Monday, April 30, 2012

Country Music 1/2 (race recap)

* Country Music was actually my first half marathon I ever did. I know most people always thought my first race was Women's 1/2, but technically that was just the first race I trained for. Although I had no desire to do this race again, I figured since I had friends coming into town, work pays me to do it, and it couldn't possibly be worse than back in 2010, I'd give it a go. If I were to do a recap of how I thought the race went it could be summed up as "it sucked." It was hot, my legs were tired from all the hills, I vomitted, and I just overall wasn't "feeling it". After the race B & L commented how much they didn't realize about this race and what to expect (and these are seasoned racer/travelers) and how they were thankful I was around to make things go a little smoother. With that being said, I figured I'd give everyone the nitty gritty on what to expect from this race that you might not think about when traveling here*
Half marathon #31, 5th completed in TN, 2nd time doing this race.

Start of race 70s (at 7am) and humid. End of race low to mid 80s and even MORE humid. 

Official Stats:
8:46 pace
Overall: 2063/ 22277
Division: 195/3092
Gender: 693/14189

3 Major Things to consider about this race:
large size/crowds, hills, weather

  • First and foremost, aside from Las Vegas, this is the largest Rock n Roll race the series puts on. Why do you need to know this... because it affects EVERYTHING. (seriously)
  • Expo is open thursday and friday till 7pm- despite having 2 days and a longer time to go to expo in the evenings, everyone generally gets into town the day before and heads there late friday afternoon. Due to picking Becka and Laura up at the airport Friday afternoon, it made no sense for me to make 2 trips to expo, so I decided to just go with them-- this is the line just to get INTO the building around 3:30 pm on Friday that holds the expo... factor in once you are inside there are 2 floors worth of winding lines just to get inside the darn thing.
  • Somehow both B/Ls corral line and my corral line were the only ones where we were able to walk up, but all others had lines at least 10 people deep, yikes.
  • They ran out of women's cut L and XL shirts. (with just shy of 4 hours left of expo, crazy)  I could have just went for unisex, BUT considering the shirt was RED I wanted to actually be able to wear it because I don't have any red tech tees. So I had to fill out a form with my bib # and size I wanted. Note to race directors--- don't make your women's sizes so small so that people underestimate what they want then steal the bigger sizes for those who are vertically gifted like myself. 
  • After leaving expo you are constantly dodging people left and right downtown because everyone has that tourist glint in their eye which blinds them to the fact that someone is trying to get around them. 
  • Dinner downtonw =  S.L.O.W.  As long as its not super greasy, I can eat whatever the night before a race. My carb loading is always 2 days before and night prior I'll generally just eat light- B and L ALWAYS do pasta so I thought it would be a good idea to check out the Old Spaghetti Factory.
  •  I remember when I did this race 2 years ago it was IMPOSSIBLE to get in, but considering we got sat right away, I thought we'd be able to make decent timing and get back to hotel early, wrong. Although we got our drinks, salad, and bread pretty quickly, our actual meal didn't come out for over an hour... its pasta people! We walked into restaurant and sat down at 5:20, we didn't leave till about 7, ridiculous. When we left the entire front of the restaurant and lobby (which are all huge) was PACKED with people waiting to eat. I cannot imagine how long we would be if we had arrived any later. 
  • If you're wanting some of the downtown Nashville experience, I suggest going to a hole in the wall restaurant or non italian place and surely not many people would have done the same. Most restaurants downtown do offer pasta specials specifically for the race since its a big deal here. Despite long wait times, OSP was DELICIOUS :)
  • Race morning- on the website AFTER you navigate through the event details--> getting to the start --> participant info and parking THEN you see that you HAVE to take a shuttle to the start line and it sends you to a PDF file that actually does explain in detail what you have to do, but again you have to really navigate through the site. Now remembering from 2 years ago how busy traffic was and how LONG the shuttle lines were I told the girls we'd leave hotel no later than 5am. Nope was way too late. After sitting in traffic for 10-15 min I decided to try a different route- Luckily I live here and knew a round about way (why I didn't think of it sooner is beyond me) to potentially avoid traffic and get free parking
  • Parking is free at LP field which is where the finish line is, but its also why there is so much traffic because everyone is trying to go there. They do offer parking near the pedestrian bridge which is next to LP field but its $20. So being the thrifty person I am and knowing downtown pretty well, I parked a little farther away for FREE and had no problems walking to the shuttle line AND avoiding traffic after the race (Highly recommend doing this) 
  • Just like all rock n roll events, things are NOT clearly marked so we wasted a few minutes apparently standing in the VIP shuttle line before being told where to go... WHERE ARE THE SIGNS PEOPLE?? We waited in the never ending line for about 20 min and were shuttled to Centennial park where the race start is. My original plan was to get to the Parthenon by 6:15 so I could get my ipod that I accidently left at work from Jack, but 6:15 came and went and we arrived at the park just before 6:30, right in time for our Maniac/Fanatic photo. 
I hate how its always "tall people in the back" 

Matchy Matchy

  •  After several failed attempts at texting J, I finally realized he probably didn't have his cell phone on him and I would most likely be music less this race- bummer. Luckily J came out of no where and saved the day with the exchange of the coveted ipod shuffle. (wearing bright colors and posting what you are going to wear on facebook the night before pays off)

Both all smiles now, after the race... not so much

  • By the time we were done with photos it was 6:40. I still had to pee, however the lines were ginormous and I hadn't stretched yet and didn't want to miss the start since I was in corral 3, So I said my goodbyes to B & L and went off with J toward the start line so I could stretch and get in a good position to avoid the crowds
Dave surprised me with the photo...  yes I look dead sexy caught off guard, I know ;) 
  • Even though I lined up in corral 3, I was at the very front of it and managed to squeeze into corral 2 when the rope was dropped. I was extremely lucky in never really having to deal with people getting in my way. I've slowly learned how much bobbing and weaving not only frustrates me, but sucks up so much energy. B & L were not as lucky. They waited in the monstrous lines for bathroom and the closest corral they could make was 14- from what  they told me, the entire race was extremely congested with slower people just halting and walking without paying attention to if anyone was behind them or not. New (and some experienced) runners should have to take a race etiquette quiz. 
  • I was anticipating the finish line to be a garbled mess, but I guess I finished before it turned into a disaster, beer area and family meeting groups, whole different story. Although dressing "matchy matchy" is fun, it also serves a purpose--- easy recognition. B & L are 5'0 and 5'4 (?) so its not always easy to find them,  generally they find me first, however it was definitely tricky this time around with the crowds. 
  • Now I know I have said on my blog many times before how hilly Nashville is. I promise I never was exaggerating. Unless you are in a park, its extremely difficult to go more than 1 mile without hitting a hill, no lie. The interesting part about our hills is they are, long gradual inclines you just want to get over with, AND just because you go up, doesn't mean you'll go down.
  • The entire race was hills. I knew the course was hard, but what I didn't know was how much they changed it from last time I ran it. I would post the course elevation profile, but it does't do it justice at all.
  • Normally I don't let hills bother me that much, after all, it is pretty standard considering my training runs have hills in them. This race was a different beast- maybe it was the fact that it never ended, maybe it was the high temps, maybe it was the fact that my energy has been zapped the past month, maybe it was last week's incident... whatever it was the hills really got to me and I walked like it was going out of style... seriously. I can't remember if my first walk came at mile 3 or 5, but once I started, every.single.mile I walked. I guess the positive side of things is that I can manage to walk and still pull a decent time... so there is that.
  • In short- if you don't like hills, or don't train on them.... I would avoid this race to save your misery (and legs)

  •  I think people often forget that Nashville is in the South. I know silly right?!? It gets hot here, but aside from the heat... it gets REAL HUMID..... like take your breath away humid. Now although the temps were milder for this time of year, it was still around high 70s at the start, 7am, and by the finish time it was already in the 80s... at 9 in the morning
  • I wore sunglasses for the first race of my life--- I felt like my eyeballs were sweating. Several times I had to take my glasses off and hold them just to be able to get some type of breeze on them. B assured me that its not normally like that wearing sunglasses, it was just THAT hot.
  • Fun fact about me- I over heat easily. When choosing a shirt to wear, its ALL about the neckline. Considering I wore this shirt for the CO race a few weeks back, I didn't think my neckline was too high... WRONG. There were so many times I wanted to rip my shirt off and just run in a sports bra... come on abs... make that happen for me! Needless to say, this shirt will not see another race till the fall.
  • One positive about the heat was that at the finish line that had ice cold towels they handed you to put on your neck.... all races should do this, by far my favorite part of the entire race.
  • If you do not like humidity and running in hot weather, this is not the race for you and I would advise coming back to TN in the fall or winter.
  • I will say one positive of training in this stupid weather is how much it helps you when traveling to other places AND how greatly it drops your times in the fall because you finally have full lung capactiy back. I'm kind of wishing I would have chosen an October or November marathon instead of september because I would guaranteed be faster.
Other tidbits that might be helpful
  • Although they got rid of Cytomax and replaced it with gatorade (thank goodness) its only available at every other aide station
  • They don't hand out gu until  AFTER mile 10... yup you read that right... mile 10
  • The entire course for the half marathon is LINED with spectators, it definitely helps (plus everyone is so friendly)
  • For the marathon  you run through some INCREDIBLY boring industrial parts AFTER you split from half marathoners at the 11.5 mile mark. Music will definitely help considering not a lot of spectators in those parts.
  • Mile 17 runs you right next to the finish line... cruel curel.
  • Instead of doing a post race concert at the race, its actually held that night at Bridgestone arena- bring your bib for free entry. It's always a country artist and this year was Rodney Adkins. (I wonder if this is why the race is so large?)
So there is my take on the Country Music Marathon- if you've never been to Nashville, it is a good way to the see the city, I think it just helps to know what you're getting yourself into before being surprised on race day.

way better medal than when I ran!

Garmin Time
kind of obvious here when I started walking.
Mile 1: 7:53
Mile 2: 7:39
Mile 3: 8:20
Mile 4: 8:40
Mile 5: 9:06
Mile 6: 8:36
Mile 7: 9:11 (vomitted somewhere in there)
Mile 8: 9:11
Mile 9: 8:52 (this was even after stopping and talking with Becca since she was spectating!)
Mile 10: 8:35
Mile 11: 9:01
Mile 12: 9:19
Mile 13: 9:14
      . 19 : 6:03 (get me done already!)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

3 things Thursday

First and foremost- thank you to all that left such lovely comments on my last post HERE. I truly feel blessed to have a great support network both IRL and through the blogging community!
1. I had my follow up appointment on Tuesday and everything went well. My heart was back to original size and there was just some lingering inflammation around my pericardium. Considering how much it went down in 3 days, the doctor was confident in a day or 2 it would be gone. Just to be on the safe side, they gave me some predisone to help diminish inflammation as well as help immune system kick out what they presume was a virus since I also had shingles. Tested negative for any type of bacterial infection, and WBC was normal, so virus was the best guess.  I have clearance to run on Saturday, but really just have to pay attention to and LISTEN to my body for any warning signs.

2. Even though it got warm here earlier than normal, the humidity has been kept at bay so far. Naturally yesterday the humidity reared its ugly head during my test run, so I had difficulty breathing - humidity or chest? I'm going to go with humidity. Finished 4 miles @ 7:51 pace- woot woot. Made the decision to proceed with the Country Music 1/2 this weekend, and will listen to body if need to stop or slow down.

3.  For me this race will be nostalgic since it was my first half ever and it DESTROYED me (not this time around). Another reason I'm excited for this race, aside for another adventure with the Becka & L, is that my company HUGELY promotes us to run this race so a lot of my fellow colleagues and friends are participating in the full and half. Earlier this week I got a sweet little gift on my desk (ignore the clutter)
gatorade, sticker, M&Ms, and a cute quote. The guys also got bandaids hehe
Then as an added bonus they order everyone participating free shirts
Front says "It's the Well-Being Movement"

Michael modeling the back
love free tech tees!

I don't really have any goals for this race- it would be nice to run in the 1:40s again, however considering how hard the course is and I'm still lacking in energy, I'll take just a strong race. 
Special shout out to my fellow colleagues who are also good friends:
Jason- This will be his 3rd 1/2 mary this  year, and earning him his triple crown in the Heavy Medal series  His first 2 half mary's were within 30 sec of eachother, so I'm pretty sure he wants to go sub 2:10
Jack- doing marathon and aiming for 3:19:59 - he said if he does,  he will look into buying a bike to help with cross training during summer months. B goal is sub 3:30
Michael- his goal, seriously, is to beat my NY time= 1:43:30. I'm so touched to motivate him--- he'll kill it. 
Kali & Emily- no time goal, both of their FIRST marathons and they just want to finish strong together :) 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Knight in Shining Armor explained

So after my Saturday's facebook status update, I had a lot of messages from my bloggy friends  "dish" on the full scoop of what happened with my random day, so here's the back story and then what happened...

The term "knight in shining armor" doesn't exist in my vocabulary. I could go into detail with all the awesome relationships that have came and went, but instead, I think the below photo pretty much sums  it up :)

I used to say this about someone... who was it..... oh yes!  The guy I wound up marrying ;) sometimes they ditch the tin foil and put on actual armor <3

Let's rewind ....

I've been feeling "off" the last 2.5- 3 weeks- most common factor is extreme lethargy which then leads into zero motivation to do ANYTHING. Oh ya, add to that getting shingles over Easter weekend that are finally starting to go away = good times. For those that are curious as to what shingles look like, let me grace you with this lovely sight (not my body, but extremely similar- and they HURT)

 Originally I was supposed to head home this weekend for 2 of my girl friend's baby showers, as well as welcoming one of my best friends back to the states and hanging out before he moves to Colorado. As much as there was to look forward to, the sheer thought of all that, exhausted me, so I let all involved parties know on Wednesday that I was going to lay low in Nashville and catch up on some sleep. and hope whatever is going on.... leaves. 

Saturday morning I allowed myself to sleep in till 11am (which was glorious) and even though I wasn't "feeling" a run, I decided it would be in poor form the second I sign up for a marathon to really cut back on running- so I went.

Within the first few miles I was having breathing issues and sharp pains in my heart that were bothersome enough that I had to stop a few times to wait till they passed. I should have taken a clue and retreated back home, but instead I pushed forward, albeit a much slower pace. I noticed a trail along my run that I've never scoped out so I thought it would be fun to check it out.

Somewhere along the trail my breathing became heavy again and the heart pain re-surfaced- I stopped to catch my breath again and the next thing I know is I'm being carried in some guys arms and I'm not on a trail but in some apartment complex... WHAT?!?!

Naturally I.FREAKED.OUT.

The guy, who I learned was named Chad, explained that he was running along the trail and saw me passed out. Apparently he tried to bring me back to consciousness, but when that failed after a minute or two he decided to carry me to his car which was in the apartment complex I was seeing (trail butted right up to the apartment complex... luckily he lived there) and from there his plan was to take me to the emergency room. I was so confused as to what was happening, but understood that I was unconscious for a few minutes before he found me according to my garmin. He let me walk and still offered to take me to the ER.

We went to the closest ER to get checked out and after an EKG and some tests they said it was probably pericarditis. Considering I had a similar situation (without the passing out) my senior year of college, I really didn't think to ask any questions and just attributed it to stress since that is what caused it 7.5 years ago.
(now after discussing with my mom, its probably viral / or bacterial which will explain the shingles as well- further tests will be conducted later this week)

After I got the clearance to leave, Chad was still waiting around for me and had suggested it would be a good idea to get some food before taking me home. We just went to a nearby restaurant and in between my thanking him profusely, and him making sure I was okay- we did have a nice conversation about running and the like.

The time came for him to take me home and right after my final thank you he mentioned since it had already been an interesting day if there would be any harm in asking for my number--- umm none at all. Naturally I gave it to him, but in haste / dumbfoundedness I never asked for his.

Surprisingly earlier this evening, he did infact call and we have plans for dinner this week--- now I need to think of something spectacular to do as a HUGE thank you.
Any suggestions?!?

On a more serious note-
I was EXTREMELY lucky in regards to who found me, not every story has a happy ending. Yesterday's experience was a reminder on not only do I need to ALWAYS wear my Road ID bracelet, but also I need to listen to warning signs from my body vs. trying to push through.

I will be calling the doc tomorrow to get further tests, and HOPEFULLY get results that say I have some kind of viral / bacterial thing going on and THAT is what caused both shingles and pericarditis and not something else. In the meantime verdict will be out if I'm able to run this weekend for Country Music 1/2, so guess I'll have to suck it up and follow doctor's orders ( but I will be trying for a shorter run or two during the week)

Anything crazy / fun happen this weekend for you?!?!

Friday, April 20, 2012

First Marathon Registered!

I've been debating on when would be the right time to run a marathon for quite a while now. Originally I had told myself I was going to wait till I completed my 50 half journey, but I don't think I can wait that long. Last night I pulled the plug and finally registered....

Deep down if I was going to do a full marathon this year, I wanted it to be this one because this is my hometown, its a fairly easy course, AND my family could be there to support me in my first full mary. I ran the half last year with my brother Eric, and had the BEST time- recap HERE.

So what finally pushed me off the edge?!!?

I took a cue from Kim R's post earlier today HERE on how to lay this out
:Scene: minding my own business lounging around after a run prolonging a shower.... when I hear a text chime on my cell phone....

Kim R: Any thoughts on the Air Force Half in Dayton in Septemeber? Recommend it?
Me: Ya, you could stay with me at my parents house, tons of room.
Kim R: Are you running it this year? Scott wants to do the full
Me: I was debating on that being my full marathon as well ssshhhhh
Kim R: sssshhhhhut up! It's a date. And I'll be waiting with my camera at the finish for both of you. Get off the fence.
Me: Alrighty, FYI reister ASAP, sells out every year
Kim R: 80% sold out. Registering right now....
Me: 1/2 for u?
Kim R: oh yeah, I don't go all the way
Me: I'm going to try this slutty thing out (play on her previous text)
then sent her a photo of my screen showing I registered (couldn't upload to blog)

a few more words were said, but those are private..

I have so many mixed emotions right now.
  • another race with Kim and S
  • I can actually help tour guide this go round
  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE having family as support on the course
  • Opportunity to me Dean aka Karno at the expo
  • my FIRST full marathon ever- duh
  • i have great memories from this race last year, so at least I have that positivity going in
Scared / Nervous
  • I've done so many halfs that I don't train anymore- my mileage is b/n 10-20 miles a week normally (sad isn't it) I feel so unprepared.
  • I am bad... like really, really bad with training plans... I HAVE to get over this in order to prep for a marathon
  • I have Bourbon Chase relay 2 weeks later, I hope my body doesn't fall apart
  • No idea what to expect out of my body, no idea what my goal should be for time. My half times know allow me to definitely go way below sub 4 hours, but I also know that doesn't mean really anything when u factor in how much MORE you are asking from your body.
  • training for anything in the summer in nashville will be MISERABLE--- HOT, Humidity, my hydration pack only carries 20oz which is not enough.
Somehow more pepared now vs. any other time:
  • I have 2 ultra relays coming up - may and july, so at least my legs will be well conditioned with longer mileage- if anything else, it helps boost my confidence
  • been doing so much more boot camp and i can tell a HUGE difference  with strength in my legs and core.
  • my lungs should be well conditioned with the high humidity we experience here in the south (i.e. makes it feel like its WELL over 100 degrees)
  • I know the area really well- course knowledge has always proven successful for me.
So despite all these mixed emotions, I'm going for it!
 I just have one question for you all: In regards to choosing a training plan- what do I consider myself. Even though this is my first marathon, I'm not a novice given all the halfs I run, I'm also not advanced either. Any light shed on this will be ABOVE and BEYOND appreciated :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Decided last week I would go ahead and run the Country Music 1/2, and registered last night.For those that don't know- this was my first EVER experience with the half marathon and it was.absolutely.awful! Thats what you get for not training at all. I swore I'd never run a half again after that... funny how the tides have changed.
Recap of the 4/24/10 nightmare can be found HERE

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Platte River 1/2 (recap)

State #26 Platte River 1/2- Littleton Colorado

Leading up to the race
The only way this race even came across my radar is during my Livestrong race weekend Kim mentioned that her and husband S were scoping it out. Amongst all the talk of having another girl's weekend, Rebecca  mentioned I could crash at a spare room in her house since Kim & S were getting their own hotel room, so girls weekend + free stay = Lisa's on board!

I was super nervous about this race due to high altitude- I can deal with pain, but breathing issues are a whole different beast. Nashville's elevation is about 500ft... Littleton's... 5200ft, BIG difference. Since I had no idea how my breathing would go, coupled with the less than stellar projected weather forecast, I had zero time goals.

Friday night I was surfing good old facebook when I saw Kara show up in my newsfeed as writing a comment on the official race page. After confirming she was in fact doing the race as well, I asked her to join our bloggy dinner. Kara was on my original Colorado Ragnar Relay team (now disbanded due to Ragnar changing their dates) so I was excited that I was able to meet her after all. A few back and forth convos about race day expectations turned into her asking if I would run with her on race day--- sure, why not?!?!

Day before race
Race itself was on Sunday, so I flew into Denver and arrived late saturday morning just in time to hustle over to Kim's concourse / gate so I could greet Kim and the hubby IMMEDIATELY after they got off the plane (always trying to bring joy into other's lives haha) 

After a quick lunch at Qdoba, we head over to get our bib and the race "expo" 

The only big sign that denoted where we were 

able to get the entire 'packet pickup' with one photo, I'm awesome. 

As you can see, this is a smaller race, about 3,000. I actually don't mind small races, and my pocket book LOVES quick in and out packet pick ups :) 

We had a few hours to kill before our group dinner at Chillis, so whats there to do to pass time?!?! Why go to the Molly Brown house for their Titanic tour.. DUH

Unfortunately, all tours were sold out--- I think I saw S shed a few tears. We did get to check out the gift shop though, so not all was lost....

After goofing around, a beer a piece, we head to dinner to meet up with Becka, Laura, their children, 'R', and Kara. Lots of laughs,  stories, and memories shared. 

Although I agreed to help Kara with her race... its still important to carb load in all forms right??
Aside for allowing A and H (6 and 5 yrs old) to have a small bite, I ate the entire thing- 

After I DOMINATED the lava cake, we had one more group picture, and then said our goodbyes. I just have to add that I LOVE how I've met fellow towers like myself :) 

I went back to B & L's house, chatted, watched some tv, and lights were out shortly before 9pm. In my defense for the early time... CO is one hour behind TN--- thats my excuse and I'm sticking to it. 

Race Day 

Although the race start wasn't till 9am (WAY too late in my opinion) we were up and out the door  by 7:30ish. I admit I have been known to forget things from time to time, so it was no surprise when we were in the car for a solid 5 min and I look down at B's shoe and notice the timing chip attached to her laces... oops, forgot mine back at the house. Luckily R was nice to not complain and turn the car around so I could "officially" run the race. 

We get to the community college where the race start took place, park, and do a quick easy round to the bathroom. Kara texts me shortly after and we meet up and discuss her goals. From what I gathered- A goal was sub 1:50, B goal was to break last years time 1:54 and change- easy peasy....

After some stretching, and dropping off our extra layers at the bag drop, we decide to cycle one more round at the port-o-potties. Amongst the huge sea of runners, Kim and S managed to find us in the crowd (the power of matchy matchy!)
Becka and Kim showing their game face 

We thought it was comical how we towered over B 

After we all had a quick cycle through the bathroom, the race pretty much started. Obviously you could tell where our priorities were considering we were still trying to get a group photo when the gun went off
Kara, Kim, Me, Becka

After the photo we parted ways and all just slowly assimilated into the large mass of slow moving people to cross the start line.  I remember from reading B's recap of the race from last year that there was a large amount of congestion and then when 1.5 miles hit we would be directed to a narrow bike path for the rest of the race---- NO EXAGGERATION there. 
CrAzY congestion

Sometimes you just have races that are a blur- this is one of those races for me. My whole focus was just on Kara and matching her pace, that I mentally checked out of the race itself- here are what I do remember. 
Better recaps can be found from everyone else since I'm the last to post: Kara's, Becka's, Kim's
  • I told Kara that she set the pace and I would adjust my pace to hers, one condition was I had to take it easy first mile to allow for lungs to adjust- first mile clocked in at 8:30s which I was surprisingly fine with, but felt it might be fast to help her hit goals. 
  • The going out too fast did catch up w/ Kara and a few times we had to slow down or walk... during this time we were able to chat a bit since we both prefer to just listen to music vs. having a conversation the entire run
  • The congestion NEVER let up the entire race--- I realized how incredibly hard it is to bob and weave between people while TRYING to make sure you stay with the same person.
  • All the aide stations had blue powerade... this was my magic drink in New York- no cramps and had energy the whole time- so decided that I would just stick to this and didn't do any water the whole race. 
  • Anytime I accidently bumped into someone (which was often) their response was always so nice "good morning" "sorry about that" or "hey there" were my faves. 
  • forecast originally said it would potentially snow / rain, 30s, and windy. actual forecast was 40s, sunny, and only slight sprinkles around mile 11. Some of the other ladies I ran with complained about the wind, but maybe I was just off in la la land because I only noticed it 10 and after. 
  • course was pretty boring, lot of tunnels, bridges (although they had a little spring to them when running), and dirty water-- i've seen worse, but i've also seen a lot better. 
  • I NEVER had a breathing issue- amazing that for whatever reason that the altitude didn't get to me. (thank goodness!)
  • about 1/2 way through race we slowed down our pace significantly, eventually it caught up to me and the shortening of my stride = extremely sore calves and hips- although I wasn't tired, afterward I had difficulty walking
  • aside from a few times when I just went slightly ahead of Kara due to congest, we stuck together

  • I thought about being super cheesy (as if the above photo isn't cheesy enough) and asked if she wanted to cross the finish line holding hands, but side by side ended up doing just fine. 
  • after race food was amazing. you had to walk quite a bit and get in line for the good stuff, but they had tacos, garlic bread, rice and beans, hot dogs, hamburgers, chilli, cookies- YUM
  • they handed everyone free rail passes to take us back to start line to retrieve cars (point to point race)

being silly on the rail back to cars 

To reiterate what was said at the beginning of this post, I had zero goals for this race. If Kara hadn't asked me to run with her I would have been so lost on how to run this race. This is not a race you actually want to RACE due to large numbers on such a short trail. Unlike Kim, I would eventually like to come back to Colorado to do a MUCH better race. For those that are in the area, its a great 'no frill' race--- would not recommend if you're traveling from afar. 

State #26, complete- time 2:04:51ish 
So unfortunately, not my greatest recap, so I'm hoping that my upcoming adventures will be better documented: 

Reunion with Becka and Laura in 2 weeks, this time in MY area- RnR Country Music Marathon
3 weeks out will be double weekend in ID and OR with Kim
Although the race sucked, blogging friends make it all worth it sometimes :) 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tangent Thursday- Colorado Edition

I leave this weekend to tackle the Platte River 1/2 for state #26 Colorado... this is the beginning of the last 1/2 of my journey--- crazy.
  • Ladies weekend reunite- get to hang out with my fellow tower Kim, and the midgets Becka and Laura.
  • I get to meet, in the flesh, Kim's husband , S--- he apparently is a fan of my dance videos Kim has shown him, so I expect I'll have to show him some live versions
  • Just saw on facebook that Kara from Miles High Maven is running the race. Originally Kara was on our Colorado Ragnar Relay team, but when Ragnar decided to change the date, our team fell apart (this will be another post entirely) so I'm excited about the potential opportunity to actually get to meet her after all -- just waiting for a response via facebook.
  • I have been told that its hard to get medals from Colorado races, so to choose wisely, this race has a medal (which is why B & L are running it this year since they didn't give it out last year)
  • We had a slight cold snap here in Nashville and its been in the low 60s all week, this weekend is going to be GORGEOUS-- Photo below left is Nashville's Weather, the right, Denver's.  I already had 3 emails today at work asking if I was going to be laying by the pool this weekend... so unfair :( 
you see that "rain/ snow/ wind"- NOT excited about that

  • Reading B's recap HERE of the race last year it looks like I have to deal with my biggest pet peeve--- large groups of slow moving people filing into a tiny spot. In this case the trail only being 3 people wide, argh!!! I guess I'll have to hustle and bustle for the first 1.5 miles before the trail starts.
  • I'm nervous about what to expect with noticeable difference in sea level than what I'm used to. I think it's safe to say my breathing will be off, thus making it more difficult when running. So I don't really have any time goals- no time goals = "what the heck do I shoot for?"  (not that  I need to PR, but its nice to know to have a range / pace to stick aim for)

Aside from that, I'm excited to knock a state of my belt as well as explore a new city as well.
Anyone else have racing plans this weekend?

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    Easter Egg Fleet Feet Run

    I decided today that after my 4th consecutive Monday night group run with Fleet Feet, that this is going to be a weekly tradition for me. Every monday morning we get an email from the store co-owner about what the plans are for the evening run.

    This morning there was mention that there would be an Easter egg hunt along the course and that every egg represented some type of prize you could trade in for at the end of the run!  I get excited about fun little runs like this, so I convinced highly suggested to 2 of my running buddies that they join in on the fun as well as introduce them to their first Fleet Feet group run.
    Both from Ragnar Tennessee team- Mike
    And Jason (also my co-captain / financial guru for Bourbon Chase)

    They didn't want to run with me stating they were going to 'take it easy', and I didn't bring headphones with me thus it was a 'left alone with my thoughts' kind of run. 
    Shortly after first mile we hit a trail which is where all the eggs were 'hidden'--- it actually took me quite some time till I came across the first one (can only take 1).

    The fun was short lived as we finished up the trail and made our way onto the same street near work that I run often. Although the weather was absolutely pristine, I just wasn't feeling the run. My legs were like bricks, my breathing was off, and I was exhausted. The last few weeks I've been internalizing a lot of stress, and its starting to take its toll--- I broke out in shingles on Thursday and every day has been a struggle mid day to not want to nap. I went straight home from work today and took a quick 1 hour nap before the run and I still don't think it helped :(  In all honestly if I hadn't talked Jason and Mike into coming, I would have skipped out on the run entirely. 

    Am I alone on this, or do you have weeks where your energy is zapped?!?!

    I've been working a lot on my mentality "if i'm out here, I might as well give my all", so despite not feeling the run, I did opt to do the longest route being offered for the evening -5 miles. I know, I know its not a lot, but its so tempting to do a shorter run to beat everyone back and get your beer and food first. 

    Route was shy of 5 miles, finished at 4.8 with an 8:30 average. I think its ridiculous how slow I felt and still pulled a descent time (small victory) 

    Jason and Mike decided on 3 miles, so they already had a table and a pitcher of beer waiting. I knew there was a reason I liked them. I traded my egg for my prize- 2 sports nutrition items
    I chose 2 'new to me items': Honey Stingers and blue cliff shot blocks---everything blue always seems to be good, so I hope they don't disappoint. I love trying new types of refueling nutrition, so I'm anxious to give these a go. 
    Are you a creature of habit with your sports nutrition, or do you like to add new rotations/ flavors to the mix?
    I recently discovered powerbars coco cola flavored electrolyte gummys... PURE HEAVEN 

    Both boys won free draft beers so we chatted, drank, gorged on some guac and chips... and complained about work (we all work together).

    I got a lot of my compliments on my outfit, saw KIM's post today about breaking in her new skirt, so figured I'd do the same! (we texted 2 weeks ago which ones to buy so we could match for our upcoming races with one another) Kim, what do you think of this outfit for Cinco de Mayo?!? Ole!! (or if you prefer something red, white, green, and maybe gold I'm sure we could come up with something) 

    Even though I felt less than stellar tonight, I'm glad I went. I love my Monday night runs because its a great way to catch up with friends, get in a run I would have otherwise skipped, and get to meet new runners every week. (the free stuff is an added bonus as well)  If you don't already, I highly recommend looking into a local running club in your area--- its been highly motivating for me to add it into my "fly by the seat of my pants" schedule so at least I know Monday night is booked up. 

    Sunday, April 8, 2012

    Jelly Bean 10k + Easter

    Originally I signed up for the 5k, 10k, and 13.1 distance for the Jelly Bean Virtual Race, however, I forgot how hard it is to get in miles while at home, so I settled on just doing the 5k and 10k.

    Due to my dad's work schedule, we were celebrating Easter on Saturday vs. actual Easter Sunday, so the plan was I had to get up and get my run in plus shower before noon when the rest of my siblings arrived.
    After about 1 mile I got bored in my parents neighborhood, so I decided to run to a nearby community park where we held our home cross country race back in high school. Unfortunately I wasn't able to run the whole course due to soccer games going on and a free rather large easter egg hunt for the kiddos, but it was definitely a blast from the past.

    I'm not sure if it was my body remembering the once so familiar course, or the fact that I was so wrapped up in memories while running, but my 2nd and 3rd mile were both below 7:30s!!! I forgot how much of a workout it was on your ankles to run in pure grass (how did I do this for 4 years in a row?!?!)

    Unfortunately I wasn't even able to get in a full 3.1 in the park, so I headed home and just ran circles around the neighborhood to make an even 6.2.... B.O.R.I.N.G. (next time I go home I'll plan better to wake up early and drive to my old trails)

    10k complete
    Don't let the 7:14 fool you... that was just my pace for the .20. Actual overall pace was 7:52. 

    Parents don't have color ink, so  my race bib is a little blah.

    After my 10k, both brothers came over and we began the annual Jameson Easter Holiday tradition

    First up was the nephews doing their first (of many to come)  Easter Egg hunt

    Then it was time for the "big kids" Easter Egg Hunt ( for whatever reason... no photos from this year, so below is from previous 2)

    Once we find all the hidden eggs, we get to open them to see what goodies are inside.... aka how many slips of paper did you get

    If you get pink paper alongside your candy, that equates to a certain dollar amount
    $49 for me- 2nd place. Eric beat me with $57. I forget how much Andy won. 

    Our last "event" is putting all the easter eggs we just collected into a big bowl and then we get timed on how many we can put together... it gets pretty intense with 5 sets of hands moving everything around. 

    I got 2nd again to Eric. Andy once again got 3rd. 2nd yielded me a $35 Kroger gift card, SCORE!

    Hope everyone else had a great time with family for their Easter Holiday. Although it was short, I enjoyed my trip back to Ohio :)