Monday, August 22, 2011

Part Two: The race!

I had every intention of finishing this last week....honestly I have no idea why I didn't.  Pure laziness i'm guessing!!  Just a warning...lots of stuff in this post that i'm sure no one cares to hear about, i just want to remember it!

The race was suppoesd to start at 6:30am.  And I think for the most part it did....i didn't cross the start line till about 15 minutes later (that's what happens when your waaaaay in the back in corral 22!).  While up by the start I did see Al Roker and his clan taking off.  He ran with like 5 girls and matching tank tops that formed a circle around him.  Um...if that was his security detail then i'm guessing no one really poses a threat to him.  I could have tackled him if i felt the urge.  Anywho....we're off!!  And when I say we i mean me and thousands of people.  It was crazy.  There were people as far as i could see in front of me and behind me.  If i pooped my pants, there would be a TON of witness's. Just saying.  I spent the first 5k hoping and praying for the rain to hold off.  There were some serious clouds, and the humidity was like 85%....didn't look good.  I figured if all these other people would have to suffer thru it then i could manage.  But i was NOT above ducking into a store to wait some of it out either.  Could you imagine the blisters and chaffing you'd get from running soaking wet for two thanks.  By the time i hit the 5k mark I was certain we had already gone at least 5 that sucked.  I have a love hate relationship with milage signs.  I want to know, but then again I don't.  My pace up until this point was just plain slow.  I ran the 5k in 32:01.  That's a 10:30 mile. (My 5k for kenna time was around 25:00, so i can tell that i was being timid)  Not the pace i wanted to keep, but i was scared to death about dying out halfway thru. (At the time I had no idea what my pace was or what my time was since the clocks started with the first person to cross the starting line).  I managed to survive the two water stations up to this point.  It's like herding cattle (you've all done that right?).  If i were to ever get in a fight at a race it would be at a water/GU station.  Get your shit and get out of my way.  Don't linger, don't walk right in the middle of the road, MOVE!  Ugh.  I wanted to push at least 3,467 people.  Mile happened.  It rained.  At first just a few drops....i thought maybe i was drooling on myself, or the guy in front of me was drooling into the wind....but nope, it was rain.  It rained for a solid 15 minutes i bet.  Seemed like an hour.  But it stopped.  And i sped up.  If it's going to dump, i'm getting this damn race over with as fast as humanly possible.  Pace from 5k mark to the 10k mark was about 9:45min/miles.  That's more around the pace i'd planned on keeping....until i had to walk (which going into this, i was totally ok with doing.  13.1 miles is no joke, and if i have to walk, walk i shall).  I don't remember anything too specific from this jaunt of the race.  Oh mile 7 my mother in law jumped out of the crowed gave me a high five and a YOU GO GIRL!  That pumped me up!!  The crowd thru the whole race was AMAZING!! Soooo many people.  Some in costumes, some doing pyramids, some with some pretty awesome signs (my favorite was the church people...they made me giggle).  There were band every mile and a half or so....from what i could hear, they were pretty decent. this point we're running down Michagin Ave.  So there's more room....which i  like.  Mile 9 the gave out GU's.  I've never used GU before.  I researched it, talked to people, and decided that since i'd never used one before I wouldn't eat the whole thing.  I didn't want to have stomach issues this close to the end.  Problem is, i don't drink gaterade or anything like that either.  I knew i'd need something besides water at this point to give me some fuel.  Executive decision....water, and about 1/2 of the vanilla GU.   Nothing cool happened.  I didn't sprout wings...which at this point would have been welcomed.  But most importantly my stomach was ok with it.  I hit mile 10 at 1:36My pace from the 10k to this point was 9:30.  Um.  Don't you usually slow down towards the end?  I would do this all ass backwards.  I do remember thinking....I'm not dying.  My legs aren't even tired.  That must mean i'm not pushing myself.  Aren't you supposed to leave it all out on the course?  Kick your own ass seabass.  So i did.  Plus I just passed a girl running with ONE LEG.  See had an orthopedic attachment, but still....that was AMAZING!!!  I almost cried.  Ok maybe i shed a tear....but at this point i'm losing my mind.  We hit the curve, which from studying the course map for 12 hours, i knew this was the tail end of the race....this was or never.  If your going to die on the course do it at the end so you at least look like you tried right?  I finished strong.  The last 3.1 miles I ran an average of 8:50 miles.  That's fast for me.  Especially after running 10 miles.  Usually i'd be putting along at 12 minute miles....or walking really fast! 

Anywho...i crossed the finish line with the timeclock saying 2:20.  I knew that wasn't my accurate time since I started late, but i was still pleased as punch to be under 2:30hrs.  The official finishing time for me was 2:06:55.  The finish was weird.  You literally cross the line then BAM it's a wall of people.  Hot, sweaty, smelly people.  I feel like this should be planned out better...i'll get on that.  Once you get to moving (which is super hard to do once you stop running) you get some water....wet towels...i think there were sponges too....and then the medals.  I almost wanted to go back and get like 4 more!! (hey, these races aren't cheap, gotta get your money's worth!).  I opted out of the medal/race picutre.  Mainly because i didn't want to stand in line anymore.  I was super excited to see what goodies they had for me to stuff in my pie hole.... i was told they usually have great post race snacks.  Um...WRONG.  First up...popsicle's.  Ok.  I can be down with that (as long as it's purple)....then banana's.  What's with all the phalic food? Men must run this show.  After banana's, an orange station...gross.  Then citomix, don't drink the stuff so no thanks.  Chex mix, i'll have three bags please and thank you (i'm stocking up for the plane ride). Then the snickers station.  I went thru that line 3 times :)  I found Kim super easy and we decided to for go the after race party.  It was raining by this point and I just wanted to be warm. 

Headed to the hotel, stretched, showered, then off to get pizza. 

Because that's what you do after you run for two hours....make up those lost calories in Chicago's best stuffed pizza...duh. was by far one of the best experiences of my life.  If you would have told me two years ago that i'd be able to run 13.1 miles without stopping...and live to talk about it, i would have laughed in your face.  I like to see end products....especially when you work so hard towards something.  I'm now obsessed with races.  The atmosphere, the's SO awesome!  There are several races between now and the end of the year that i'd LOVE to run.  Situations may arise that will cause me to take time off from running though....and i'm ok with that.  But you can bet your ass as soon as that's all said and done, i'll be right back out there!!

Random Stats from the race:  5,656th place out of 15,259 people.  Not bad.
In my age division 25-29; 739th out of 2,488
Females:  2,553rd out of 9,480

Monday, August 15, 2011

Part 1: Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon Chicago

Well....I survived my very first half marathon this weekend!!!  And I LOVED every single second of it!!!

Here's a little play by play.

After work Friday, me and my severely over packed carry on headed up to Wichita.  I realize I was only going to be gone Saturday night, and I really just needed an outfit to put on before the flight Saturday, something to run in Sunday, and something to wear home after.  However....this girl prefers to have options.  So I packed 3 pairs of running shorts, three different running tops, 4 sports bras, 3 pairs of running socks, 4 pairs of underwear, 1 pair of jeans (not counting the ones i wore there), 1 pair of capri's, three regular shirts, two pairs of running shoes, a rain jacket, a fleece jacket, and a pullover.  It was ALL VERY necessary I swear :)  Anywho....we woke up at 5am Saturday morning to catch our flight out of Wichita (Yuck yuck yuck!!)  Luckily we had no issues with any of our flights!!  We arrived in chicago around 930am..... and decided to brave out the public transportation known as the L train instead of busting out 40 bucks for a cab.  We surprisingly made it to the right spot with out anyone stabbing us, robbing us, or just plain scaring us!  We stayed at the Hilton on Michagin Ave.  It was BEAUTIFUL!!!
Next up was the Race Expo.  Holy over-whelming batman.  People everyone...(i do not do well in large crowds, it makes me an angry violent elf) and tons of vendors!  We got our t-shirts, and swag bags and braved our way thru the crowds checking out all the free samples.  Lots of protein bars (which i think taste like pure dog doo), recovery drinks, qdoba(one of these things is not like the others), merchandise, group excercising, and buff people.  I'd have to say my favorite sample was the snickers new marathon bars (well their new to me at least!).  YUM-O!! Lots of protein, and not bad calories...i'm sold.
I would if they sell these in bulk at sam's.  Hmmmm.  Anyways.  Moral of the story, we got our race info without a glich and were now officially ready to run the damn thing....all we had to do was show up.  Ok fast forward to dinner.  Cheesecake factory...peanut butter cheesecake....pure heaven.  I also got to pick the brain of Stephanie (her mother works with my MIL and her and her mother were there for the race as well).  This was going to be her 4th 1/2 so so was def. more experienced then me.  I needed to know lots of valuable i going to die?  will i have to poop in the middle of the race?  should i wake up 2 hours early (4am) to eat something to ensure that i don't poop in the middle of the race? Ipod or no ipod? Sunglasses?  are you sure i'm not going to die?  She was very helpful, but i still felt umprepared.  Back to the hotel...freak out a little....trick myself into sleeping until my alarm goes off at 5am.  Jump right out of bed when the alarm goes offs to check the weather (it rained a lot Saturday and there was a 63% chance of rain all morning Sunday).  It was dry...there is a God.  Now we just have to get our butts to the starting line!!

Me, Kim (MIL), Stephanie, and Sonia

I was in corral 21.  They put you in corral's according to your predicted finish time.  On the registration I put 2:30 hours.....I figured that was do able.  While waiting for our turn I started talking to a tall red head.  This was like her 5th race....her PR is 1:32. Um...what are you doing in my corral you crazy speedy ginger?   She said she hadn't trained at all for this race so she put a longer time.  So your fast, run races with out training, and skinny?? Gingers really are soul-less.  (Southpark reference for all of you slow folks).  Next thing I know i'm running.... with 15, 258 other people.  That's a lot of the same direction....on small streets.  So that makes about 8,026 people that I wanted to push, shove and/or trip (the other 7,000 people were behind me or already almost done!).  Did i mention I hate large crowds? 

(I'm totally splitting this in to two parts.  Not because it's a super awesome long story....but because i have nothing else to blog about so i need to spread it out, make it count!  Plus i'm waiting for the actual race photo's to be uploaded so you can see how awesome i look when i am a few feet away from death.)