Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ab Ripper take 2

So I'm way behind on my p90x plan :( I told myself LAST week that I would start it up, however my excuse reason for waiting is that this weekend is my last 1/2 marathon for quite some time, (haven't decided when the next one is) so I will have a much more open training schedule without worrying about being too sore to run.

So starting next week I need all of you to hold me accountable for posting my day 1 of my experience!!

In the meantime, I decided to give ab ripper x another try, determined to finish the whole thing.  This time I brought it to work and talked B and Melinda into doing it on our lunch break.

Yoga mats- check
portable dvd player - check
ridiculous amount of laughing at how some of the moves were hard to do- check.

Proud to report we did the whole video- had to modify one of the combo moves, and I looked like I was having a seizure while trying to do the side oblique crunches, but other than that, it went well.

As an added bonus- I'm not as sore the next day like I was last week. Haven't decided if that is a good thing or bad thing yet. I'm excited because both ladies said they would be willing to do this again since it doesn't take too long.

Summer abs here I come......

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Geist 1/2 Marathon (Race Recap)

State # 16- Indiana
Weather- low to mid 80s- sweaty warm mess

From the get go I knew that whatever race I chose in Indiana, it would be an Indianapolis / surrounding area race due to having the opportunity to catch up with aunt/ uncle and cousins. I got a lot of curious people asking why I didn't do the Mini 500 Festival 1/2 held May 7th since its so popular. Call me crazy, but if I can avoid a race with 40,000 runners, I will.

A few months back one of my good friends, Jenna, who was a very important piece in the "finding myself" part of my life told me her baby shower would be held the weekend of the May 21st in Louisville. The 'race crazy' part of myself immediately looked at both Indiana and Ohio to see if I was able to get a race in while already gone for a week- Behold the decision for the Geist Half was made.

**Geist is a community within the Indianapolis suburbs, and the whole point of the race is to help raise money for the surrounding area schools in regards to promoting health and wellness programs for the school- what a great way to give back! This year they raise $65,000 for educational programs.**

Since there was also a 5k option available, I convinced my mom she should walk that portion with my aunt Susie. They were both on board, so the plan was to meet at my aunts house in Indianapolis around 6pm Friday so we could leave together for packet pickup then dinner. 

Packet pickup wasn't anything special- it was held in the gym of this monstrous school with a few vendors, mostly local to the area. It was neat to watch my mom and Aunt Susie's reaction to their first expo in probably 10+ years ( they use to do a lot of MS and cancer walks) they mentioned they felt important carrying around their shirts + bibs hehe.

My mom is quite aware of my fascination with taking pictures of mascots / inanimate objects, so she kept asking if I wanting my picture with different pictures- I finally agreed for spongebob  
We left the expo in search of food, and by this time its probably 7:30. For those of you who've read other race reports, I'm generally in bed by 8:30 / 9:00, so this is late for me. After many failed attempts at other restaurants with long waits (Friday night + pristine weather), we decided on this Bar and Grill and were done by about 9pm! 

Make our way home, tie up some loose ends to get ready for morning, and I'm in bed by 10:30- I feel like a grandma because I'm freaking out since its much later than normal for me.

Race Day
Late afternoon I received a facebook message that the infamous Dave Mari had decided last minute to do this race, so that meets a half fanatic meet up. Our race was starting at 7:30, so the meetup  was for 7:00.

I get up at 5 so I can have plenty of time to get ready, have something to eat / drink, stretch, and be out the door by 6am. I have a system down, and so when there are interruptions to this system, I get a little nervous. It was looking like Mom and Susie weren't going to be ready to leave by 6am, they pulled through at the last minute, HOWEVER, mom forgot her sunglasses when we had left so we had to make a slight detour back to the house to grab them **heart beating faster as its now 6:20 when we get back on road**

Luckily there was very little traffic on the road, we had no issues parking at the school and finding the shuttle, and pretty soon after getting on the shuttle we were bussed near the start line. As we're following the masses, I happen to see the back of a half fanatic shirt belonging to Jeff D, so I catch up to him so I can figure out where in the world our picture is located (I'm terrible at reading maps... as well as elevation profiles, lets be honest though, they never really do seem accurate)

Him and I are chatting up while waiting for everyone else, and decide to get the pre race photos with the fam! 
Mom and I- I realize we look NOTHING alike, I'm not adopted, I just take after my dad
Aunt Susie, Mom, Me

Within a few minutes everyone was there and its traditional group HF photo time! 
Everyone was so nice and chatty. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable at the group photos due to being completely outnumbered by the marathon maniacs and they all know eachother and here I am, just a fanatic who knows hardly anyone. Today was not one of those days! 
Mom and Susie with their own photo!! 

Dave got excited that Susie had a Paul Frank phone cover

Dave sandwiched in between the Jameson Ladies!!

We all wish eachother luck and make our way to our respective corrals. I wish my fam good luck for their 5k (which starts 45 minutes after the half) and try to focus on the race. 

So I actually am really nervous for this race for quite a few reasons:
  • Its already pretty warm, and I generally don't perform well in the heat. 
  • I haven't gone to the "bathroom" yet- yes this may be gross, but from one runner to another you know how important this is. In fact... I didn't go to the bathroom the day before either... and I'm regular :(
  • I decided since I don't really care about this race, I wanted to experiment with my pace- basically go out a little harder and see how long I could keep it
  • Elevation profile showed lots of hills- again i'm not great at reading these, but I know a hill when I see one, and here there were multiple. 
Gearing up for start....

One of the American Idol contestants sang the national anthem
Subway Jared did the countdown to start of the race!

Miles 1-3
This was the best / easiest part of the race. I went out to what felt comfortable, remembering there were hills and to not over do it. In the first 1/2 mile of the race I saw Dave bobbing back and forth between runners to take photos of them- here is mine
I jokingly told him I was going so fast that it blurred (i wish) 

Lot of downhills and then some rolling hills in the first quarter of the race. The beginning was run through some pretty elaborate neighborhoods- (makes you wonder what the people do for a living,) as well as around the marina which was GORGEOUS. 

I'm trying not to look at my watch too much when I run, however, I think I need to go back to paying attention to my first few miles to make sure they aren't too fast. 
Miles 1-3 were 8:04, 8:05, and 8:08- yikes! 
Shortly after passing the 3rd mile mark, it finally hit me.... I HAVE to find a bathroom. Luckily I did see some port o potties ahead and I felt so much better afterward... unfortunately I lost my "groove" / speed and the rest of the race was a wash. 

Rather than me recap every detail of how miserably hot I was, how the hills sucked, or how I literally walked every few minutes from mile 4 to mile 12 I'll just go through the cons then pros (ending on a positive note!)

  • Hills, Hills, Hills + beat up roads / pot holes, uneven roads- just made it hard to find a rhythm because you had to weave around a lot
  • Sun, heat, zero shade, humidity, high 80s etc etc etc
  • I was soooo tired- I'm not lying when I say this, but I seriously walked at LEAST every 5 minutes the whole race until I had 1 mile left. Only exception was when my pump up running song that is 7 min and 30 sec came on- everytime I hear it I ALWAYS tell myself I cannot walk during it. 
  • My garmin exited out of my screen randomly at mile 9, so I had no idea my mileage or pace- great. 
  • I knew that this race was slower than previous races, so it would be very likely I ran over 2 hours- once I figured that out, I had zero motivation to be fast, and just wanted to finish- this is an awful feeling of just not caring.... I hope I don't experience this again. 
Pros- yes there were some pros. 

  • Plenty of aide stations along the way- which was definitely needed today. 
  • They had set up overhead misters along the way to cool people off- never seen that at a race, love it! 
  • Several people in the million dollar homes were in the yard with their hoses and were spraying people who wanted it... needless to say I was soaked by end of race :) 
  • Scenery was gorgeous- amazing homes, water, foilage etc. 

  • As much as I was sucking wind, there were quite a few people right there with me. It was motivating to see the same people over and over because we just kept leap frogging eachother and it ignited a slightly competitive edge in me for the last mile to make sure I beat all my fellow leap froggers (which I did!) 
  • The medals were amazing....
  • After the race I had a GREAT conversation with Jennifer (HF in pink skirt from group pic) and her bf (forgot his name) who is trying to become a HF by June 4- swapped stories from race and encouraging words. Were trying to find a race we could meet up again, however, as of now, conflicting schedule. We swapped names so we could facebook lol
  • I had 2 guys come up to me after the race saying their whole goal was to stay with "cheetah skirt" aka me- flattered but thought this was strange because I was ashamed of how much I walked. 
  • While waiting in line for shuttles to get back to our car, DM friend Paul B came up to me asking if my name was Lisa. He said for awhile he was pacing off me, then passed me (beat me by 3 min) and that we were friends on Daily Mile. He reads my blog and thought it was neat what I was doing and how inspiring it was. Music to my ears- I'm impressed he recognized me more than anything. 

To be honest, I loved everything about the race except the running part and the hills. I realize that I'm going to have to deal with heat for my August races and for training runs in this Nashville humidity. 
The course wasn't actually hard, I think it just seemed harder due to weather and my attitude toward the race- made me realize that your attitude is such a small thing, but it can make a HUGE difference. 

I'm glad I chose this as my Indy race, that my mom and aunt got to experience a race with me, and that I met some amazing people along the way. I do suggest this one for future years, and might even do it again since I have family I can stay with. 

State #16 Complete
Official time 2:01:40 (had I known I was this close to sub 2 I probably would have walked a little less)
Overall place 892/2699
Division Place 60/228
Sex 261-1389

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Need a team name!

So we have our Ragner Relay Vegas team all set and now we're looking for a team name / theme.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with what i'm talking about- one of the unique aspects about doing a relay is the whole "fun" environment. Your team of 12 has to choose a team name, and generally pick a theme that correlates to your team name and decorate your vans and well as yourself to show off your creativity. Here are a few examples of themes I've taken from the Ragnar Relay Facebook HERE

I put the 80s theme last because I really like it since its practical for running, fun, bright, and versatile. 

I've been to a few race expos that have really outrageous spandex shorts like this: 

which can be found @ Exercise shorts 4 u in all different styles. I thought this could be fun if either
  • we all wore the same type of shorts so we're matching
  • or 6 people choose a certain color scheme and then they have a twin for the other van (2 vans of 6) 
Thats all I got for now, but I figured out would pose the question to the blog world:

What ideas do you have that are fun, easy to run in, and would be doable for 12 people to dress up as?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Abs and "Cross Training"

Monday morning I decided to try Ab ripper X for the first time. Prior to trying this out,  I've read different facebook statuses and blog posts about how its pretty intense, but I thought that since it was only 15 minutes it couldn't be that bad
I know we're always taught- follow your own judgement and don't pay attention to what others say- this situation does not apply. I only made it 7 minutes in and had to stop. My abs were sore, but it was more of my quads and hips that were killing me. Now one day later I feel super tight in my core (which actually is a great feeling) and my hips feel like the aftermath after my first half marathon.

Does it ever get easier??
please say yes!!!

Can you do it more than once a week??
I would like to be bikini ready sooner rather than later, but don't want to hurt myself

So since I've been too sore to run + crappy weather here in TN, I've been doing a little bit of cross training.... little kid style. 
It's "Spring Fling" this week at my office. Every year in the spring we have one "themed" week to dress up, play games, have prizes, and most importantly, have fun! Last year everyday was a different decade, this year, everday is a different sport. 
Monday- Baseball!
Wii baseball- hey it is a workout, my forearms were super sore!

baseball toss- i was awful and took at least 30 shots and only made 1.... I need to hone my skills

Batter up- I actually used this to hit people with... thats still physical activity right?!?!
And what does every batter need?!?!?!

Tuesday (today) was bowling

who doesn't love giant blown up pins and balls?!?!

This is before my STRIKE... I promise I did get one! 
I decided against doing Wii bowling due to time constraints and my forearms are still sore- isn't that just pathetic?!?! Guess it goes to further drive home the point on how important it is to cross train to make sure you're working a variety of muscles...

Next up tomorrow...

Basketball (I do a mean box out) 

Does your work ever do different activities to break up the routine and get people up and moving??

Sunday, May 15, 2011

400s and winded

In an attempt to reach my goal of running consistent sub 8 minute miles in time for Ragnar Vegas I was looking around for a few speed workouts. The biggest challenge I'm finding is that October is almost too far away to start using Speed work to train for that, however I know I want to be faster for my halfs too, so I need to find a balance.

I found an article in this month's edition of Runner's World that talked about improving your time using 400 repeats. 

Basically take your average mileage pace, divide by 4, then subtract 10 seconds from there to get your ideal 400 time. Since I don't have an average mile pace because I'm all over the place, I decided to say it was 8 minutes (probably not smart) 8:00 / 4 = 2:00 min, subtract 10 and you get 1:50. Well I negotiated with myself that the article was referencing 5k times, and my average mile for that would be high 7s, soooooooo it wouldn't be too big of an issue if instead of subtracting 10 seconds I subtracted 20 seconds. 

1:40- didn't seem too hard, infact I was thinking it was rather slow considering I used to run 400s back in the day... oh silly Lisa when will you learn. 

I didn't have a lot of time on my hands, so driving to the track and back was out of question. I decided to get some good function out of my Garmin and run around my neighborhood to see if I could find a 400 straight away (or close to it as possible bc sometimes the Garmin is iffy) 
I was in luck that the last house on my road and up to the stop sign was 400 m- behold... my make shift track... complete with a slight uphill going one way. If you click on picture to enlarge, you can see in the distance where there is a cross road... that is my ending point. 

The RW plan said to do 5x400 at your pace (1:40) and then walk 400. Again crunched for time I decided to just rest for 1 minute. 

I finally got to tinker with my garmin and used the interval setting- since I already had my 400 meters laid out, I just put it in for a countdown of 1:40 and then a 1 minute rest for 5 repetitions. 

First one was miserable- I didn't realize I was running uphill or that there was wind and I myself was 'winded' much before hitting the stop sign- wow I suck at pacing

I wish I could say the next 4 were easier, but that would be a lie, I was still tired each time I reached my end point--- maybe next time doing them on the track wouldn't be such a bad idea because then at least I know the entire time what distance I'm at.

Does anyone out there do non track speed workouts? 

OR anyone do 400 repeats? 

I've read a lot on 800 repeats as well, I'm just in my experiment phase to see what works best for me... todays workout, not so great. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Borgess Run for the Health of it (Race Recap)

State 15/50- 2nd day of my first double header weekend!!!
PERFECT temperature!
I actually heard about this race via a few of my clients. One of the accounts I work with is a pharmaceutical company (big pharma goes against my healthy beliefs, so I just coach their employees, don't take their drugs) Anyway, Kzoo is a hub for their veterinary medicinal branch, so quite a few of my clients live in that area and were training for the 1/2 marathon. 

I figured it would be neat to meet some of the people I've been working with for a year but have not yet met, plus it fit nicely to make day 2 of my first double header!! Kalamazoo it is! 

A few hours after our Wisconsin 1/2 we were on the road heading to KZOO- only a 4 hour drive, so time went by pretty quickly- thank goodness. 

We check in at our hotel, unpack, then head to the expo for packet pickup. Nothing too exciting at expo- mainly local businesses and a few retailers. B and I decided to head to the 'artsy' part of their downtown for lunch and decided on a trendy cabaret & grille, The Union. Hit the spot perfectly.

Unfortunately there wasn't anything too exciting to do in the city, so my highlight was getting a new phone, Droid Incredible, since my normal droid failed a few days back (nothing more annoying than having a working phone but black screen- I cringed everytime I heard the text chime because I was unable to read it) We tried again to find a GoodWill for our pre race deal finding, but everything was closed :(

Get back to hotel, lay our race outfits out for the morning, and lights out by 9pm....

Up at 4:30am! I was pretty tight so I did more than my usual stretching and foam rolling to loosen up.We had the half fanatic photo meet up at 6:50am, so we made sure to leave hotel by 5:50, go to designated parking lot and shuttled to the start line and we were good to go at 6:20am.

B and I had some difficulty finding the meeting spot, so we just started stretching and talking to people at one of the many buildings on Borgess' Nazareth Campus. In the process of standing around passing time, a guy came up to me asking if I was Lisa---
***little backstory- I sent all my members that were racing in Kzoo a picture of what I looked like and what I would be wearing so they could find me if they wanted***

The guy ended up being one of my members Greg- he introduced me to his wife, son, and daughter, and we chatted for a minutes then said we would see eachother on the course. So far this is starting out to be a great day- weather is perfect, my legs don't feel as bad as anticipated, already met one of my members, and I set ZERO goals for what to expect with this race so I had nothing to worry about.  (except where the heck the building is that we're supposed to meet for half fanatics pic)

After stopping many race officials to ask for directions, we FINALLY come across our meeting spot for group photo. Its so funny how there is never that much representation for half fanatics- me, B, and Jeff were the only 3 for Cincy Flying Pig as well- at least this time we had one more there. B was laughing hysterically because she was significantly shorter than all of us- heck I was short for once too!!

Turns out Jeff is from Indy and since I'm racing there in 2 weeks for the Geist 1/2, he invited me for their pre race pasta carb load dinner- how nice!!

All maniacs + half fanatics- there were quite a few more maniacs I saw on the course that were unable to get to the photo in time. We had some time to kill, so we all goofed off for a little bit. 
Had our first photo with the infamous Dave Mari- if you haven't met him yet, he organizes the MM or HF photos at every race he goes to and is known for taking photos all along the course, cheering on others, and eating whatever food he can find along the way. Plus he has an infectious personality that just makes you want to be around him. 
gearing up to run!!!
We departed MM / HF group and went off to stretch a bit ... in the meantime I saw what I consider my good luck charm- FLEUR DE LIS. My fascination started with fleur de lis sometime during my 1.5 year living in Louisville, Ky- they're all over the city. That time period is when I truly "found myself" and came into my own- thus a constant reminder of how far I've come mentally. 

B and I part ways into our "corrals" until race time. There is no organization to the start line, people were just lining up near the pacer of their goal time- quite congested. 
I actually started by the 2:10 pacer- mainly because I didn't really care where I started, but also I knew that I was going to need to go out SLOW to warm my legs up. 

Miles 1-2
1st mile was HARD. I felt like I was going in S-L-O-W  M-O-T- I-O-N.  My quads were super tight and I just couldn't move, getting passed left and right.  I figured I'd just listen to my body and if it wanted me to go slow or fast, I'd just listen. With one mile down, my legs finally felt loose, and just in luck for large downhills to let my legs carry me. 

Miles 3-7
Shortly into the 2nd mile, Greg came up from behind me and we ran together for a little bit. I'm horrible at running and talking, so I let him do most of the talking. I asked him what his goal was (how health coach of me hehe) and he said to break 1:50- I assured him he wouldn't do that if he continued at my pace, so I wished him well and he took off. 

I kept the same 3 screen setting on my garmin as I did for the Wisconsin 1/2- so again I couldn't see my total time, but I knew I was going much faster than I actually had planned for. Finally half way into the 5th mile I hit my wall and I started slowing down. They were giving out gu shortly after mile 5 so I took it and saved the one I brought for later. I haven't used 2 gus in a race for a LONG time, but I knew I would need it. I'm not sure if it helped, because I still was tired, but psychologically I think it prepared me a little better. 

Around mile 6.5 we ran on a long wooden bridge which bounced up and propelled you a little bit due to all the runners on it- makes my job that much easier. As soon as we were done on the bridge I heard my name being shouted- there was one of my favorite members I coach- Jeri! I had no idea what she looked like until earlier that morning when I checked my email... she had attached a photo of her and her family so I could recognize her. It was awesome to be in a foreign place and have someone there cheering specifically FOR ME!! I smiled and waved - shouting "Thanks so much Jeri!!!"- that little moment gave me an energy boost for about a mile. 

Miles 8-finish
Shortly after mile 8 I went into walk mode again- bah stupid legs. Cardiovascular wise, I was great... muscle wise, I was sore, tight, and feeling heavy. During my walk some girl came up to me and tried to grab my hand while saying "Lisa you can't walk now, you're over 1/2 way done".... um who is this??? how does she know my name?? It dawned on me after a few seconds- one of my members, Nicole, is part of a huge running group who happen to be fans of plaid. When I told her I would be wearing a purple plaid skirt, she got excited and told her whole group to look out for me... I wonder if she told them to grab my hand as well because I kid you not, the SAME EXACT THING happened at 10.2 miles (according to Garmin). Wow, Michigan people are a little toooo friendly for me. 

I'm not going to lie, although I was slightly annoyed, it felt good to have people sort of know me and want to help me out. I trotted, yes trotted along until shortly after mile 11. We entered these gorgeous trails and I stopped to take some photos, but my camera was blurry from my body heat, so they didn't turn out. Sure enough while I was walking again I had ANOTHER girl come up from behind me and this time she grabbed my arm and dragged me with her saying "we're almost done, I know you're tired but we're almost there"- yes she was right that I was EXHAUSTED, and we were almost done, but walking just feels so good right now haha. 

I told her to go on and I would see her at the finish line. I enter "the fun zone" which was some crazy fans with balloon arches, streamers, gummy bears, and music to pump everyone up- that definitely helped. Last mile was a blur until about 12.8 miles- we're near the home stretch, fans lined the streets, and in the distance I saw petite little Jeri jumping up and down with her cowbell screaming my name- shes AWESOME! I shouted to her I would see her shortly and began kicking it in. 

Generally I don't have much of a kick, but today I was so excited to be done that I started earlier than normal and passed quite a few girls who appeared to be in my age group- YES!!! As I turned the corner and saw the race clock it say 1:56 and change- Wow I thought I would surely go over 2 hours today- awesome!!!

Immediately after crossing the finish line I close out my run and open it back up so I can see my final time on my garmin- 1:55:47- how is that possible?!?! Have I really gotten that much faster over the past month that even when I feel like crap and walk a ton I can still get a decent time??? I realized its my stubbornness and desire to better myself that carries me vs. actual training (something I need to work on in the future) 

Within a minute of finishing, Greg comes up to me, congratulates me on my double and exclaimed he met his goal of breaking 1:50- ran a 1:43... more like creamed his goal. His daughter Abby appeared and  apologized if she scared me- she was the arm grabber at 11.5 miles trying to get me to not walk haha. 

We all talked for a few more minutes and I let them know I need to go and stretch so my legs don't cramp up- I congratulated them both and went and called my folks while attempting to stretch. No sooner had I sat down did my member Jeri call me (I gave her my cell so we could meet up) and then I got up to meet her. I literally felt like she was a 2nd mom because she had a sign for me and told me my official time and how proud she was of me... awww.
Her and I chatted and walked back to the company tent so I could meet my other member Nicole, but she never showed--- rejected. What was kind of neat as I was standing at the tent waiting for her I had 3 of her running group girls come up to me asking if I was Lisa, Nicole's health coach (I definitely feel famous at this point haha)- they told me how much she talks about me and how excited she gets to pass along advice I give her to the rest of the group- that was a good feeling.

B meets up at the tent after shes done, we do our "after photo" together, then say goodbye to everyone and grab a shuttle to our car so we can shower and hit the road.

Mile1-  8:24
Mile2-  7:52 (downhill action)
Mile3-  8:17
Mile4-  8:18
Mile5-  8:55 (first gu)
Mile6-  8:47
Mile7-  8:49
Mile8-  8:50
Mile9-  9:45 (more walking than usual)
Mile10- 9:39
Mile11- 8:59
Mile12- 9:44
Mile13- 9:16
Mile .1- 7:42

Although I wasn't able to thoroughly enjoy the race due to being miserable, I did have a great time: the scenery was beautiful, only 2 major hills to tackle, plenty of 'support for Lisa' on the course, ample aide stations, and of course meeting 2 of my members I talk to on a monthly basis- great times.

State # 15- done!
First double header- success
Official time: 1:55:47
Age group 30/201

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wisconsin 1/2 marathon (race recap)

 State: 14/50- Wisconsin
Gorgeous weather

My ideal Wisconsin race was actually Cellcom Greenbay Marathon because you get to finish on the infamous Lambeau field, however Greenbay is too far of a drive, so its been added to my bucket list of races. The next best thing was the Wisconsin Marathon in Kenosha because its the closest race to us, but it also fit into our schedule perfectly, allowing us to combine it with theBorgess Run for the Health of It in Michigan to do my first ever, back to back half marathon weekend!!

One of my college buddies happens to be from Kenosha- he mentioned one of the few things to do in the town was tour the Jelly Belly Bean Factory- sounds like a great plan to me.

We arrive at our hotel after an uneventful 9 hour drive, go through packet pickup (no expo), then make our way toward the jelly bean factory.
Just really wanted my photo w/ the USATF van 

Port of Kenosha outside packet pick up

the harbor. 

We arrive at Jelly Belly factory at 4:20, and apparently the last tour for the day is at 4pm- darn- you would think that the website would inform you, however it just said it was closed at 5pm. Unable to take the 'official tour' we look around, sample some beans, and make a few purchases. 

the tasting station- you can sample anything you want! 

these were all the gross flavors- no i didn't try any of them.

After the factory we grab some pasta for our dinner and then do our pre-race ritual (if we can find one) of going to GoodWill. Yes I know its strange, its something we started doing for our Little Rock race, and it stuck ever since. Satisfied with food in our bellies and finding great deals, we head to hotel, get ready for next day and are in bed by 8:30. 

Unsure of how parking would go, we decided to get up around 4:30 so we could have ample time to stretch / get ready and be out the door by 5:50 am. We find a free parking garage (score) and make the trek toward the start line. 
saw this lady on our walk to start line- cheddar is beddar

say cheese!!

this was neat- basically anyone that was dressed up in some  'cheese attire' could start int he very first corral- an example would be the lady from above... or these 2 guys

for the record- I did beat both of them- booya!!
The start line was around the harbor- absolutely GORGEOUS and made for great temperatures as well- had to snag a photo to capture the beauty...
my dad informed me he used to sail into this harbor growing up- here I am 30+ years later! 

The start of the race was a little congested- no set 'corrals' but more of pace times bolted into the grass and you just start where you think would be comfortable. Since I didn't want to go out too fast or push myself too hard due to having to repeat this all the next day I decided to start in the 9:00 min/ mile group.

Everything about this race was great, nothing horrible happened, I felt strong, and for the most part I was pretty consistent. 
  • Up until mile 8- I average b/n 8:10-8:20 miles (with exception of picture taking, water stops) 
  • scenery was gorgeous!! first 2 miles were run in beautiful rich neighborhoods, followed by a few miles right along Lake Michigan, then an out and back loop which was surprisingly motivating to see those who were coming back that were faster than me, and of course seeing those that I was faster than. 
Lake Michigan- miles 6 

water for miles! 

  • I switched my Garmin settings for this race- traditionally I run w/ split screen- 1 screen tells me my current time in the exact mile I'm running in and what it will average out to be- I then hit home and it will tell me my total time. Today I went for 1 triple data- it still told me my current time in my mile i'm running and what my predicted pace will be, but what was new is I chose the option to also see the distance being displayed.
  • I liked seeing the distance, however now I had no idea what my total time was. I knew I was going faster than normal (which could be dumb) just due to my average splits, but trying to do math in my head was too hard so I just chalked it up to going below 1:55. 
  • At mile 10 some guy said behind me to another runner "1:25"- it took me a little bit to decipher, but I finally realized that he meant his total time at the 10 mile mark was 1:25- obviously I don't know where he started in relation to me, but that is definitely PR worthy even if I were to do 9 minute miles for my last 3 miles (which when I'm feeling good like I was today, is slow for me) 
  • I really wanted to push it to see what I could do, but I actually had a voice of reason that told me to just keep going steady because I might hate myself tomorrow. 
  • I kept up the pace till the last mile- lately my last mile is always the slowest, today was no exception. I guess I could beat myself up and say how I can't hold on, but I like to spin it and say that I'm working hard the ENTIRE race and I don't have a lot left to give :) 
  • Sad to say, but I had to walk in the last mile- grand total of walking 5x for this race- one of these days, no walking at ALL, but it works for me, so I can't get too mad. 
  • Look down at my Garmin when it says 12.8 (course was running longer so I waited a bit before picking it up so I wouldn't tire out) and finally started kicking it in. I actually passed a few people and as soon as I crossed the mat and stopped my Garmin I immediately went to view the run to see my total time- 1:51:56- new PR!!! Last one was in December @ Thunder Road 1:53:02. 
  • Normally after a race I feel super stiff and have a hard time walking- today I felt GREAT!! I downed 2 gatorades, ate 2 bananas, stretched, then decided to head a little bit before finish line to cheer on B.
  • Once she crossed we stretched some more and headed over the Beer Garden where all the runners got free beer and brats- ummm 2 of my favorite things and they're both free- yes please!!
after photo

Brats and beer!!! 
  • They had a german band playing pretty good music outside the beer tent, and one of my absolute favorite things- cardboard cut outs!!! 

  • Afterwards we made out way back to the car so we could shower and hit the road for race # 2 in Michigan. 
  • Did I mention how AWESOME the medals were for this- when I was cheering on B I said "you're almost done and the medals are so worth it!!"  Definitely think this is my favorite thus far 

State # 14- successfully done- new PR 1:51:56