race recap: walt disney world 1/2 marathon

I can’t believe my first half marathon is OVER! Training seemed to fly by and the past week has just flown. We woke up at 2am to drink coffee (lots and lots of coffee!), eat something (half a bagel with PB2) and get dressed and ready to catch our shuttle.

We got on the one from our hotel (a perk of staying at a Disney property!) at 3:50 and headed toward the parking lot of Epcot where the start/finish line was. It took about 30-40 minutes to drive the short distance. The roads were packed with half marathoners. We were urged to take Disney’s own transportation, but for people staying off-property or who live in the area there wasn’t a way to take it. When we finally got to the area, we got off the bus and walked close to 10 minutes to find the port-o-lets. Too much coffee! Each port-o-let had a huge line, so we got in one and made our way up. Mom came with us for this part. Originally we were thinking we would need sweaters in the morning from the chilly air, but not this morning!

When it was closer to 5, mom left and headed to the spectator spot at Cinderella’s Castle. She got a ChEAR squad package that let her have special access to front-row viewing. I think she’s glad she did that, and got a t-shirt and blanket to wear as well! There was a spot for bag drop-off. We didn’t need to do this since mom would be at the finish, so we passed on by and headed into the cluster of people ahead. There were more port-o-lets on this side with even longer lines, and somehow we funneled through them in the crowd to start getting into the corrals. This walk was super long! Along the way we got on an off ramp with more port-o-lets and decided to take the opportunity to go again before waiting to run.

We finally got to my corral (I was C, Kinley was B but decided to hang back to run together). At 5:30 the wheelchairs went and then were followed every 7 minutes or so by another wave. We took this time to take a few pictures, obviously :). They had large screens up so we could watch Donald and the gang count down for each corral. Each corral got a countdown, and each corral got a fireworks show. Of course the first fireworks were the best and biggest, and scaled back from there. In no time, it was corral C’s turn and we were off! We were stuck in a hoard of people, not able to keep anything better than a 12:30 average, below what we were wanting. Some were dodging left and right, weaving in between runners, but that was difficult then we were running together and didn’t want to sprint to pass by others. We thought it was going to thin out, but it never did…

The first part of the race went pretty well except for incredibly slow. Probably why it felt okay! It was all on roads/highways so there was no scenery until we reached mile 5 – 5 1/2 and got to Magic Kingdom. We had to go through a few tiny doorways to navigate around to actually get in the park, that caused even more traffic back-up. I loved running through Tomorrowland. It was still really dark out and it was nicely lit up with a ton of music blasting – just what I needed to give me motivation! (Side note: I decided to run without music for this race and I never missed having it! I still had my iPod on to track my time and splits but only looked a few times since it was clipped on my bra.)

Right before getting to the 6 mile mark, it was time to run through Cinderella’s castle! This was a really neat experience and definitely the highlight of the run. Right after we got through, we managed to spot mom yelling at us from her ChEAR squad station and decided to go over by her to get a picture of us. We were stopped for a couple of minutes and I also handed her my back bib because I had already sweated through it – whoops!

After the short diversion, we went on our way again through Frontierland and then out of the park. Again. The next 6 miles were on a highway and/or a backlot of Magic Kingdom. It was tough. After the 10k point I realized no race I had ever done is further than that, so I was headed somewhere I had never been. The miles between 8 and 11 are the dimmest for me, I think I was partly zoning out, largely freaking out, and tired from navigating through all the people. At one point along this stretch Kinley asked if we wanted a picture with Chip and Dale. Even though it would have been nice to stand and wait in line and rest a bit, the line was also 10+ people deep so it would have meant making it to the finish even later. I tried to not be concerned with time during my training runs, but I still had some expectations. Within the first mile of the race I dropped all expectations and just wanted to cross the finish and get my medal, but I thought stopping at Chip and Dale would have made the last stretch harder than it already was going to be.

Lovely Disney decided that at the 10 1/2 mile point they would send us up three hills, that would last for a good mile and a half to the finish. I remember Kinley and I were headed up the exit ramp and she looked over and said if we picked up our pace we could finish in 2 1/2 hours. That was tempting and even though I had nothing left in me, I prepared to run up the hills at a faster pace than the rest of the race. It was tough, and I was mentally and physically drained. I knew I could cross the finish, but I didn’t think I could make it in 2:30. I stopped and walked to catch by breath a few times, but I managed to keep my legs moving. The last half mile was in Epcot and I barely remember running this at all. I got really cold and shaky and felt lightheaded and the finish line was not getting any closer. There were so many twists and turns I kept thinking “at the next one, I’ll see the finish!”, but it never happened. There was no long straightway to the finish, only one filled with twists and turns. Right before the finish line came up, Kinley grabbed my arm and practically pulled me across the finish line. We somehow managed to get the exact same time. 2:30:54. With 6 seconds to spare in the 2:30’s.

Once through the finish line, I was real lightheaded and tried to keep my legs moving to go forward to get some nutrition and one of the blanket things to help me warm up and get rid of my chills. We stopped by the medical tent to see if they had Powerade, but they only had water and no salt packets or any electrolyte recovery anything. We kept on our way and I had to stop along the side for a bit, being yelled at to “keep moving” from one of the volunteers. Sorry guy, but if I move I might pass out so just give me a second. I got my race medal, and yelled at Kinley to get her own when she was about to walk away without one. Dork.

We then encountered multiple huge lines of people waiting for food. We passed these by, but I grabbed an orange while walking – sorry to bud in front of you person, but all I wanted was something fruity and to get out to sit down. We saw mom in the distance and were yelling at her, and she was looking in every direction that was not us, so we had to get out quickly so we wouldn’t lose her. We got there, and I promptly sat down and ate a couple slices of my orange. I was feeling weird, and not really like I wanted to be eating so I just sat there for a bit, looking at my medal :).

We took a few finisher pictures here too since we went around the Disney photographers to avoid yet another line. I still can’t believe I have finished a half marathon. It seems surreal and if I wasn’t in a huge amount of pain today I wouldn’t believe it :). Once we got back to the hotel, mom went and checked at our cafe to see what they could make gluten free. Turns out they could make special Mickey waffles with Bob’s Red Mill mix! They also used applesauce and apple juice (probably for kids with dairy allergies too). Disney is awesome with allergen-friendly cuisine and we will definitely have to go back for these waffles again!

With the race starting around 5:45 for us, finishing by 8:20 and getting back to the hotel by 9, we still had most of the day ahead of us!

race recap: festival foods turkey trot

I have wanted to participate in a Turkey Trot for longer than I’ve been running. They had one in my hometown that people I knew from High School did and I always thought it sounded like a fun way to spend the morning of Thanksgiving! I seem to remember looking at the Festival Foods Turkey Trot last year as another race to do, but with only choices of a 2 mile fun run or a 5 mile timed run I didn’t want to do either – I didn’t see the need to drive to run 2 miles when it was un-times, and I was definitely not ready for the 5 mile! Oh how a year changes everything!

Luckily my half marathon training plan fit quite well with the Turkey Trot.  I do my weekly runs on Monday and Thursday, so I would have had to do a run anyways. My plan called for 4 miles, but really what’s another mile on top of that? The weekend plan helped as well because I would only be running a 5k on Saturday so Thursday ended up being my longest run of the week. We ended up at the Fond du Lac Turkey Trot – 20 minutes from the parents house so we drove home on Wednesday night and stayed over.

The run started at 8, so we decided to just leave around 7:30 and not worry about getting there super early. I woke up at 6, had coffee and one rice cake with PB2. I wasn’t sure what to wear for the race – I decided to wear pants, a tank top and a zipper sweatshirt (note: WAY too much clothing!). I ate another rice cake with PB2 right before heading out the door.

The race began at the high school and fortunately was easy to find! They had race packet pickup the day prior, but we couldn’t get ours then so once we parked we ran into the gym to get our timing chips, shirts and race bibs. We also stopped by the bathrooms quickly as we heard the 5 minute warning. Kinley sprinted over to the car to drop off our shirts at the car – there’s nothing like starting off a race in a rush, right?! And then we headed to the starting line. There weren’t many runners so we made it in plenty of time and were fairly close to the front of the pack!

And we were off! Sister naturally sprinted ahead but I lagged behind in attempt of pacing myself. Unlike at Sugarmill, we could wear iPods so I had my Nike+ going and a single song playing on repeat. I have been obsessed with this one song since I first got it and figured it would be a nice way to zone out while running! I hit 1 mile after exactly two rounds of the song – this was my first time having any idea what my pace was but I couldn’t rememeber how long the song actually was but I knew it wasn’t over 5 minutes, so I was doing pretty well!

I hit 2 miles after two more rounds of the song and my pace kept slowing minimally after that, but I was okay with it – especially since I got past the weird sprinter who would stop and walk backwards, and then sprint ahead – she was driving me NUTS! I had to walk for a bit around mile 4. I knew the end was near, but my legs were tired and I needed to deep breath a few breaths before I got going again.

The course end got there quickly. I turned a corner and I saw it up ahead. I tried to quicken up my pace to finish and I did enough to get past a few more people. Needless to say, I was shocked when the time said 48:xx when I was nearing the finish line – finishing 5 miles under 50 minuetes was excellent for me!

Official finish time: 48:49.

Just should have left the long-sleeves at home… 😉

 

race recap: old koloa sugar mill run 10k

We happened to find a run/walk that was happening when we were going to be on the beautiful island of kauai.  The Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run had a 10 mile, 10k and 5k option.  Sister and I opted for the 10k and the parents were talked into participating in the 5k ;).

It’s the end of week 4 of marathon training for me, which means I am 1/3 of the way done – absolutely crazy since it seems like no time has gone by!  I knew this race was in our plans when I made it so I included it on my training plan.  This 10k was my third 10k overall, and the 2nd since I have started my training.  With being somewhat discouraged at my time for the last run, I needed to rethink my priorities and remember that it is not about speed at this point for me, but just the fact that I am/will be running longer distances than I ever have before and I know that is going to wear on me and my legs.

I wanted this to be a stress-free run and finding out the course was no earphones helped quite a bit since I left my entire iPod at home – so I wouldn’t have music or my Nike+ to figure out my pace.  On the way to the race I did think it would have been nice to have, but it was too late at that point so I would just go technology free for the 6.2 miles!

In the morning I had a pre-race breakfast of rice cakes, pb2 and strawberry-guava jam (so good!) and some Kona coffee.  I got up almost 2 hours before we had to leave to give me time to get ready, eaten and settled before setting off for the race.  We left at 6am and had a half hour drive to the sugar plantation.  We got there right on time and found a spot along with all of the other runners.  We had plenty of time to stand around, take pictures and use the restroom before we had to line up by the starting line.

 

Once we were ready to start I took off, attempting to keep it easy and start out slow so I wouldn’t lose steam halfway through like I did during the Haunted Hustle.  I did start slowly, but then I heard someone with Britney blaring out of their phone for the “no earphones” rule and had to speed up to get by.  There was no way I was going to be able to run to crackly Britney when the sights were to pretty – I just wanted to zone out in peace!  Around the 3rd mile the course took us past the Old Koloa Sugar Mill.  The run was rising at that point so it made pictures a little tricky (although these pictures are all from Sister since I left my new camera in the car so I wouldn’t end up dropping it!).

It was around this time I ended up running by 2 ladies who were going just a bit quicker than me.  I figured it would be helpful to use them to help me pace to see if that would motivate me and help me push to the finish, especially since I was running in a brand new location and climate.  A little before the turnaround point I passed one of the ladies but still had a bit to go on the other.  I obviously had no idea what pace I was going or what they were going (or if they were even good at pacing themselves haha).  It went back and forth a bit for me and the one, and then I passed her one more time and she said “good job”, which ended up being the last time either one of us passed one another.  Now it was time to go after the other lady.

I know I was probably pissing her off because after the half way I ended up taking a few walking breaks, and then start running.  This method actually made me faster than the second lady when I was running, but slower when walking so it went back and forth a bit (sorry lady!).  I eventually came out with about a mile of the race left to go and she didn’t pass me again.  The course itself was hilly and quite sunny, I was breaking a good sweat and was definitely working hard but knew my speed was not very fast and I was definitely nearing the end of what I had in me!

With around 1/4 mile or so left to go, Sister actually came running the other way since she it a ton faster than me, and ran with me at that point to help with the motivation.  Jingle lady then came up – I had first heard her at the beginning.  She had a Nathan water belt on and what sounded like a dollar worth of pennies rattling in it.  I knew I was not going to run near her so I wouldn’t get annoyed, but I REALLY wanted to beat her.  I somehow managed to say this to Kinley and she asked if I wanted her to push me to the finish and take her out.

Well, she definitely pushed me and more so than I actually needed to beat the jingler, but I felt better pushing myself so much at the end!  The timing system was so old school at this race, just a one time start and then you handed the bottom part of your number to someone at the end to record.  I don’t think they’re even posted online and I am in no hurry to look, and really have no motivation to look either since it was definitely my slowest 10k.  No need for records when you’re running in paradise, right??

After the race I refueled with some pineapple (my first since getting here somehow!), and plenty of water.  We headed to the car at that point to get home and eat some breakfast to continue refueling and recovering!  On the way, Sister and I grabbed Starbucks iced coffees and a container of Horizon organic chocolate milk.  We split the chocolate milk between the two cups and I think we’re both hooked on our new favorite coffee drink!  Similar to an iced mocha but without a ton of the fake ingredients and sugar that are put in the regular syrups.

Even though it was a fairly slow 10k, I still checked off a race completed in Hawaii and feel pretty good after the fact (well actually I am exhausted beyond belief but I think that has more to do with the rest of the activities done today that I will post about next!).

race recap: haunted hustle 10k

Have you ever heard of negative splits?  Well, during this race I managed to have positive splits.  Positive meaning not ideal.  I definitely learned a thing or two this race that will hopefully help me in my future races :).

First thing’s first.  My time – better than the Bellin 10k, but I am disappointed that I didn’t do better because I know that I could have done better.  Oh well, time to move on.  I finished in 1:02:58, averaging 10:13 per mile.  Bellin was 1:04:03, averaging 10:19 per mile.  Not much of a difference, but one thing that was a whole lot different was my splits.

Bellin 10k

Haunted Hustle 10k

I did so much better for the first 4 miles and then just absolutely crashed.  I know it was a fueling issue.  As in, I didn’t.  Not a good idea.  The main reason I didn’t fuel is because I haven’t had time to train while fueling.  Since my month hiatus from running due to the tendonitis in my foot, and beginning training for my half marathon last week, I haven’t gotten up to a distance that I have had to fuel for in quite some time.  I know you shouldn’t need to fuel for a 6 mile distance, but I know it would have helped my performance.

Anyways, back to the beginning since that is a better place to start!  My costume turned out so cute – I loved it.  And mine and Sister’s coordinated so well!

Obviously, I’m the good witch :).  We stayed in a hotel that was less than half a mile from the start/finish line so it turned out perfectly.  We didn’t have to drive, and I was close enough to go back for my post-run food between the time I got back from the 10k and Kinley got back from her half marathon.  The race was in Middleton, WI and this adorable pumpkin tree was in the middle of the strip mall that was on the way from our hotel and the starting line.  Someone loved our costumes and offered to take our photograph together – so nice!

Kinley insisted that we got to the start line by 7:15, even though her race didn’t start until 8 and mine didn’t start until 8:30.  Definitely going to hang out in the hotel longer (and eat later) next year if we do it again to help with the previously mentioned fueling issue (I ate two rice cakes with PB2 and jelly around 6 or 6:30 I want to say?).  Anyways, we at least got cute pictures before even though I was absolutely freezing and shivering for over an hour.  I was so glad I picked up the pink gloves from Target the night before!

We watched the marathoners take off at 7:30, and then tried to stay warm by a heater until Kinley headed off.  She left with the half marathoners at 8 and then I proceeded to go use the port-o-potty and stand by a heater until 8:20 when I lined up with the other 10kers.  Costumes progressively got more elaborate with the decrease in distance so almost everyone was pretty dressed up for the 10k.  I definitely do not blame the marathoners for not wanting to worry about a costume while running oh-so-many miles!  I can’t believe the Wicked Witch was able to keep her witch hat on for (almost) the whole time.

At 8:28 or so (not to be exact), the National Anthem was sung and then the fire truck siren went off to signal the start of the race!  This is when I did not take my time getting started and basically bolted out of the start.  Not good pacing, but was successful in finally feeling warm for the first time since 7am!  The race never felt easy, but that is what I was expecting since I wanted to do good and was not going to look at my iPod to see my pace.  After this race, I definitely want to look into purchasing a Garmin to help with my pacing and be able to accurately gauge how I’m doing and to avoid going too fast at the start.  At the halfway point I was definitely feeling it and was ready for it to be over.  Somehow I managed to make it to 5 miles and that’s where it got really tough.  The last mile was a loop, so I was seeing those nearing the finish when I still had a mile to go.  It was so taunting!

I also got a complete sense of accomplishment when I saw a the timer only say 55 or so minutes and I thought I somehow managed to run ridiculously fast.  I have no idea what was with the timer but it was a complete letdown!  I was like dying at the finish and was spacing out when the person with the medal was asking what race i was in haha.  I was sooo thirsty, I grabbed a cup of water, downed it, and then filled it up with the most delicious grapes I have had in so long!  I also grabbed an orange wedge and went to find a bottle of water.  I sat down for a few minutes after walking for a bit and tried to stretch, but there wasn’t really a good place to do so.  I ate my orange and most of the grapes and then walked back to the hotel to get our protein bars, more water, the camera, and then go back and hopefully see Kinley finish.

Well, I missed the finish since she PR’d, that ridiculous witch.  And then we walked over to get finisher pictures!

We also had a mini-photo shoot by some benches on the way back to the hotel.  When we got to the hotel, we ate some hard boiled eggs that we grabbed from the breakfast spread and my Luna Protein bar (new favorite!).  Also chugged a few Camelbaks!

The race was fun, but definitely not what I was expecting.  I wished I felt better about my race but just can’t get over the letdown and my lack of preparation, that was both in and out of my control.  For my next race, I absolutely need to not rush out of the starting line.  It was part being absolutely freezing (as I had been waiting for almost an hour and a half in only a t-shirt, and part adrenaline.  I also wanted to run my fastest and wished I could have maintained my sub-10 minute miles.  I also need to be sure to not eat so far in advance.  This was definitely part of the fueling during the race problem since I may have not needed to worry about that if I still had a little something in my system.

Lots of lessons learned, but a new tutu and race medal to show for it!  Less than two weeks until my next 10k in Hawaii, but that will be in a completely new climate so need to work on having ZERO expectations.  We also signed up for a Turkey Trot in Fond du Lac, WI the day of Thanksgiving.  A nice + easy 5 miler… right??

pre-gaming: haunted hustle

There’s quite a bit of preparation involved with races.  Especially when they’re out of town, which happen to be my favorite races to be in since you get to travel and see a different place while you’re running!  I don’t remember exactly when Sister and I decided to participate in the Summit Credit Union Haunted Hustle Ghost Tour, but I know I’ve been excited ever since.  I mean a race where you get to dress up?  Who wouldn’t be excited to run that?  Plus, it’s great a great way to help prepare for my half marathon.

We made the trek to Middleton, WI late yesterday afternoon once I got home from work.  Food is always a top priority for us, especially when we need the fuel!  We didn’t go quite as crazy as we did for the Bellin, but we still brought plenty to satisfy our needs the night before, morning of, and after the race.

But onto the important part – our costumes!  Sister knew right away what she wanted to be – Elphaba from Wicked, of course.  Suits her perfectly ;).  It took me longer to decide because I really wanted to wear a tutu, but couldn’t find a pattern to make one that I liked.  Plus, I pretty  much lack all sewing skills.  I know there are simple no-sew options out there, but I just didn’t think it would be comfy enough to run in without an elastic band around the waist.

The always-wonderful Target, however, made my idea come to life!  Who knew they had elastic-banded tutus in the little girls section that would actually fit me and work perfectly with my plan!  Pretty sure the cashier at Target thought I was nuts for checking out a sparkly pink tutu and wand, but Glinda is all about pink and sparkles.

Elphaba + Glinda = the perfect Halloween costume combo.

And of course no good costume is complete without a t-shirt!  Making puffy-painted t-shirts is one of my specialties, and of course I was up to the challenge.  I’ll post the actual race info and pictures of us in our costumes tomorrow, but here’s a sneak peak!

Time to go change and get ready to go – it’s racing time!

what to pack for an out-of-town race

For my first 10k in June, Kinley and I had to drive from Milwaukee to Green Bay for the race.  We ended up getting a hotel for the night to avoid extremely early driving, which ended up being a really good idea (it’s over an hour long drive).  We didn’t want to eat anything new the night before a race, and since we weren’t home, gluten free pancakes were not an option.  We also wanted to make sure we had a filling breakfast the next morning, with food for both before and after the race to tide us over until lunch.  So what did we bring?

Dinner

  • homemade pasta salad (with carrots, kale, sweet potato, gluten-free pasta and a vinaigrette sauce)
  • fruit (oranges/bananas)
  • Laura’s Wholesome Junk Food (for dessert)

Bedtime Snack

Pre-Race Breakfast

  • rice cakes
  • peanut butter (or any other nut butter)
  • jam

Post-Race Breakfast

  • Overnight oats (1/2c oats + 1T chia seeds with 3/4-1c non-dairy milk added the night before and kept in a mini-fridge)
  • bananas
  • blueberries
  • granola (+ any other additional toppings)
  • Coffee (from the hotel) with the leftover non-dairy milk

Other

If your hotel doesn’t have a mini-fridge, a simple cooler with ice will do as well for the overnight oats.  You can even use the ice bucket at the hotel once you get there if you don’t have a cooler!

Even though there was a lot of planning and preparation before we left, we didn’t have to think about anything once we got to the hotel.  We just had to make the overnight oats and eat!  It’s important to bring enough food along (even too much) because you don’t want to be hungry the night before.  It’s not as crucial for shorter races, but when you get up to the longer ones you need all of the fuel you can get.  And if you are prone to stomachaches after eating out at restaurants, it is extremely beneficial to pack food that is familiar to you.

So if you ever find yourself traveling to a different city for a race, hopefully you find this list helpful!  Happy running!

race recap: summerfest rock ‘n sole

The back of our t-shirts.

I was not the one running in this race, I was merely a spectator there to cheer on my sister, Kinley during her second official 1/2 marathon!  She signed up for this race shortly after it was announced as it was the first race that has been put on by Summerfest and during Summerfest.  Ashley came up to join in the cheering and we even made t-shirts for the occasion!

Milwaukee Art Museum

We left the house at 7am to drive down to Milwaukee and find parking.  It was already so hot… I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts and was already sweating, and worrying about the runners because of the heat!  The corrals were set up outside of the Summerfest grounds and compared to the Bellin Run, were tiny and so crowded with the participants.  Kinley decided to head to the back of the corrals instead and not be surrounded by hoards of people pushing and shoving their way in the corral.  It was chip-timed as well, so it really did not matter what time she crossed the start line.

Starting Corrals

After Kinley lined up and the race had gotten under way, Ashley and I headed to Alterra at the Lake to wait for Kinley to come to the first planned meeting point around 7 miles.  It was around a 2 mile walk for us up the street and even just walking, it was a welcomed relief to be in the air conditioning with an iced coffee instead of the muggy warm 80*+ temperature outside!  We also had a view of the course so we could see other runners.  Mom and Dad came down as well and were able to see Kinley after she ran over the Hoan Bridge which was 6 miles in.  So we waited a few more minutes and then went out to the course to wait for her to pass.

I love these things outside of Discovery World.

She finally came up to us and was extremely glad that we had a fresh water bottle for her to replace her other one!  She took one and packed another, both filled with her Naturally Clean Sports Drink.  She was also planning on alternating between that and water on the course so figured she would be ok during the run.  Kinley also put a couple of the ice packs on her neck to help cool down – but she was over 1/2 way done so that was a plus!

Kinley coming up to us around the 7 mile mark!

Before Ashley and I headed to the next stop, I ran back into Alterra and filled up her other water bottle (just in case) and grabbed a handful of salt packets for a quick electrolyte fix if she needed it.  We then headed a quarter mile back to the 11 1/2 mile stop just over the Brady Street Bridge.  A photographer was also there so it was a good spot to wait!  We waited for around an hour there for her to pass.  She was desperately in need of water so it was nice to be able to change her bottles again!  It was a quick stop, or run-past rather, just saying, “I can’t stop now!”.

Ashley and I then headed back to the Summerfest grounds to get to the finish line.  We knew we wouldn’t make it to the end in time to see her cross (that’s what Mom and Dad were doing anyways so Kinley at least had support at the end!), and we just walked near the course toward the finish line.  On our way, my first sign of race struggles was one guy sitting up against a tree (about a 1/2 mile from the finish line), surrounded by Medics with an IV put in his arm.  That was when I first heard them saying the course had been black-flagged.  I had no idea what that meant but they were also telling everyone to walk back and stop running and time wasn’t going to be recorded.

Just passing Brady St. Bridge - love all the boats behind her!

We made it back to the grounds by the finish and tried to look around for Kinley, Mom and Dad.  We found them after dodging a bunch of people working our way back closer to the lake.  Kinley had also packed a smoothie which we had in a cooler so I was able to give that to her for some recovery – which was good since the race was OUT OF BANANAS!  How does a race run out of bananas when they are the main food runners look to after the finish?  It blew my mind.  But I guess if the race officials were unable to get an adequate supply of water to the runners, it’s surprising they even had bananas at all.

I really could not believe it when I heard there was little to no water along the course.  Kinley finished in the middle of the 1/2 marathoners, and from a few statements it seems like the people near the front of the pack had no issues, but the ones further back did so it is really one runners tale versus the other.  But the stories of runners having to cup their hands together to get even a few ounces of water and pouring all of the water gallons into a clean garbage bag to fill up water faster was really disconcerting.  And so many of the other runners had no water with them… I’m not sure how many runners didn’t finish the race at all, or turned around at the 10k point, but I do not blame them.

The organizers of the race failed, in my opinion.  No runner should have to worry about dehydration on the course, after being told there would be water stops, and especially after paying over $80 to run the course.  Fifteen runners were hospitalized and I think that two of them are still in the hospital recovering.  My heart goes out to these runners because the officials failed to protect them.  Some runners are even blaming those complaining about not having any water by saying that they didn’t prepare enough or were not training correctly, but even just after walking four miles I had drank 32 ounces of water – there is no way a runner would even be able to carry that much water around with them.

Thankfully Kinley had brought her own water and I filled up that third bottle for her.  Although she did talk about one point where she debated picking up a half-eaten banana because she needed food – I’m so glad she was able to find a new one on the course somewhere!  She didn’t beat the time at her last 1/2 marathon (they did end up posting the results), but with the conditions the way they were I am just proud she was able to finish!

Ashley and I in our shirts with Kinley after the race! 13.1!

Nice work, Kinley!  And here’s to no more summer marathons!

a day at the track

 

Kin and I were at Trader Joe’s over the weekend doing our usual shopping for the week.  Have you ever noticed how chatty the cashiers are?  Is this something new they told everyone to do, or are we the lucky shoppers who get grilled on our nightly plans?  Well, our cashier asked us what we were planning for Father’s Day and I told her we were going to the races with our dad.  To me, I have only known “going to the races” to mean one thing.  Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI.  In fact, there is a picture of me around 9months old laying on a blanked while my family was “at the races”.  I never really gave much thought into what other people perceive as “going to the races”.  Cars?  Dogs?  Horses?  Cars of course.

My dad’s two favorite hobbies are going to the races and going sailing.  Possibly because both can be done while drinking beer?!  Well, it just so happened that Father’s Day was on the weekend of the June Sprint Car races, so that’s what he wanted to do and Kin and I happily obliged (as well as the pup, Crosby who was brought along and is obviously extremely photogenic).  I figured a day sitting out in the June sun would be nice!

Although the weather did not cooperate.  I spent the day under cover with plenty of blankets.  Not so much sun for me…  But it was still a fabulous Father’s Day outing :).  Hope you enjoyed your day, dad!  Happy Father’s Day again!

life is short… running makes it seem longer

Race Bib, iPod, Nike+, Race Chip

That quote makes me chuckle every time I read it :).  Kinley found it last night while searching for various quotes to potentially be put on some t-shirts in the future (when my friend Ashley and I cheer on Kinley for the Summerfest 1/2 marathon coming up!).

So let’s talk about my race!  I wrote about my nervousness this past Friday, which eased up as the day went on.  Kinley and I drove up to Green Bay to spend the night so we didn’t have to deal with an extremely early drive on Saturday morning (since the race started at 8!).  We packed a picnic-type meal to have as dinner to avoid having anything strange the night before.

I slept terribly on both Thursday and Friday night.  I’m not sure if it was being nervous for the race or if it was from being not as active to avoid having tired legs for the race.  Possibly a combination :).  We woke up super early on Saturday to be able to eat something and get to the race on time.  They had record-breaking registration of over 18,000 runners so there were a lot of people to deal with!  Luckily they had a shuttle that ran from Bay Park Square Mall (only a mile from our hotel), so we decided to take that rather than attempt to find parking closer by.  It ended up working great!  It was just a little chilly having to leave our sweaters behind and walk in the 50*-60* temperature in tank tops!

Ready to leave the hotel!

Once we got to the park, we walked toward our corral.  It was the first year the corral system was in place.  We were in the 5th, so only strollers and walkers were behind us.  I think corral 5 was basically anyone who didn’t run under an 8 minute mile!  Or at least it felt that way with the thousands of people around us.  The corral started moving at 8am… and my race didn’t begin until 8:25am… that’s how long it took to get to the starting line.  I don’t even want to know what it was like in years previous without corrals because it was still insane with them.

Standing in Corral 5

Kinley and I decided to split up while running.  She runs quite a bit faster than I do currently and with all of the people we figured it was best to just meet up at the finish line.  The first mile out I was just trying to find my rhythm.  Attempting to go slowly to start to make sure I didn’t wear myself out before the 1/2 way point.  I felt awesome though, it was hard to try and pace myself :).  I couldn’t believe I was actually running this thing, seeming as a year ago I couldn’t make it down the block…  I may or may not have gotten a little teary eyed at one point when it finally hit me I was running in this thing.  It was also an amazing feeling actually passing other runners/walkers along the way – I don’t care if that makes me a terrible person but I loved knowing I wasn’t the slowest person!

I felt strong throughout the entire race, which is a feeling I didn’t even get at the 5k I did last November (even though I walked part of that race).  I started strong, I ran strong, and I finished strong.  I even felt like I could have gone a couple of extra miles!  I am definitely ready for another race – I just loved the atmosphere and the dose of adrenaline I got from being around everyone else!  My official race time was 1:04:03 – the fastest I have ever ran a 10k during training which makes it my new PR!  And my average pace per mile was 10:19, not too shabby for my only goal being to make it through the race!

I am in no way the fastest runner, nor will I likely ever be the fastest runner.  But I ran to the best of my abilities and I know I have more in me for the future.  I can’t wait for my next race to do it all over again!  One last thing… I haven’t been sore at all.  Which is amazing and must go to show I trained properly and ran properly since my body recovered no problem!  We’ll see if that’s still the case when I start increasing distances ;).

Almost crossing the finish line!

With my post-race banana and finisher's metal! It was the first year the Bellin has given out race metals since it's their 35th anniversary!

nervös

Did I mention I have a minor in German?  I actually have studied German for about 8 years… but besides a couple short trips to Germany I have never been able to be immersed in the German language so most of what I have is random words and phrases here and there.  For example:

“Du bist so rot wie ein Krebs!”  (Literal translation: You are as red as a crab! aka You’re sunburnt!)

“Auf der anderen Straße Seite!”  (On the other side of the street!)

“Imbissstube” (Snack bar – I just love the fact that there are THREE s’s in a row – due to a no longer accepted ß*)

And the last I will share today on my list of random German words & phrases… nervös.

Nervous.

As in what I’m feeling right now.  I have my first 10k tomorrow.  I have only run in one previous race before, a 5k which did not go so well for me last November.  I had good intentions of training for that one but only started a couple weeks before the race, and ended up being extremely over-dressed for the day… and it was also more competitive than I thought as well as on a cross country route (I had been used to training on the road).  All this made me swear off doing another race EVER AGAIN.

Well… that obviously didn’t stick.  And I’m glad it didn’t.  Hopefully I don’t regret it after tomorrow.

I have continued to run and increase mileage as well as figure out what works for me and what does not.  I’m trying to take it slowly to avoid injury and make sure it is manageable for me because I definitely want to continue running for (I hope) the rest of my life.  And I will be able to start a collection of metals ;).

My goal for this race?

To finish.

Would I like to maintain a certain pace?

Yes, but I will not beat myself over it if I do not meet it.  I will be racing in a new environment with almost 20,000 other participants in weather that may or may not be ideal.  I for sure want to meet a pace that will take me out of the last starting bracket for the Disney World 1/2 Marathon I am signed up for in January (which is a pace of approximately 12:30, definitely doable even if I need a walking break).

I am able to run this.  I will run this.  But I am still nervös.

*ß = ss