Florida Beach Halfathon recap (#7)

or we could have titled this: proof that things happen in 3’s

 

This morning I ran half-marathon number 7 since October 31st. AKA: The 6th consecutive half-marathon in 6 months for my half-fanatic membership.

It started out like any other race morning..and then… it changed. Jenny & I left her house around 4:50 for a 5:30 arrival. Upon leaving Jenny’s neighborhood, Jenny thought she should play chicken w/ a rock. Let’s just say the rock won, and we left Jenny’s car sitting on the side of the road with a very flat tire. — We were both driving so Jenny hopped into my car, wished her car good luck, and we sped off to Ft. Desoto.

We arrived super early and were able to grab our timing chips really quickly, head to the porto-potties, and then relax in the car for a while before heading out for a warm up. On our way back to the car, jenny tripped over an extension cord. This is really not all that exciting except that it was the 2nd almost bad thing to happen. you know what they say, “things happen in 3’s.”

We went out for a short warm up around 6:45; The parking lot is really dark which is fine, except when we went to cross the parking lot, I totally spaced out and forgot that there would be parking curbs. I promptly ate concrete. I got a nice wound on both hands, right hand is worse, of course. A cut on my right ankle & right elbow.. all before the race started. that was # 3.  – I should have known then that today was not going to be my day. Should have packed it up and headed home, or at least gone to the beach.

but no. we proceeded on.

At 7am the gun went off and the beginning of my last half-marathon of the season started. The first few miles of a half are always the scariest. I never want to go out to fast, but going out to slow can hurt my time just as much. I’m pretty sure that I went out to fast today. 8:04. oops.

I needed to maintain an 8:06 to PR today so it really wasn’t such a stretch to have an 8:04 mile, but I really didn’t need it to be the first mile.

Thankfully we start when the sun is still down, so we have about 3 miles that aren’t in the sun. (It wouldn’t hurt my feelings if we started at 6:00 or 6:30.)  I knew pretty quickly that this wasn’t going to be my race. I just wasn’t feeling it. I was struggling to get my breathing under control, and I just felt off.

At mile 5 I started cramping and it was pretty much game over at that point.

I’m lying. There was no thumbs up this far into the game. This is somewhere around mile 9ish.

There is no point in doing a mile by mile recap. Believe me when I say it was not fun. I felt horrible. The cramp stretched across the top of my abdomen and would come & go. When it hit me it would take my breath away. I stopped to walk and/or lift my hands over my head more times than I want to talk about. I tried to hang on, but by mile 10 I was over it.

I just wanted to be done. I was hurting, but I felt at peace about the fact that I would not be PR’ing. I had a really great race season. So what if this race didn’t go like I wanted it to?

I also think I’m feeling a little bit of burn out. I love running, but I’m ready to have a clear calendar. I realize we still have the Flying Pirate Half, but that’s a month away, and we are running for fun.

I crossed the finish line in 1:48:55. I’m fine with my time. It’s not a PR, but I don’t care.

 

I’m glad to have no races on my calendar for at least a month. (I’m going to try really hard to avoid signing up for any races between now & April)

 

We hung around for a few hours afterwards listening to the awards ceremonies for the 5k & the halfathon. We were most interested in the awards for the athletes that were eligible for the series championship awards. Unfortunately there were some discrepancies so we weren’t able to find the results out today. Crossing my fingers for early this week. There is a teeny tiny chance that I could place in the top 3 in my AG. a small small small chance. We’ll see.

We received an extra medal today for completing all 4 races in the Halfathon series! SOOOOO PRETTY!! I’m seriously in LOVE with both medals from the half today. They are awesome!

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OMG. The ribbon. I LOVE the ribbon! It’s amazing! The detail behind the starfish is Ft.Desoto.

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see? so neat!

Then there is the amazing medal for completing the series:

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AND THEN on Saturday at packet pickup we found out that we would be receiving a special shirt for completing the series!! Oh man, so exciting!

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I did it

I was a little sad that I didn’t get to go on a long run this morning.

The weather was disgusting this morning, so maybe I shouldn’t be to upset that I missed out on my long run?

Right after breakfast my Dad called and asked if we wanted to go to Tampa. I said, “Uhm. why?” He said, “because there is a treadmill here that you can have.”

Me. “yep, see ya in an hour.”

I got a new-to-me nordic-trak treadmill (or something like that). It’s still in the back of Chris’ truck, but I’ll take a picture when it makes it upstairs.

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stock picture form the nordic trak website

It’s a pretty bad ass treadmill! Has a lot of features..like a TV screen. According to my Dad it can be hooked up to your cable, or DVD player. I’ll definitely need to figure out how that works!

 

Sometime last week a friend & I were discussing how fun it would be to travel out of state for a race. I’ve never done this before, but would love to.I also doubted that Chris would ever be on board with the idea, so I’ve never put much though into it.

Some how this morning said friend & I started talking about travelling to a race. Then we started looking at races. We checked out the Country Music Half-Marathon in Nashville.. but I’m totally over RnR races.. The logistics for that race look like a gigantic nightmare. More paying for a shuttle back to the start line. Family having to pay to get to the concert @ the end of the race. No thanks. We passed.

I briefly looked at the Blue Ridge Half-Marathon, but when I saw the elevation I laughed myself right off that website.

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I checked out the Charlottesville Half-Marathon, which didn’t look to bad, but the hills were a little scary.

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actually, that looks horrible.

THEN.

Friend text me and said “ duh, I forgot about the OBX half marathon.”  This was the site of her first marathon…and that’s where the plan to run the Flying Pirate Half-Marathon started. We looked at the race, decided it was the one, then spent the rest of the afternoon looking at hotels and figuring out how we can make this work.

We seriously talked about this for hours.. well, we texted about this for hours.

We finally came up with a good plan. A plan that wouldn’t force me to sell a kidney, and a plan that wouldn’t require us to make the 14hr drive all in one day. (14hrs to run a half-marathon?? who does that?) 

This will be the last half-marathon of our “season.” Number 8 for me, number 7 for her! WHEW! It’s been a busy season, and I’m sad to see it go, but I know that this race is going to be great!

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It’s official. I’ll be there..and so will my friend. I’ll let her reveal herself in her own blog! It’s going to be EPIC.. rofl.. No. I’m kidding. I don’t use the word epic.. but it is going to be pretty dang spectacular.

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That’s not that bad..right?

Want to join us? We’ll be there! We are arriving on Saturday, and leaving Monday morning!! It’s going to be grand!

Inaugural Rock n’ Roll St.Pete – done!

Let’s recap the weekend, shall we?

Saturday I drove down to St. Pete to meet up w/ Sherry & Jenny. Sherry & I decided to get a hotel and have a little girls weekend. We stayed at the Magnuson Marina Cove. It’s located right before the Skyway off of 275. Very convenient location for us as it was only about 10 minutes to the race. It was also very reasonably priced at less than $100/night.

We met up at the hotel around 11, then headed downtown for some lunch. We wanted to eat an early lunch so that we could eat an early dinner, and get to bed at a decent hour. We ate at Central Café & Organics.I had the Southwest black bean special (wrap). I would definitely recommend this place if you are in the area.

 

We headed to the expo after lunch to pick up our race packets & see how much $$ we could spend. I was anticipating a huge crowd at the expo (which I don’t do well in) so I had a little anxiety over this expo. They had the expo @ the Trop, and for a nominal fee of $15 you could park at the Trop… These people are crazy. There is a TON of free parking in DT St. Pete – needless to say, we did not park @ the Trop. We actually parked by Central Café & walked the one mile to the Trop. good thing I wore my walkin’ shoes (no..actually I didn’t. bad idea).

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why am I looking all crazy? jenny & sherry look normal.

I succeeded in spending more money than I should have. I bought THE STICK. I’ve been eyeing these for a while now, and since I had some cash to spend I decided to just go ahead and get one.

I also registered for the Florida Beach Halfathon. The race director, Chris, had a booth set up so I said Hi & then registered for the race.

The Race

Since I had some trouble with my IT band this week I wasn’t sure what I should do in regards to pacing. I wanted to PR, but I wasn’t sure my leg would let it happen.

On Friday my IT band was feeling okay, I didn’t have that uncomfortable feeling that I had for the majority of the week. On Saturday as we walked around DT St.Pete I didn’t have any discomfort, and when I rolled on the foam roller I didn’t feel the knots that had been there during the week. I decided that I would try to PR but if it didn’t happen, it was okay. I know it’s kind of silly that I have to tell myself it’s okay if I don’t PR, but If you recall the Women’s Half & that disaster & how upset I was.. A little “it’s okay” is good for my mental state.

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60 cent socks from target. Cut the bottoms out and made thumb holes. Best arm warmers ever.

 

One of the bigger challenges of the race was figuring out what to wear. We got hit with a cold front on Friday that brought the temps down into the 30’s & 40’s. Not only were the temps low, the wind was harsh. I can handle cold temps, but the wind? That makes getting dressed a little more difficult. I finally decided on my Strider tank, arm sleeves, thin C9 capris & spandex shorts on top of the capris + gloves & ear warmers. To the start line I wore all of the above mentioned plus a long sleeve shirt, a jacket, & sweatpants. I stripped the sweatpants/jacket before we got into our corral and the l/s shirt went somewhere around mile 5.

IMG_1802[1]I’m a fan of posting stupid pictures of yourself on the internet. I think it’s a good way for people to get to see the real you. The you that you’re friends know.

Jenny (& Glenna) picked us up at the hotel around 5:30 – We wanted to arrive early so we could beat the traffic into downtown. One of Jenny’s co-workers we super kind and let us park in her condo parking lot. It worked out perfectly, we were about 1/2 mile from the finish so we didn’t have to take the trolley back to The Top (which was another $15).

We hung out in Jane’s condo for a few minutes before making the trek over to the trop. After a not so quick potty break we headed to corral 2 and before we knew it the gun was sounding and we were off.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find Jackie or JM before the race so I was on my own for this 13.1 – I knew there would be bands at every mile, but I opted to wear my music instead.

The first 4 miles went by really quickly. I was just running along enjoying the scenery? No. We ran through some interesting parts of St.Pete..nothing all that interesting, or nice.

I took my first gel at 4.9. I really like those power bar green apple gels, they are tasty. I saw the Strider cheering section a few times along the way. I can’t remember what miles they were at but it’s always fun to have your own personal cheering section!

There were a few times when I looked @ my watch and saw some sub 8 paces and kind of freaked out. Whoa. A few times I saw some 8:05s and freaked out about that to. I didn’t have a particular pace in mind that I wanted to keep. I knew I had to keep anything under 8:20 to PR, and so that’s what I was doing. Anything under 8:20.

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Somewhere around mile 6 my IT band started to bother me. I was really wondering if I’d be able to hang onto my pace. I told myself I could quit with the 8:05s and hang onto 8:15’s. 8:15’s would still get me a PR.

At mile 10, which is a make it or break mile for me, I told myself, “you can do this. you trained for this.” and I did train for this. Also at mile 10 was the 2nd set of brick streets. I can’t stress enough how much I hate these brick streets. They are really uneven, and just really hard on my knee.

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mile 10..hideous brick streets Sad smile

In mile 11 we made a turn that took us out towards Snell Isle. At this point we were heading out while other runners were heading back in. This gave me a chance to see some of the other members of my group! I love watching other people run by – so fun to see their faces, especially at mile 11. I was feeling really strong, and I hit my first sub 8 mile here.

I crossed the finish line feeling strong, but in some pain. My R knee was bothering me (ugh) & my R foot has some weird pain. I have no idea what is up with that. I’m currently icing but I’m quite frustrated with the foot pain. I know the knee pain will go away in a few days..but the foot? hmm. this is new.

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I’m STOKED with my time. I couldn’t believe the clock when I crossed the finish line. My PR in December was 1:49:25 !! That’s a pretty decent chunk of change off that last PR.

Flo Rida was the headliner at the St.Pete RnR, but we were so cold that we didn’t stick around to see him perform. There was a bag check, but we didn’t use it since the car was fairly close to the finish. However, once we got back to the condo we decided we didn’t want to turn around & walk back to the finish area so we changed into warm clothes then headed to Cracker Barrel.

I know there were a few Striders with camera’s today, so I might have a few more pictures tomorrow.

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I have no idea why there is a blue tint to the shirt.
It’s white.

so, is that good?

Every week I get an e-mail from the running group recapping the weeks events, and every week there is talk about how my running friends are getting faster because they attend speed workouts on Tuesday & Thursdays.

I don’t attend speed workouts (they are an 1hr drive away) & I don’t do speed workouts on my own..and every week I worry that they are going to leave me in their dust, and I’ll be left to do long runs by myself, and I definitely don’t want to do that. So Tuesday night I got the e-mail, and once again there was talk about how speedy my friends are getting! Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic for them! But I don’t want to get left behind!

I decided I have to suck it up (buttercup) and do some speed stuff. Up until this point I’ve magically gotten faster without any sort of real speed stuff, but I think I’ll tap out eventually and then I’ll just be stuck, and I don’t want to be stuck. So just like with anything else, I’m taking the first step to improving my pace.

Since I’m basically clueless when it comes to the way things should be done I went to McMillan for some help. I plugged in my most recent 10k time, 48:40, and McMillan spit out some numbers. image

So. I really don’t know how to read this thing. What is the different between a sprint workout & a speed workout? I feel like I’m sprinting when I’m running a 7:30pace! That’s not sprinting?

I’m interpreting the chart to say that I should be running my 400’s between 1:42 – 1:48 … correct?

Well that didn’t happen.

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So since I don’t actually know what I’m doing; I’m quite happy with these results. This was my very first interval workout outside. I’ve done one on the treadmill, and that is the extent of my interval workouts. Hi, I’m lazy.

I felt pretty good during the fast intervals. My breathing was a little wonky, but nothing I couldn’t tolerate. I could feel myself getting tired towards the end, but it was a “I should feel tired, I’m running hard” kind of tired. Not a, “you are such a wuss” kind of tired. I felt like I was working for that pace.

I do think that I should have made my recovery intervals slower. They got slower the further into the run I got, but I think I was dumb to do the recovery intervals at anything under 9, right? I don’t know. ugh. — I started realizing that I could recover better if I actually slowed down enough to catch my breath. what a concept.

Dare I say that this was a fun workout? It was weird counting down by 1/4 miles, but the miles did click off really quickly. 400’s might be fun, but I doubt 800’s are fun. 1/4 mile goes by really quickly, but a 1/2 mile? Hm. Maybe once I get more comfortable with the 400’s I can graduate to the 800’s?

Advice on speed workouts? What is the benefit of a 400 vs 800? or is an 800 better than a 400?

This is all so confusing.

Clearwater Halfathon (#5)

Can someone please explain to me WHY it was so blasted hot today? Doesn’t mother nature know I had a half-marathon to run today? I checked the weather last night & discovered that it would be about 60 with 99% humidity at race time. uh. yay?

I dressed appropriately in shorts & a tank top…on January 22nd…. it just doesn’t seem right, even for Florida. Last year at this race, it was freezing. Literally, freezing.


Last year the Strider’s volunteering at water stop 4, 6 & 9.


This year at the same water stop. a little bit of a difference in apparel.

Back to the race:: I met up with Jenny around 6am – after I got scammed into paying $5 for parking (what the heck?) I had planned ahead of time where I wanted to park, I’ve parked in this same lot for two other events and never had to pay. This morning I saw a sign outside the lot that had a 5 on it.. I thought it meant Lot 5 .. there was no $$ sign. Had there been I wouldn’t have turned in there. Oh well. Lesson learned. Don’t park in that lot. I was just trying to avoid the crowd that would be parked down in Coachman park.

Anyhow, I met up with Jenny, and we hung around the start until it was our time to head over to the start line.

When we decided to do this half-marathon we decided that it would be a no-pressure race for us. This was half-marathon number 5 for me (since October) & 4 for Jenny (plus she ran a marathon in October). We decided we would just enjoy the race, and not take it to seriously. Plus, there were 2 massive bridges that we had to go over, then back over again, so it wasn’t going to be a PR course no matter what.

I brought my camera with me to take some picture since we weren’t to worried about our time. Uhm, it’s quite hard to take a non-blurry picture while running. Honestly I have no idea how all these other bloggers do it? Don’t worry, I don’t plan on making this a habit – I just thought it would be fun today.

The gun went off, and we were tackling our first hill out of Coachman park. We didn’t really pay attention to where we were standing in relation to the starting line so we got trapped behind some slower runners. We bobbed & weaved for a minute and then we were clear and able to run our own pace. Two turns later and we were tackling our first causeway, the Memorial Causeway. If you’ve been to Clearwater, this is the main causeway that goes from Downtown Clearwater into Clearwater beach. It’s a beast.

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blurry picture # 1. you’re welcome.

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the views really are awesome from the top of the bridge.

From Memorial Causeway we shot around the round-a-bout onto S. Gulfview Blvd. We hung a right onto Gulf Blvd, and this is where we started to climb the 2nd bridge, the Sand Key Park bridge! This bridge is a beast. It’s a pretty gnarly incline for about 1/4 mile. Then, it’s a ridiculous down hill for a 1/4 mile. down hills are not my friend, neither are up hills.

We zipped on through Sand Key Park, but before we entered the park we saw 58 screaming Suncoast Striders!! It was so much fun to get to run by them and grab a water from one of my friends. It’s hilarious to have your own cheering section! That must be what celebrities feel like; people screaming your name!? Fun times!


hmmm, yes, that is Mike in the cheerleading outfit! I didn’t even notice he was in a skirt until I saw the pictures.

right after this water stop we turned right into Sand Key Park. I LOVE Sand Key Park, # 1 we got married there, # 2, it’s just beautiful. I had to make a bathroom stop in Sand Key. I knew at the start line that I was going to have to stop, but the gun was about 2 minutes from going off, and there was still a pretty good line at the port-o-potties, so I decided waiting would have to happen, and I’d hit up a bathroom the first chance I got..which was 4 miles later.  (there were other bathrooms before this point, but I didn’t want to run off course to get to them).

Jenny kept running, so when I came out of the bathroom I made a mad dash to catch up with her. I’m sure I looked like a total idiot passing all sorts of people trying to catch up to her.

As we exited Sand Key Park there were our trusty cheerleaders again!

and were off again, take a right out of Sand Key Park and down Gulf Blvd a few miles then a turn around and it’s back to see our friends at mile 9..and then… we hit that darn Sand Key Park causeway again. We stayed strong and ran all the way up that baby!

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I asked Jenny if she wanted to do burpees at the top (They are her fave.heh) but she declined, so we flew down the other side of the bridge, and we were on our way towards the finish line.

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It’s not your eyes, it’s the camera.

At this point it started to get really hot. There is pretty much no shade on the entire course, but what can ya do besides hope for some cloud cover..which we did not have.

I was feeling great and we were keeping a relatively easy pace (for me). I was definitely enjoying the run – I really needed this easy paced, no stress or expectations race. I know that I’m the only one that puts pressure on myself, but I still needed this race to just chill out and remember why I like long(er) distance running.

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We had one final bridge to tackle – We had to run back up the Memorial Causeway and back into Coachman park. I knew that this bridge was going to be a bear, so I put it in a low gear and trucked on up that bridge. Jenny was not having such a fun time on that bridge, but she stuck with it and got it done.

Then we looped down the helix thing that takes you off the bridge and it was just a short jaunt to the finish line. Hallelujah! I needed some water and some shade!

We crossed the finish line in 2:01:56
OA:248/517
AG:12/44
Female: 96/237

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Race Review: Awesome! I’m a huge fan of Chris’ races! This was my 5th race, and I’ll continue to go back for more fun in the sun, and awesome Starfish medals! I don’t know how Chris manages to have put on such a fabulous race, but he does!

I follow Chris on FB and over the last few days he’s been doing facebook updates while he has been getting things ready for the race. Man, that guy is busy! It was a lot of fun to follow along as the Race Director gets ready for the big day!  I’m really looking forward to the March Race, Florida Beach Halfathon; I plan to try for a PR there! 1:49:1X or bust! Winking smile 

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I need a nap. Is 5:30 to early to go bed? to late to take a nap?

What’s next

I need an IV with a bag of coffee attached. Just drip that junk right into my blood stream please!


source

Siri is so smart!

Work it out:

I haven’t done a weekly workout recap in a while now, and I’m not doing one now either. The last month has been filled with recovery runs, or taper runs, and no real workouts to really talk about.

Monday after work I headed to the grocery store .. I feel like I live there some weeks, then the dollar store to pick up some hair stuff, and mascara. Hey! They sell covergirl mascara at the dollar store and it’s more reasonably priced than publix. Since I don’t go to wal-mart and target is on the other side of town, I’m left with publix or the dollar store. .. I guess it’s Dollar General. They actually have quite a bit of stuff in there. I prefer the Dollar General, over the Dollar Tree. Do you ever shop at the dollar store/tree/general? ?  No shame in my game.

When I finally got home I threw on some running clothes, and my Brooks Pure Cadence and headed out the door for an easy 4 mile run. — I’m pleasantly surprised that my legs are not sore at all from the half on Sunday. It’s weird. Like, why aren’t they sore? I felt like I ran a moderately hard race but I have no soreness. So strange, but I’ll take it.

Even without the soreness, I figured my legs would be tired so I said to myself, “Self, we are going to do 4 miles today, but we can go slow.” 

The first 3 miles I felt pretty good. I felt myself getting a little sluggish in mile 3, and then mile 4 it hit me. My legs were burning, and they were just feeling tired. But, I’m stubborn, and I told myself a lie, because in the 4th mile I picked up the speed and brought it on home.

Not exactly speed demon material, but I’m pleased with the splits. image

Today is a rest day (yay!)

So Jena, What’s next?!

Right, I’m sure you are dying to know what is next on my racing calendar. Well, last week I mentioned that Jenny & I were thinking about doing a trail half at the end of January.

Those plans changed after the half on Sunday. We decided that we would rather do the Clearwater Beaches half on January 22nd. If we do the CLW Beaches Half, and the Florida Beach Half in March then we will have completed all 4 of the half marathons in the series. The website says that runners that complete all four of the half-marathons will be recognized in a special way, which has not yet been decided. I thought there was an extra medal involved, but I could be wrong about that. I’m not wrong often, but it doesn’t happen.

After Clearwater comes the RnR St.Pete . Let me be honest real quick, I’m not excited about this race. After the debacle at RnRLV, and the cluster that I heard part of RnRSavannah were, I don’t have high hopes for RnR St.Pete. I think I read online that they are estimating 25k runners.. uhmmmmm… WHERE are they going to put all those people? It’s going to be a parking nightmare – nightmare I say. … I’m pretty sure I’ll just be running RnR for fun, not for time.

The last of my 6 half-marathons is the Florida Beach Halfathon. This is the race that started my obsession with half-marathons back in 2010. I ran it again in 2011! I had a great race and ran a 1:52- When I ran that 1:52:53 that is when my obsession to run a 1:50 started. I knew I was only 3 minutes away, and I could do it!

It only seems right that I try to PR at that course in March, right? Plusalso, Jenny is looking to set a major PR sometime in the next 3 races (and we already decided Clearwater Beaches ain’t it) .. So I’m thinking, Florida Beach is IT.. (right Jenny?)

Holiday Halfathon–Half Mary #4

It’s Monday night and I barely have the energy to write this race recap. I am plum exhausted from this weekend. Waking up before 5am both Saturday & Sunday is just wrong.

Sunday morning I had a 3:30 wake up call.  I think I hit the snooze button a few times and got up around 4. I think. At this point yesterday morning is pretty hazy. For breakfast I ate two pieces of toast w/ butter and drank a cup of coffee on my car ride down to new port richey.

At 5:20am I rolled into the Target parking lot for a pre-race photo with the running group.

What a cheery bunch of individuals we are:


If you can find me in this picture, you rock.

We arrived in Madeira beach around 6:20 in plenty of time to gather our timing chips & use the porto-potties a few times. The weather was windy and a little bit chilly. There was a 40% chance of rain in the forecast with cloud coverage for the majority of the day. (two cheers for cloud coverage…I just spelled cloud, like clowd..wow)

The race was set to start at 7:35, but due to some difficulties with a bridge that we were supposed to run across so the race was delayed for about 20 minutes. I didn’t mind the delay – the worst part was the wind. I felt like I was using a lot of energy shivering and jumping up & down trying to stay warm.


I am in that pictures. hidden behind Bob, but I’m in there.

The gun went off around 7:55, and there I was, running my 4th half-marathon since October 30th. It was raining a little and the ground was kind of slick – we saw/heard a lady behind us eat it not long after we stared. Eek! Thankfully the drizzle stopped, and it looked like it had only rained in a concentrated area. The ground was dry after the first mile.

I ran with Tracey & our plan was to run around an 8:35-8:40/avg. I felt I could maintain this even after running a hard half last weekend. The first 4 miles are along Gulf Blvd in Madeira beach. It was pretty humid, and somewhat breezy with lots of cloud cover. (again, spelled cloud like clowd.. need sleep).

I was a little apprehensive about this course because there was one causeway, and two overpass type bridges. As I’ve said, about 6,000x before, I hate any kind of incline.

We hit the first bridge around mile 4 something (I think). It wasn’t to bad. There was a question as to whether or not the bridge would be up or down when we got there. It’s the type of bridge that opens when sailboats, or other big boats need to pass through. There was some mishap with paperwork and the coastguard couldn’t guarantee that the bridge would be closed during the entire race. Thankfully the weather was pretty gross for boating so the bridge remained closed for the duration of the race. 

Maybe I don’t know how to run down hill correctly, but running down is worse than running up or at least equally as bad. It seems like it’s a lot of wear & tear on my quads when I run down hill. Anyone else?

Miles 5, 6 & 7 were pretty uneventful and went by rather quickly. Oh, I put my hair into a bun from a pony tail. I can not stand my hair to be bouncing around and hitting the back of my neck. It drives me crazy.

Somewhere around miles 8ish we saw the Pinellas county legend Larry . You really should click the link and watch the video about Larry. What a cool guy. At first glance he would appear to be a homeless guy running the streets in flip flops. According to the video, Larry is not homeless, and he runs in flip flops because he wants to. Larry has been spotted all over the bay area running in shorts & flip flops.  — This was my 2nd time seeing Larry running along side a race. We also spotted him at the Race for a Cure 10k in St. Pete back in October. Several members of the running group have spotted him through out the years in various places around the Bay just running in his flip flops.

Oh, also around mile 8, while running with Larry the flip flop man, we saw our cheering section screaming very loudly! It was really fun to see them along the trail! I’m not sure if there are any pictures of us as we came through the section, but I think I might have cracked a smile or two. Maybe even a thumbs up. Not sure.

Miles 7 –12.something were spent on the Pinellas Trail. Lots of shade from big trees that lined the trail. There was a good breeze coming through the trail so it was somewhat cool. Along the trail we hit two overpasses. Thankfully they are short climbs so they don’t wreak to much havoc on tired legs. I can’t be sure where the overpasses were. 7.something, and 10.something, maybe.. My brain is seriously mush, and looking at the elevation map doesn’t reveal anything. It’s quite wonky looking.

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The 2nd elevation chart is Tracey’s

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I don’t know what the heck is wrong with my chart. Neither one looks right to me. The course felt completely flat besides the 1 bridge, and 2 over passes…

Around mile 12.something we entered into the park and we went from running on paved trail to a rockish path. I didn’t mind the change, although I heard a few people say that they did not care for it.

I had a little bit of juice left in the tank during that last mile so I put down the hammer and sped toward the finish line.

I enjoyed this race, but I oh-so-ready to see that glorious finish line. Our group was just before the finish line screaming and cheering for us! It’s really fun to have some crowd support there! Once again, I made sure to have a smile on my face, and maybe even some silly faces as I ran past our cheering fans!

Garmin time was 1:52:50
Chip time : 1:52:48
AG: 9/18
OA: 167/737

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I’ll take it!

The most important part of this race for me was to have a good time. I’m learning that I’m not the type of person that feels all rainbows & butterflies when I’m running 13 miles, but I did enjoy the race (as much as one can enjoy 13 miles).

I actually liked the courses – oddly enough I didn’t mind the bridge & overpasses. I think they were a nice challenge and broke up the monotony of flatness. Now, if I was going for a PR, I prefer a flat race, but a race just to have a good time, a few inclines never killed anyone (that I know of).

After all of the Striders crossed the finish line we headed over to the awards ceremony, where a few of our super-duper speedy Striders won some OA awards, and a few AG awards!

After the awards ceremony some of the Striders headed over to the Seminole Family Restaurant for Breakfast/Lunch. I was starving by time we headed to breakfast and I had eggs & grits on the brain.

For breakfast I had X cups of coffee. The number is disclosed.. it was a lot. The waitress brought us our own carafe thing of coffee for our table… To eat I had a giant cheese omelet with 2 bowls of grits & about 6 or 7 pieces of bacon. Please believe that there was almost nothing left. I left a little bit of grits in one of the bowls. I could have eaten more, but for the sake of my poor gut I quit eating before I popped.

I finally made it home around 4pm.. 11 hours later and I finally made it home from half-marathon #4. ….. shortly after I made it home, like around 5, Chris fired up the grill and cooked some steak with a regular potato for him, and a sweet potato for me. I can’t believe that I ate the whole steak and the whole potato, but I did. I weighed myself this morning and I weighed less than I have in a month….. that doesn’t even make sense. I weighed myself just for a laugh – I figured I probably gained a few lbs from all the sodium..

Fueling: As if this post isn’t long enough, I’ll throw in a few deets about my fueling situation. The last three half-marathons I’ve suffered from abdominal cramping. I haven’t been able to really pinpoint what is causing the cramping, so Sunday morning I opted for toast instead of a bagel.

my thinking was that maybe the bagel is to much, or to heavy for my stomach. maybe I don’t have time to digest it enough before the start of the race. I had a bagel for breakfast before all three previous half-marathons.

I also thought maybe it was a combo of the coffee & bagel, but we all know I’m not going to ditch the pre-race coffee, so the bagel had to go.

I’ve also been wondering if the hammer gels are also part of my cramping problem. Prior to this racing season I used sport beans for my fuel during races. However, I’ve been unable to find them at our local sports authority so I was using shot bloks during training runs. … I discovered that I don’t really care for the texture of shot bloks so I switched to the hammer gels.

The apple-cinnamon gels taste good, but they are thick and kind of hard to get down. Plus, they need to be taken with water, and I have a hard time drinking a lot of water (at one time) during a race. I find that drinking to much at one stop will also give me some cramping.

Since I didn’t have anything besides hammer gels I used them for this half as well. They didn’t give me any problems, but I’m still ordering some sharkie things from running warehouse to try out.

Maybe the bagel was giving me the cramping? I didn’t have any issues during this half-marathon. I drank a little bit of water at all of the stations but two, where I drank gatorade, because it was the only thing I could get my hands on.

 

Okay, for real, I’m done with this post. It took me 2 hours to write this. I should block the internet while I blog. I can’t stop FB stalking, or twitter stalking, or reading blogs while I blog and it makes writing a race recap really difficult.

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This picture screams: Hey, I’m done..I’m dying, but I’m done. yippee!
apparently I forgot to smile while I was throwing my hands in the air like I just don’t care.

I’m weak

alternate title: I succumbed to peer pressure
alternate/alternate title: My running team badgered me about running a half marathon on Sunday until I gave in & signed up.

Most of those alternate titles are true. The 10th annual Holiday Halfathon is this Sunday and a big group of the Striders are running. I was the only loser from my group of people I run with that isn’t running. I was holding strong until badgergeddeon of 2011 occurred on facebook.

Somehow an innocent, “I will on the sidelines cheering for you” turned into 3 different facebook status and many comments of “C’mon Jena, just do it.” “You know you want to.” and so on & so forth. These people are serious. I held strong until about 4:30 …. okay, that’s a lie. I actually called Chris around lunch time, and then one other time to ask if him if he minded if I signed up. But don’t tell my Strider friends that I was already weakening so early in the game.

In all seriousness, I feel no pressure for this race.  I wouldn’t run if I didn’t want to. I’m really not so weak that I can’t tell a bunch of relentless women, and one very relentless leader that I don’t want to run.

I’m well aware that I just ran a half-marathon on Sunday. I feel no pressure to PR or even try to PR. I have plans to run with Mrs. Tracey and hopefully cross the finish line in approximately 1hr 52 minutes…. if all goes well. If not, well, I’ll see ya when I see ya. I will not kill myself at this race. I just won’t.

I really need this spiffy looking starfish medal, don’t you think?

After work today I had to go to the post office – ugh, I’m definitely going to try to avoid that place until after Christmas! Then I headed home to get in a good 4 mile run. My left glute has been a little sore since that Bob Harper work out I did on Tuesday, so I wasn’t sure how my run would go.

I am pleased to say that I didn’t have any issues & I had a really successful run. I didn’t have  plan in mind, just wanted to run & see how my legs were feeling.

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To bad mile 1 was so slow, I could have had a super speedy average. Say hey to that sub 8 mile 3, “Heyyyyyyy.” I like it when those sub 8’s show up to the party. I felt really good on this run. No fatigue, or pain. The weather has cooled down for a few days, so the air was nice & crisp. Breathing was good, no side/abdominal cramps (yay). I tried to focus on my form – relaxing my shoulders, but keeping them straight up instead of slouched over.

I’ve noticed after my last two half-marathon’s I could barely lift my left arm. I think I get so tense and keep my arms really tight while I run. It was really bad after the Women’s Half, not as bad after the Brandon half. So today I tried to focus on keeping my upper body loose, but in good form.

Do your arms/upper body ever feel sore after a tough run, or half-marathon? 
That can’t just be me.

On Saturday I’m heading up to Leesburg with my sister & her kids for a little 1 mile fun run with my niece. I was talking to Stacey today and she said that Kailyn would rather run up & down the sidewalk then ride her bike. She likes to “practice” running. Apparently she runs laps around the PE field at her school, and really likes it.

This made me oddly excited! I can’t wait to get her into a 5k one day, but for now we are going to try out the 1 mile fun run. Since I’m running the half on Sunday I decided not to do the 5k that is associated w/ the fun run. I’ll just do the one mile with Kailyn & have a good time! I can’t WAIT to see how she does!

Me(crazy hair), Kailyn, Stacey & Aidyn with those rockin’ red socks

 

If you have kids, do they like to do the fun runs? Have they done a full 5k? Kailyn is 7, I think she could do a 5k, right? How do you train a 7yr old to do a 5k?

WHM recap in pictures because trust me, you don’t want me to talk about it.

Thanks to Aaron for letting me use some of his pictures in this post.

7AM: GO!

7:08:15AM:


get a good look at that smile, because it doesn’t appear again.. at all

sometimes in the next 13 miles: (somewhere between 7 & 8)

heading onto the pier .. 7 or 8? I don’t know. my brain is fried @ this point

exiting the pier. hallelujah. what good attitude I had also exited at this point.

Hmm, now that I really look @ this picture – I’m not sure where it’s at. There were no cars parked like that on the pier… Aaron? Anyone? Where was this?

There are no pictures from miles 9-12. hallelujah for that as well. I was on pace for the first 9 miles – I was rockin’ it btwn 8:18-8:20 pretty nicely..and then… it just fell apart. I’m a gigantic wimp when it comes to inclines so I’m probably just being a baby but there was a gradual incline for.ev.er at mile 9 and it’s pretty obvious when you look @ my splits that I came unraveled at that point.

The Suncoast Running (our local running store) was at mile 10. I was quite excited to see them as I was counting down the miles until I would see some people i  knew again. that’s sad, right? JM handed me some gatorade, I cussed at her, and then headed off again. I really just wanted to stop and hang out w/ them – that would have been way more fun then running the rest of the race. JM then proceeded to drag me through the next mile. She caught up with me and carried me kicking & screaming through the stupid Tropicana Field. .. she didn’t literally carry me, but that would have been cool. I’m 100% sure that she saved me from dying. I know for a fact that I would have stopped to walk at least twice through that mile, but she is a real drill Sergeant and wouldn’t let me walk.

Suncoast Running was also at mile 12 (it was across the street from 10) so she dumped me there and made me finish by myself. I grabbed 3 cups of water from this stop. (I’m greedy & hot).. I dumped 2 on my head, 1 in my mouth. I hobbled through the last mile and finally crossed the finish line.

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The deets: because you didn’t really come here to look at 500 angry pictures of me, did you?

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WHM splits 2011-2

On a positive note, I PR’d by 30 seconds…so there’s that. A 2nd positive note, I was on pace for the first 9 miles.. 3rdly ……… {crickets}  I got a pretty finisher’s medal with a pretty charm that I put on a pretty charm bracelet. No pictures right now. I’m tired and don’t feel like it. maybe tomorrow. Oh 4thly, you should thank me for not posting the original recap I wrote of this race. It’s long & whiney. If you thought this recap was whiney, think again, the other one was ridiculous.

Here’s the thing: I feel like an idiot. I’m embarrassed. I feel like I talked all this shit, and then didn’t perform. I know I can’t control the weather and I can’t control the course (although I can control not ever doing this race again). But, it’s still frustrating to not meet a goal..or any of the goals I set for this race.

Other things to note:

  • running on brick street sucks
  • running on astro turf sucks worse (ahem..tropicana field)
  • I had a cramp starting @ mile 3 and subsiding @ 7.5 (fun times)
  • my hips felt like exploding
  • my R knee is killing me
  • I could barely lift my left arm when I crossed the finish line (???)
  • there was no cold water at the finish line
  • publix cookies are really yummy
  • we had record highs today
  • my nickname in school was Whiner Griner – so this recap is right up my alley- whiney

Hopefully when I wake up Monday morning I’ll feel all sunshiney & rainbows again.

Crisis Averted

Can you believe it’s already June 28th?

This totally blows my mind. Where has this year gone? With every day that passes, the more excited I get about our upcoming vacation.

Then you’ll be seeing that little picture when you come to my blog!
I haven’t decided yet what to do while I’m gone. Guest posts? Maybe. Post myself? Maybe. If I can figure out a good, safe way to get my computer there then I might consider it. I’ll probably have to sneak it on the boat. My Dad says we have to PACK LIGHT.

AND THENNNNNNNNNNNNNN:

Today I nearly had a blog meltdown. I did something that made a big ol’ mess out of my blog for the majority of the day. I bought my domain through blue host, but use a wordpress layout. I really don’t know how to explain it- but I thought I was going to be re-routing my old blog to the new blog. Wrong. I did the exact opposite. It doesn’t really sound like a big deal, but I couldn’t log into the dashboard for the new blog so I couldn’t un-do what I did.

Ugh. I contacted bluehost and she told me that she could restore it from the last back up, and that it would take 15 minutes. GREAT.

Well. She apparently didn’t do it right, or at all because 4 hours later it still wasn’t fixed. I contacted bluehost again and this time they did the restore correctly. I was so happy to see my regular layout back in business. YAY!

running plans

I have a some what new, and not all that smart plan for my upcoming half-marathon season.I mentioned about a month ago that I registered for the Women’s Running Magazine Half Marathon in St. Pete. That race is at the end of November, the weekend before or after Thanksgiving I think.

I was previously contemplating whether or not I should run the Halloween Halfathon. After someone mentioned that I would end up racing instead of just relaxing I decided against that half. Well, that was until Jenny asked me if I was planning on doing that race. It’s two weeks after her 2nd full marathon, so it would be a good recovery/easy run for her. Right now, I am planning on doing it. We would run together and just enjoy the run and the company. No racing. I know we can do it…I will wait until the last minute to register to see how I’m doing with training and to see how my knee feels.

OOTD Anyone?

Today I wore a dress I haven’t work in years. I don’t love it, but today it seemed to fit how I was feeling. Pretty tropically, and loose fitting. After yesterday’s buffet-a-palooza, I need something that wasn’t to constricting.

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What the heck is up with the way I’m standing?

Kind of a little to revealing for work, so I added a cute little white cardigan thing on top to make it a little more professional. I don’t know if flip flops fall under “professional” but I was rocking them. I also wore my hair in that awesome bun. It was definitely just one of those days where easier was better.
I think the last time I wore this dress was for our engagement pictures in 2007.

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I have no running tales to report. I felt like junk when I  got home from work. I ate a bunch of cantaloupe right before I left work and it made me feel icky. I don’t know if it was just to sweet or what, but I felt awful. Plus, my blog was broke, and that was totally making me angry. And, if you want one more excuse, Chris wasn’t running today so I wanted to wait until he could go tomorrow.

33 days & counting