in the dark so I decided on a 1 mile streaksaver.

There were only a few runners left on the course so Josh told me to go ahead and run during the race. I decided to run 1 mile in the reverse direction on the course so I could meet up with RIF #45 Leanne who was running her first trail marathon and on her last lap and then I could walk back with her. I timed it perfectly and got to keep her company for the last mile. :)

Once everyone was back, we cleaned up the site and took everything back to the cars and then I headed to the hotel to shower and meet the Donnas. After they got there and rested a bit, we drove over to Rafferty's to meet the others for the race dinner.
Of course, my eyes are closed for the pic! But it was a lot of fun and the food was good. I REALLY wanted to try the honey buns but I hadn't run enough to justify them. :( But I did have a pulled pork sandwich. :)

After dinner, we went back to the hotel so they could get ready for their races on Sunday and I could get the shirts and bibs ready for the morning. I slept like a baby for 6 hours. Even when I remembered that I had left Josh's watch hooked on a tree at the trail. Oops. I prayed it would be there or I knew I would never hear the end of it.

Sunday was pretty much a repeat of Saturday except I had been smart enough to pick up some protein bars for breakfast so I wouldn't be starving all day. First thing I did when I got to the trail was check to see if Josh's watch was there and it was! Score! :)

We had the routine down better for the second day so it felt more relaxed. I handed out shirts and bibs and checked people in and pretty soon it was time for the pre-race photo and prayer and they were off!
Sunday felt slightly cooler than Saturday and everyone seemed to be having a pretty good day. I had thought that the runners who ran on Saturday would slow down for their second marathon on Sunday but they were all just as fast or faster!

Clark and I had more help on Sunday from some of the other club members throughout the day and time just flew by. I got to take more pics and do a lot of cheering and crewing for everyone.
Really green, eh? Before you knew it, it was lunch again and I got burgers again for us. And then the day was over. We finished earlier on Sunday than we had the day before so I decided to run after we cleaned everything up. I think it was about 3:30 when I got my run in. My schedule said 2-3 miles and I decided 2 would be enough. I was going to run around Union University and there was no shade so I didn't want to overdo it since I would be running in the morning. It was HOT but I survived. I slowed way down and drank plenty of water. I was soaked again but felt better once I got back to the hotel and showered.

For dinner that night, we went to Coyote Blues which is a Cajun-Mex place. Good food and some great conversation. I love, love, love hanging out with runners because you learn so much about where they've run and what they've done and it inspires me to do more. I didn't want to eat anything too crazy since I was running a hot marathon the next day so just had 2 tacos and rice. But I did stop at Baskin Robbins on the way back to the hotel. I tried to go to bed early and not freak out to much about the race the next morning but I was pretty nervous. I did sleep okay though. After 2 days of helping out other runners, now it was my turn. I was as ready as I'd ever be for what was to come. Or so I thought....

I have volunteered at one race before but only manned an early aid station so didn't really do much. I'd also crewed Josh at YT100 and did a mini crewing for him at a couple of other races. But that was the extent of it. I wanted to do more and give back to the running community and that's why I flew to TN for these races. Not to mention the bonus that it would mostly be friends and Run It Fast Club members running so it would be a lot of fun.

The other reason I wanted to go was to support and help Josh. I have been on the receiving end of a lot of the good he's done - from encouraging me at the beginning of my journey to ultras to offering help when I ended up in the ER to driving me to races and waiting for me many times. I've seen him do that for others too and I wanted to make sure he had all the help he needed for the weekend. He still did a lot but hopefully Clark and I were able to take some of the burden from him.

Helping out felt good. I was happy to be a part of so many great runs on both days and spend time with friends and make new ones. :) The first 2 days were a blast and I would do that every weekend if I could. Except that I would want to run too so not sure how that would work out. ;)

Part 2 will be coming this weekend. I hope you'll check back! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Run Under The Stars 2013

Last weekend was one of the most fun weekends of my life! I visited Kentucky for the first time to run the Run Under The Stars 10 Hour Endurance Run...along with 66 of my Run It Fast Club friends. It was a blast!

Sunday night, my layover was in Vegas and I mentioned to one of the RIFers how I don't gamble anymore because I am not lucky. PJ (@runnerinlv) replied : "You are lucky. You get to go run how many races?". Dallas (@smithbend) has said something similar to me many times. They are right!

I am very lucky that I get to travel and race as much as I do!

So, my weekend of fun started on Friday with a flight to Denver at 6:25 in the morning and then another one to Nashville. In Nashville, I picked up my rental car and drove the 140 miles to Paducah, KY. It was a beautiful drive...except for the 2 torrential downpours I drove thru! Sheesh. But I made it safely and checked into my hotel and then headed out to make our reservations for dinner the next night at Olive Garden. Then I headed to the Riverfront to check it out and get something to eat.

The Riverfront was very cool and it was a nice evening to stroll along the river to walk off the meal I ate:

After I left the river, I headed back to the hotel. Or tried to. I sometimes have directional issues so I somehow ended up crossing the Ohio River and going into Illinois. Oops! Bonus state! :) In my defense, I realized I was heading across the river but there was no place for me to turn around and the bridge was pretty darn cool to cross.

I eventually found my way back to the hotel and tried to stay up as late as possible so I would sleep in the next morning. But darn if I didn't wake up at 6am. I did stay and bed until 10:30ish though to rest. Then I showered and got ready and walked over to get a sandwich at Arby's. I spent the rest of the afternoon reading and trying to nap. The napping never happened but for sure I got plenty of rest! About 4, I got dressed and gathered up all my gear and then went over to the Olive Garden to wait for the RIFers to arrive.

I had pasta to carbo load for RUTS. :)

There were 24 RIF Club Members and family that came to the pre-race dinner. It was a lot of fun and I got to meet a lot of them for the first time. It's funny because after following them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram I felt like I know them already and had to remind myself that we hadn't met before.It was great to get to know everyone.

Dinner was good. Salad, bread, and spaghetti. It was over too fast! And then it was time to head to the race which was held at Carson Park and is a .5 mile horse track. It only took a few minutes to get there and I'd already packed my stuff up in the car for it. At the race site, I found where RIF #1 Josh (@bayou) was and got my stuff sorted out and shoes on. Luckily, Josh had brought a chair for me to sit on so my stuff...and my butt...wouldn't be on the ground. All around the track, runners had set up chairs and/or tents for themselves, family, and friends. It was a festive atmosphere.

Josh had ordered shirts to celebrate the big crowd of RIFers at RUTs and I helped hand them out so it gave me a chance to meet even more RIFers before the race. Here's Josh modeling the shirt. It has all our names on the back.
Pretty nice, huh? Oh, yeah...the shirt too. ;)

Anyway...then we got together for the big group picture. The top photo is from the dinner and the bottom was before RUTs:

And then it was 8pm and time to run!

The race director sent us off promptly at 8. I was toodling along and when I got back to the start line everyone was just milling about. It turns out there was a problem with the timing system so they asked to wait a few minutes while they ironed it out.

So...then we were off again! This time I got 4 laps in before they stopped us again. Still timing issues. So they had us wait again while they reloaded the old software and tried again. This time though they said that if it didn't work, they would let us keep going and we would be on the honor system to tell them what lap we were on/finished.

So we started up again about 9:15. One thing I'm happy to say is that I didn't hear any grumbling from the runners. Everyone took it in stride and took the extra time to talk and meet people. The race would now end at 6:!5 so it would be a shortened race and I just adjusted my goals. I'd planned/hoped on running 40 miles but when I thought it was going to be 9 hours instead of 10, I just said whatever I did would be fine.

In the end, I think the mix up with the timing worked in my favor because I didn't have a good night. I was fine for the first 13 miles but then my ITB and foot started getting really unhappy. I think they didn't like going in the same .5 mile circle the entire time and my right foot didn't like the banking on the one side of the track. I ended up walking for most of the rest of the night. I'd actually battled with myself throughout the night. First, I thought of stopping at 13 miles, then at 20, then at 26. Then they said our laps from the first 2 false starts would count so I figured I would go to 31 miles and call it a day. And that's what I did.

I finished in time to grab my camera and get some pics of the RIFers who were still running and see them finish strong and with new PRs and new PLs. It was very cool to see!

Really, the thing that kept me going all night even though I wasn't running anymore (and I really hate walking) was getting to see and talk to the other RIFers. I spent the majority of my laps talking to and catching up with various members. Those that weren't running, were always good for an encouraging word as I went by. One of the best moments of the night was getting to see RIF #4 Marj (@marathonmarj) racing by me on her way to finishing her first ultra! Another favorite was getting to hear the stories and the jokes from RIF #27 Anthony, RIF #169 Billy, and RIF #179 Arthur. They were hilarious! Here are Anthony and Billy running at the end:

A fun night was had by all. :)

And of course, here's the most important bling:
Love that it is a horseshoe shape and has the moon and stars on it. Great medal! And it glows in the dark!

After I packed up my stuff and helped Josh with his, I went back to the hotel and showered and then rested for a little while. After I checked out, I met Josh and RIF #181 Donna (@RunslikePhoebe) for lunch for my first ever Taco Johns lunch. It was pretty good but more it was fun to rehash the night with the two of them. Who both did AMAZING there, by the way.

And then I drove back to Nashville and flew home. And one of the best weekends EVER was over. :(

I can't wait to do it again!

Thanks for reading! And by the way, if you would like to do a timed race, check out this post I did on Run It Fast - Running Loopy - Why you should run a timed race:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wild Racing Weekend - Part 2

Ok, so Saturday started off pretty stellar with a great run and AG placement at the 5K, right? Well, then it got even better!

So, after the Fontana Days 5K, I went home and showered and packed and headed down to San Diego for the Rock n' Roll San Diego Half on Sunday. I had to pick up my bib, etc. and I wanted to check out the expo. Although I swore I was not going to buy ANY running gear! Ha!

I got to the expo around 2 and picked up my bib and shirt:
Then wandered the expo looking for the Sketchers booth. I knew there were 2 special visitors there until 3 and I wanted to see them. I must have walked in circles like 10 times before I found it and got to see RIF #69 Nadia Gonzales who would be running her 99th marathon on Sunday. Then I saw the other person I had hoped to see and got in line. And waited patiently while I thought of what I would say. And then I met him! In person! Oh my god, it's Meb!
Do I look like a total geek or what? But I was super excited to meet him since he is a big inspiration for me. He was really nice and then he signed this for me:

After that, I went over to listen to Deena Kastor.
So very cool to see both of them, especially now that Deena is racing as a Masters now. That is one of the cool things about the Rock n' Roll events...they have some great speakers there.

One not so good thing about them is that there are a LOT of vendors at the expo! I made it past all the skirt and shoe places. Though I must admit, I did stop at a couple. But my wallet was safe in my bag. As I was leaving though, I made the mistake of wandering by the Sprigs booth...and going in. I tried so hard to, I'm lying...I saw their headbands and fell in love and walked out with not one but TWO headbands! They are reversible though so it's like getting 4 for the price of 2! This is me in my favorite one:
So, my wallet was a little lighter but not too bad. I left the expo and I went to check into my hotel then walked across the street to Old Town San Diego to look around and have dinner...and dessert:
Oops...better run more! Good thing I was running a half the next day! I went back to the hotel and tried to go to sleep but had a hard time. I woke up with the alarm at 4 am and got ready and ate breakfast and then left for the race.

In the race instructions and at the expo, they had warned that parking would be a problem for the start of the race. They suggested we stay at a downtown hotel and take a shuttle to the start or take the train or trolley. The hotel I had booked near Old Town was 2 blocks from a trolley station so I decided to take that to the start. I left my hotel a little before 5 to walk over there and saw the first trolley to the start go by. Oops! No problem, there was another one in 15 minutes so I waited with everyone else. At 5:23, the next trolley pulled in...and they didn't open the doors! It was already full so I was out of luck again! That's when I found out that even if I'd made the first trolley it wouldn't have mattered because it was so full they didn't let anyone on then either. Yikes! Now what were we going to do?

A group of us starting looking at the schedule and then calculating how far we were from the start and how to get there. We found out we were 6 miles from the start so getting there on foot didn't seem like an option. We were starting to panic when a trolley pulled into the station from the direction of the start and an announcement was made that they had added a special trolley to get to the start. They opened the doors and we all hopped on and waited. Not long but we were anxious to get going. There were a couple of marathoners on board and they started at 6:15 and it looked slim for them to make it to the start (if you didn't make it by a certain time for the marathon, you had to drop to the half). But finally we were off and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

But by the time we reached our station for the race and knowing it was a long walk to the start, I knew I would not get to see the start of the marathon. And I had another problem. I really, really had to go. I just hoped there would be enough port-a-potties that the lines wouldn't be too long. Ha! What a dreamer I am! I finally made it to the start area and the lines were horrendous. And not really moving. I waited in one for like 5 minutes before I figured I should just head to my corral. I made it into corral 9 at 6:41. The half started at 6:45! Close but I made it! But I'd had no warm up and I still had to go to the restroom. Uh, oh! Not a happy coyote:
But my red Sprigs bandana is pretty sweet, right?

So, the Rock n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon course has more downhill than uphill in it. The last portion is a huge downhill. The weather was great for running and it would have been a great day and course to run a PR. Not to mention there is just so much energy at the Rock n' Roll races you can't help but get pumped up.

We started right on time and the corrals moved up and then it was our turn to go and we were off and running! I felt good for the first couple of miles. I can't say I enjoyed the views along the course but the bands, cheerleaders, and spectators more than made up for it with lots of cheering and encouragement. In mile 3, I realized I would not be able to hold it and would have to make a pit stop. Which was pretty disappointing. I stopped at the port-a-potties just after the mile 3 aid station and got in line. I lost around 6 minutes there and was bummed about it.

But I felt better and the got back to running and laughing at the sight of the big-boobed cheerleader guys, the monkey cheerleaders, the giant hands, the cheer squad dressed as Marilyn, and all the funny signs. Oh, and the beer and tequila "stations" and seeing people actually stop there!

While I thought I might not have a great run, I thought I might have a good run and was trucking along when...BAM! I hit the pavement in mile 10! My sunglasses when flying and the water bottle I was carrying splattered everywhere. Two very nice runners helped me up and another woman helped me find the top to my water bottle. I think I was in a daze. I couldn't believe I had fallen. :( I took assessment and realized that my right ankle hurt a little, my left quad and knee, my left pinky, and my right arm were the most sore but I thought I could still run. And I could. Can you say relieved? Not only because I wanted to finish this race but also because I had the Run Under The Stars 10 Hour Run in a week!

When I ran, I realized I must have also landed with my arm under my body because my stomach and back were sore too. But I ran on. Slower and easier than before but still moving. I wasn't tired but I just wanted it to be over and was grateful it was all downhill from there.

I was so happy when I could see the finish line and tried to run strong thru the end.
I look determined but I don't look happy! ;) Anyway...I got my medal:
Pretty, don't you think. Then I tried to make my way thru the huge crowd to get a little breathing room. I loved that they gave us a wet towel and we also got an ice smoothie from Jamba Juice and chocolate milk. The smoothie totally gave me a brain freeze but it was delicious! I started to get cold and since I hadn't done a drop bag, I decided to just head for the trolley and go back to the hotel. It was too crazy to try and find anyone anyway since we hadn't made plans to meet up. Luckily, the trolley station was across the street from the finish so I was there in no time. I got back to the hotel and showered and then headed home.

On the way home, I stopped at the burger lounge and got a burger, fries, and shake and it was AWESOME.
I can't believe I've already done 2 dozen half marathons. The Rock n' Roll was a fun way to celebrate my 24th half marathon. I wish it had gone better but I would do it again. I would just make sure I got to the start much earlier! And didn't fall.

The weekend started out with a bang and ended with a whimper but I think that's okay. It's better that I didn't tire myself out too much there because I have 10 hours of running to do at RUTs on Saturday night! I hope to get in 40 miles there...while I party with 70 Run It Fast Club members. :)

Thanks for reading! Wish me luck because it's going to be another Wild Racing Weekend!.

And I can't wait.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wild Racing Weekend - Part 1

I had wanted to sign up for the Fontana Days Half Marathon this past weekend but by the time I got around to it, it was sold out. :( I decided to sign up for the 5K and then do the Rock n' Roll San Diego Half on Sunday instead.

I wasn't really nervous about the double weekend because frankly, I didn't think I had it in me to run a hard 5K right now. My 5K PR is 24:59 and that felt so far off from where I am at. I'm not even really hitting those times in training except during 400s. I had kind of resigned myself to running between 27-30 minutes with it probably being closer to 30 minutes.

I started lecturing myself the night before the 5K though. I told myself to quit whining and go after my goals. I started thinking about what it would take to PR and how fast I would have to run. Instead of telling myself I couldn't do it, I told myself I could.

On Saturday morning, I woke up at 4 and got ready to go down to the race. It's only about 10 minutes from me but I needed to pick up my shirt and bib first and then board a bus to the start. I got there after 5 and made my way over to registration. I got my bib and then went over and got my shirt. And we had a bonus pin in our goody bag! My shirt and pin:

Then I hung around while I waited for the bus and drank water and ate a banana.
Someone on Instagram said they could totally tell that was my shadow. Was it the pony tails or the skirt that gave it away? ;)

I was able to get on the first bus and it got us to the start line in plenty of time for a warm up. I ran 2 miles to get my legs nice and warm. I find that my legs don't feel peppy until after they have 2 miles in them and I wanted to start out as peppy as possible. The view was pretty nice up there. I had been hoping for some June Gloom to keep things cool but it was clear as a bell. And warm.

I was nervous before the start because I wanted to do really well and I was afraid I would give up or slow down because it was too hard. So all while I warmed up, I lectured myself over and over again...You can do this. You gotta try. You know you'll be mad at yourself if you don't. You know how to hurt. Embrace the sufferfest. Suck it up buttercup!...and I was ready to run.

Fontana's Mayor said a few words to us about the 100 years celebration and this being the 58th running of the Fontana Days Run and then she sent us off!

I should have gotten closer to the front because I had to do a lot of weaving in the beginning but it eventually thinned out and I was flying. I looked down at my Garmin and it said I was doing a 7:48 pace and thought about slowing it down but it never actually happened. Oops. So the first mile was maybe a little too fast especially with the dodging the walkers slower runners but it was fine.

The second mile, I did slow down a little and go with the planned 8:00 min mile and that one went by in 7:59. Somewhere in the 2nd mile, I think it was, I saw Richard Maya from Instagram and he gave me a huge cheer when he saw me in my Run It Fast shirt and that helped a lot. I was starting to hurt but felt I could keep up the pace for another mile. What's another mile, right?

The third mile was hard. And it hurt. I gotta tell you, I thought briefly about slowing it down and settling for 27 minutes but I knocked that thought right out of my head. I did slow a little though and that mile was 8:10.

Then I saw the finish and I ran my little heart out because I was going to finish as strong as possible! There was lots of encouragement from the crowd and I ran and ran and then I was done! 3.16 miles and 25:08 per my Garmin. 7:36 pace for the last bit! I thought I was gonna puke!

But I didn't. :) I got my medal and then got some water and fruit and laid down in the shade in the grass to cool down. After a little while, I went to cheer at the finish until the times were posted. I was curious to see what my official time was. And then it was posted:
I saw the 25:15 first and was a little disappointed that it wasn't closer to my garmin's time. Or even a little faster. I was wondering if I'd stopped it too soon or started it too late but thought I'd started/stopped it on the right lines. But then I saw the 3 next to my name for my division and I was like "Whaaaat?" Cool! Here's a pic of my medal from the 5K (on the left) and my Age Group medal (on the right):
Woo! I was super excited! :) I wanted to hang out and wait for some of my friends who were doing the half but I had to shower, pack, and drive down to San Diego for Sunday's Rock & Roll Half so I got a pork tamale for breakfast and then headed home:
It was yummy!

So many times in the past 6 months I've set a goal for a race and it hasn't panned out. There have been just 2 races since the DNF at Death Valley that I have been satisfied with my time (Snoopy Coaster Run 10K and the Hollywood Half). I have been afraid to set true goals because I didn't want to be disappointed when I failed. I have not been running races as races but more as fun runs and I've forgotten how to hurt.But this time I was satisfied with how I ran it. I gave it everything I had and while I didn't PR, I think I did pretty well. I was a happy runner girl on Saturday!

Thanks for reading!