Monday, May 7, 2012

Lake Lowell 1/2 Recap

Lake Lowell Half Marathon- Nampa, Idaho
Half Marathon # 32
State #27

39 and sunny at start. Windy entire first half of race (out and back) Somewhere the sun disappeared thus overcast rest of race and never really warmed up. 

Official Stats: 
Overall 11/117
Gender Place 2 / 70
First in age group

Pre Race:
Kim R and I planned our flights to arrive in Boise around the same time frame (within the 5:00 hour) so that we could get our rental and meet  Cynthia  for dinner at a nearby Olive Garden for some carbo loading (for sunday's race) 
Kim is making the moves on Cynthia 

Cynthia was nice enough to get our bags from packet pickup since logistically it would have been hard for us to make it work- aside from just doing that AMAZING deed for us, she also gave us a cute little goody bag since this was a smaller race
Modeling her homemade goody bag 

We each got a cliff bar, bottle of nuun, and gu chomps- so sweet. 

Race started kind of late, 9am, but that meant we got to sleep in a bit. Despite the late start, it looked like it was still going to be chilly. Luckily we had time to spare the night before and stopped at a local goodwill so I could get a sweet, soft, purple throwaway fleece. 

Cynthia came to Kim and I's hotel at 8am. Since the race was held at Lake Lowell Park, a short distance from us, we were able to get to the location, pick up our time chip, and park all by 8:30am. 
Timing chip fastened to everyone's wrist - a first for me. 
Because the race was held in a park, the only bathrooms were an actual restroom building, i.e. LONG lines. Luckily the race director's wife came by and said the race was starting in 15 min and there was a port-o-potty about .2 miles down the hill, so naturally all 3 of us ladies sprint off to be able to use restroom and get back to start line on time. 
Lake Lowell near the boating deck (on way to port o potty) 

Pre race photo outside the port o let---- keeping it classy 

We get back to the start / finish area just in time to listen to final race instructions and national anthem
no corrals, everyone (half marathoners, 5kers, 10kers) all standing around 

Matching twin towers getting ready to take off! 

Actual Race

Miles 1- turnaround point
Kim and I were writing our blogs next to eachother (and she finished WAY before me) and  said I should keep it simple and say "I am the shit, I placed 2nd overall female, 11th in the race, the end" hahaha (my time wasn't that great, it was just a small race)

So I'll try to keep it simple...

The half marathon itself only had 117 participants, however the 10k and 5k also started with us, so the first mile was probably the most crowded of the entire race. I use the term "crowded" loosely, anything is a cake walk compared to last week's nightmare of masses. 

I actually (for once) paid close attention to the elevation profile and knew we had a HUGE steep uphill in the first mile, also with several inclines after that. Taking this bit of information, I managed to take it easy, yet pace myself up the hills. Surprisingly enough, the good ol' people of Idaho don't run hills much because I was passing people left and right with ease-- woo woo 

Due to the smaller field size once the 5k and 10k split off, I kind of felt like I was running in an overnight relay ( the day part) There wasn't much to look at, there were ZERO spectators on the course, and runners were spread out far enough to where they became "Kills" everytime I passed one. 

As soon as I passed one person, I moved my sights onto the next individual. This process (which I did the entire race) seemed to work pretty well to keep me occupied, however not sure if it would work with a larger race. 

Somewhere in  mile 3 one of my "power songs" came on- right now I have 2 - Rammstein "Du Hast"  & Dragon Force "Through the Fire and Flames". My rule is when either of these 2 songs come on, I WILL pick up my pace... NO EXCEPTIONS. So I was a little nervous that it came on so early in the race, but like a good runner, I followed my rule and picked it up. (I use ipod shuffle, so songs come on when they come on and nothing I can do about it)

When my song was over, I slowed down slightly due to more hills over and over, (seriously am I just that bad at reading elevation profiles?) but it gave me the boost I needed. I was noticing as time went on that there really weren't many females in the distance that I could see so I started to think to myself that if I start picking some off, could I potentially place?

I had a few back and forths with this pink halter top girl, but I finally left her for good and didn't have any other females in sight. As we get closer to the turnaround and the return runners are passing us, I start to count the women. First place women is quite a distance in front of me. Second place lady wasn't too far behind the first placed but a considerable distance in front of myself.

Then something magical happened--- there were no more females to count, all males. Holy shit I AM the THIRD female.  Obviously since I realize this, I'm sure the girl behinds me realizes this too and suddenly I feel like there is a target on my back. Naturally I pick up the pace a little bit so I can distance myself between the 4th place girl and myself.

Turnaround to Finish

Once I get to the turnaround and start running back I had so many strangers yell to me "you're in 3rd, you're in 3rd" How absolutely MOTIVATING that was. I gave a thumbs up and HUGE smiles to both Cynthia and Kim who also shouted 3rd place!! I know, I know its a smaller race, but hey, it was a "new to me type of feeling" 

The next 2 miles were bliss- I was smiling and high fiving people on my way back and all the runners were so friendly. The bonus part was that I managed to pass 2 guys I'd been eyeing for the last several miles (2 more kills).

I started to notice that the gap between myself and the 2nd place girl was closing (she was wearing magenta leggings so it was hard to miss). Although my focus was just on maintaining my 3rd position, I spent the next mile slowly working my up to pass her.

Shortly after mile 8 there was a water stop and she made the mistake of stopping completely. I literally said under my breather "sucker" and  took advantage, zoomed by there quickly grabbing a cup of water to take my 2nd gu and was on my merry way- with her in my dust.

Once I hit mile 10 I decided to check my watch to see my time (Mile 10 is a good indicator for me on where I'll finish) Unfortunately the way I have my garmin set up is my main screen shows overall average pace, pace for the mile i'm in, and distance. If I want to see total time spent running, I have to click to the other screen. After doing so I saw a 1:21 and knew I'd be running in the 1:40s (a small goal I had this weekend). What I didn't anticipate was for my watch to freak out and start beeping incessantly at me and continually look for satellites, so I stopped it so it would shut up (or so I thought)

Once I got past mile 11, my legs celebrated and picked up the pace, all the while taking FULL advantage of any flat or downhills.  When I hit the last mile I cruised past the only other guy in my sight and was excited because I had literally caught every single person I had my eyes set on, and there was no one left to catch (within eye sight)

A little into the last mile he caught back up to me and instead of passing me, the little booger ran RIGHT next to me. I moved to the other side of the road, and so did he. I picked up my pace, so did he. (big pet peeve of mine)

Considering I had been really pushing myself the second half of the race, coupled with the beating my legs went through with all the gradual hills, I was SPENT. It didn't help that I was starting to realize the course was going to be long... like REALLY long. Eventually my "running partner" pulled away and I didn't bother trying to catch him- my pace drastically slowed down  and I made a feeble attempt to kick in in during the grass chute toward the finish line  (reminded me of high school cross country meets)

Immediately after finishing I went and got some Powerade, however, the only other after race refreshments they had was Papa John's pizza and it hadn't arrived yet so I grabbed my throwaway and started backtracking the course so I could cheer Cynthia and Kim in.
Cynthia reeling it in

I told Cynthia I was going to wait for Kim and I'd run in shortly after her and shortly after...

I ran with Kim a little bit and my calves were tightening up so I told her I would just walk over to the finish line. 

Results were up and it was official- 2nd female runner overall-- woo woo 
 Only 2nd time I've ever placed in a race!

Turns out the top 3 overall winners get gift cards to their local running store, Pulse. Mine was $15.

The 3 of us had a few pieces of pizza, and chatted with some of Cynthia's friends. Turns out my "running partner" at the end is one of her friends. She introduced us and he thanked me for pushing him to speed up at the end of the race. Bah, no problem, sorry I died on you there. 

Cynthia took us back to our hotel and we said our goodbyes. Kim and I quickly showered so we had time to grab lunch and claim get something worthy at Pulse---  I decided to be practical and stock up on gu, can't beat free gu :) 

After lunch we head back to Boise Airport in anticipation of our next half marathon the following day
2009 statue that was used at the Special Olympics which was apparently held in Idaho- now resides right outside of the airport.

Made a new friend with the Boise State Bronco

Garmin Results- again I thought my watch crapped out at mile 10, so I never stopped it crossing the finish line. It wasn't until 1 hour later I noticed it was still ticking away so I only was able to get the first 13 miles.

Mile 1- 8:21
Mile 2- 9:13 (long, gradual uphill)
Mile 3- 7:55
Mile 4- 8:11
Mile 5- 8:30
Mile 6- 8:24
Mile 7- 7:51
Mile 8- 7:44
Mile 9- 7:46
Mile 10- 7:51
Mile 11- 8:45 (long, gradual, uphill)
Mile 12- 7:56
Mile 13- 7:29
.44 ( too lazy to do math)

State #27- Nampa Idaho complete. 


  1. congrats on a great race! and don’t worry-i am the queen of long race recaps. i partly do it for myself, so i can remember each race, but I enjoy reading everyones play-by-play. :)

    a placing is a placing!! excellent job! i got a $10 giftcard at that race in auburn and bought sunscreen.

    can’t wait to read the next one!

  2. congrats on placing!!! wow!!!
    never seen a time chip on the wrist

    those 2 hills look nasty...

  3. Way to go! 2nd place, that is so awesome!

  4. Good ol nampa Idaho for your first visit to the potato state!;)

  5. You are the TOTAL shit! Wow what a great race and some smart, aggressive running on your part. Congrats speedy girl!

  6. You totally rocked Idaho, therefor you are the shit!

    That elevation map was deceiving!

    So glad I was able to be a part of your doubles weekend!
    Thank you for cheering me on at the end! I loved meeting you!

    I really hope you decide to run Seattle RnR I would love to see you again! :)

    1. aww thanks Cynthia- glad we were able to meet you as well.

      I'll post when I officially decide to do RnR seattle or If I'm out for the count. Time will tell ;)

  7. Great recap. So great to be a part of it. Thanks for an awesome weekend. You are the shit.

  8. gotta start running more local races, you'd place all the time :)

  9. Freaking awesome race!! :D

  10. I LOVE your plaid running skirts! Where did you get them? I'd love to have one for myself.

    1. pretty much every skirt you'll see me wear for races comes from Since I'm tall, I just buy the triathalon skirts (nothing attached underneath) and then use my own shorts to prevent chaffing. Tri skirts are the cheapest, and I generally go to the sale section- about $25. Can't beat that :)

  11. WOW< 2nd overall, that is amazing!!! Congrats!!

  12. absolutely LOVE the yellow top with the black plaid skirt!!! Great running outfit!