Monday, April 18, 2011

Wickedly Fast Half Marathon (race recap)

Wickedly Fast 1/2 Marathon
State 12/50
Temps high 30s w/ 40 mph wind

This was a last minute decision race- I wanted to do it because it was the closest Kansas race to us so we would still be able to drive, B liked the website and thought it would be fun- win win for both. 
We like to arrive early in the city we race in to explore / go to bed early, so we left Nashville at 5am, had a minor delay due to having to stop and wait out a torrential downpour in Paducah, Ky and arrived in Olathe, KS without any issues around 2:30pm.

First thing we notice when we get there is how cold and WINDY it is.... awesome. We check in, unpack, rest up a bit before deciding to head to Bass Pro Shops where the packet pickup is located. 

When I went through to get my bib and everything, one of the volunteers had said she was impressed I was doing the full marathon- WAIT, WHAT?!?! Apparently I registered for the marathon, guess I like to spend more money than necessary. I had to wait a bit so they could change everything in the system and to get a new half marathon bib, but aside from that everything went speedy. 

I have never been inside a Bass Pro Shop before, so we look around. I met a new friend (see below) and I finally bought a visor for when it gets sunnier out for the late spring / early summer races. B and I have a running joke that you aren't a "real" runner until you have a hat- seems like all the fast and serious ladies are wearing hats. Now I have my own :)

We leave BPS and head in search of food before venturing out to get supplies for our race costumes. We pass an Applebees, and considering there wasn't a lot of cars in the parking lot, we decide on there. B and I both gave up dairy for lent, but I convinced her how awesome the Queso Blanco dip and chips would be and we decided to have a cheat day....
as you can see I was thoroughly excited to eat this!

There was a Goodwill nearby, so we head in there to see if we could find a lion costume so B could wear that for tomorrows race. We didn't have any luck in the lion department, HOWEVER, I did find a sweet rendition of an MC Hammer outfit I was really tempted to buy.... only $5!
Can't touch this
Lastly we head to Walmart and buy enough material and supplies so we can both dress up as Dorothy tomorrow. This is what we started with...
  B is much more artistic than myself, so we collaborated on how it should look, but she did all the craft work and then we each decorated our own. This is the finished project.

At this point it was 9:30 and time for bed!

We were striving to meet up for the 1/2 fanatic, MM, 50 state group pic @ 6:25, so we were aiming to leave at 5:50, wake up 4:45 / 5ish. Bs alarm went off at 4:20, so naturally I got up as well. We did our stretches, morning rituals, and were out the door right on time at 5:50. 

The day before B had put the Garmin World HQ (where race started and finished) into her phone GPS, however when we went to retrieve it, unbeknownst to her, it just gave the street name, NOT the full address. We were driving for a good while and were heading to the middle of nowhere when I finally ask if she's sure she put in the right address. Upon 2nd glance she realized it just had the street name, 151st street. Apparently there are 2 151st streets in Olathe, Kansas, and naturally the gps chose the wrong one. I immediately turn around and head in the opposite direction and thanks to early morning lack of traffic and my lead foot, we only lost 10 minutes.  It was too late to meet up for the group photo, so we head to the port -o -potties instead. 

I don't think I can describe to you how incredibly cold it was outside. Yes the temps were in the high 20s, but the wind, the wind was FIERCE. I had so many people make the comment "you must be freezing you poor thing." I kept telling myself that it would get better once we were running. B saw me shivering like crazy as we're waiting for restrooms so she tried to rub my arms with her sleeves. 
Garmin HQ where race started / ended
 B and I while waiting for bathrooms, don't let my smile fool you, it was miserably cold

Everyone kept commenting on how cute B and I were, made the freezing our butts off a little more endurable. I was surprised at how not that many people dressed up, however we did manage to get photos with a few...
Witches and a scare crow
Pooh and Tigger- they must have been nice and cozy in their outfits

B and I decided to just go in the middle of the starting pack so we could get the wind blocked for us. As I'm gearing up my garmin I decide it would be a good idea to get my music out. I could have sworn I put it in my make shift pocket, but its not there!! CRAP! I always run with music, ALWAYS. I'm hoping / praying that I accidently left my Ipod in the car instead of it falling out of my dress. This will be the 4th time I've misplaced my Ipod since Christmas- oops. 

After a few minutes of hopping up and down / B rubbing my arms to keep me warm, the gun goes off and so do we... SLOWLY. Say goodbye to B and try to make my way into the crowd, unfortunately thats what it is though, a CROWD of people. The first mile was a slight uphill, however I didn't even notice because I couldn't see around all the pace groups. I knew I was going out slower, however I wasn't concerned because judging from the elevation profile miles 7-12 were uphill and I needed all the energy I could to push through the wind and still make it up hills. 

First mile clocked in @ 8:58- aside from FREEZING, my body felt great. The "crowd" was thinning which meant the wind was affecting me even greater as I had no one to draft off of. Occasionally I would pass someone and they would say "Great Costume", but I had no idea how they even recognized me- with the wind blowing, my "dress" was completely twisted and pretty much on the side of me, my straps kept falling down and I was constantly having to readjust. I finally twisted them and tucked them under my sports bra. (the official photos should be pretty interesting when they are released) 

The course was pretty boring, not much to look at. Occasionally there were some spectators (God Bless them for braving the temps) who would shout, GO DOROTHY- silly as this sounds it was pretty motivating. Around mile 4 I caught up to Pooh and Tigger and ran with them for a bit. Turns out they were Marathon Maniacs and they wear these outfits for a few races. It was fun running with them because the spectators would exclaim (in this exact order) "Tigger! Pooh!! Dorothy!!"  Thought it was hilarious that everyone chose that exact order to phrase it. I'm feeling good at this point so I wish them good luck and pick up my pace a little bit. It was probably another mile or so before I could no longer hear "Tigger, Pooh!!!" being shouted behind me. 

The miles are kind of a blur to me as nothing significant stood out- at one point there was a turnaround and on  my way back before turning onto a different road I spotted the other L and we waved at eachother. I saw her and other B from a distance before the race started while at the port-o-potties so I knew what to look for when I was on the course. That little 10 second moment was about all the excitement I had for a few miles. 

Since I didn't have my ear phones in, I could chat with other people, which I don't normally do, and I got on more than one occassion "Dorothy is kicking our ass" from a few guys. I always looked at their bib to see if they were doing the full or half, was always the full so I would just tell them I only am doing half the distance as them so I could afford to go a little faster- they seemed to like that response. I managed to pass all the other Dorothy's that I had spotted (which was a mini goal of mine), and now there were no exciting costumes to look at.

Around mile 9 I realized how consistent my splits were- all around or under 8:30 (with the exception of my gu break) My legs were pain free- my only conclusion for this was that it was so cold, they were numb. My energy was starting to tug a bit. Normally mile 9-10 are harder for me, but once I see that 10 mile marker I keep telling myself I have a 5k left. When I hit mile 10, I was dog tired, but I looked at my watch and saw that I was on pace to PR- SWEET. I ran a 1:53:02 at the Charlotte Thunderroad 1/2 in December, and since my injury I didn't think it would be realistic to get back down there for awhile!!!

Mile 10-12 I noticed that my Garmin was hitting the mile markers sooner than what was appearing on the course. I was starting to get worried because although I was on pace to PR, I didn't have much energy to "kick it up a notch" to make up for longer distance if need be. Apparently I should have held back like everyone else because I was getting passed left and right the last 2 miles. I felt as though I was going in S L O W motion (although my time wasn't bad, I just wasn't feeling it) 

At the mile 12 marker I switched my watch to only show total time, so I could see where I was at in relation to hitting my PR. There was one last aide station somewhere after mile 12 and I actually stopped at it and downed some gatorade.  I never really stop in the mile last because I tell myself "just 9 more minutes" and I'm normally able to push through- not today. We wind through a quick path, turn the corner into the last 1/2 mile and BAM!!! As soon as I turned the corner, the wind was in full effect- I'm tired, I'm getting cold again, I have one last hill to climb, I don't need the wind added to the mix. 

I looked down at my watch- if I really push it, I can get in the 1:53s, but can't break 1:52- damn. Thats when I do the whole beating myself up "if I only I didn't stop at that last station, or stop for a little longer while taking my gu- so on and so forth" This does wonders for my spirits naturally. 

I see the finish line in sight, yet for some reason I literally cannot pick up the pace. I want to be done, but my legs aren't listening to my mind, so I have to just trudge along at my same pace, no kick whatsoever into the finish line and I'm done! I grab some water, get the chip taken off my shoe, and as i'm leaving the finish area I see L finish. I wait for her and then we chat for 15 minutes about travel issues and the race itself while waiting for both Bs. 

My B comes through the finish line, then literally 20 -30 sec later other B crosses. We all chat for a minute, get our official photo together, then part ways and make a mad dash to the car to get warmth. Guess what I find in my car waiting for me... my IPOD!!! I apparently left it in my coat pocket! 

Mile 1  8:58
Mile 2  8:29
Mile 3  8:33
Mile 4  8:21
Mile 5  8:26
Mile 6  8:23
Mile 7  8:27
Mile 8   8:56 (gu stop)
Mile 9   8:27
Mile 10 8:49
Mile 11 8:38
Mile 12 8:33
Mile 13 9:04
     .28   8:49
Total 1:54:22 (2nd fastest time)

We rushed back to hotel, took the hottest shower imaginable, and made our way to stay in St. Louis for the night before heading back to Nashville on Sunday. 

State # 12- done!
Time 1:54:22
Overall 167/836
Age group 15/106
Females 52/516

Overall, race was built up much greater than what anticipated. If you have an awesome website, better put on a great event to back it up. Weather played a huge factor as well, however I'm just thankful to feel normal while racing again!


  1. LOOK AT YOU.. all healed up and running speedy again :) at least there were lots of fun outfits if the course was boring!

  2. such a cute costume idea! i like the medal-this may be my kansas race next year. I think you did great coming off of an injury and running in the wind! another great race!!

  3. Way to go! Great report and your outfits turned out super for putting them together at the last minute. Can I borrow your finish time for May 1?

  4. Very impressive finish in those conditions! (Who am I kidding, you are a rock star, period!) Loved the costumes and as usual, it was great to see you and B again. I can't believe you survived without your iPod. I just... could not.

    See you again soon! (Is Missoula the next one?)

  5. Way to go!!! Where do you find these awesome races? Love the costumes! Great finish!