Tuesday, March 26, 2013

24 Hours of Moab (Race Recap)

Saturday, March 23
Moab, UT
Ultra Marathon #6
Weather - WINDY and COLD

If you have never read the insanely long saga of my 100 mile attempt at this event, you can check it out HERE.

The short recap of the event is that it was pretty much the exact opposite of last year. (Last year I trained, this year I didn't. Last year was a billion degrees, this year was Arctic, etc etc).

Friday

I was SO happy that my sister in law Lisa agreed to join me for the weekend. I had forgotten it was my niece's birthday and my dad said he couldn't come with me. All week long we had been watching the weather and it looked like we might hit some trouble in the mountains. Snow was in the forecast the WHOLE weekend. We took A to school and immediately headed out. There were some icy sections but it was not nearly as terrible as we imagined. However, we did get stopped for a bit near Vail for avalanche control.


And then by the time we finally got through, we of course had to use the bathroom. We stopped at a rest area on Vail Pass. There was a TINY bit of snow:



Lisa fell asleep and I had a fairly uneventful drive. I was STARVING by the time we got to Grand Junction. We put some gas in the car and after getting a bit lost, we found a Chili's. I had some delicious Cajun pasta.

We were touristy enough to take some pictures at the state line:


From the state line it wasn't that long until we got to base camp. Thankfully, I vaguely remembered the location from last year, plus it not being dark helped a lot. The plan was to get the tent set up and then go into town to get some dinner and food for the morning.

It was windy. I was doubtful about our tent pitching skills in PRISTINE conditions. This did not go well.


And then we finally got it up...


We ended up putting about 300 pounds of rocks inside the tent to weigh it down. The ground was so hard that only 1 of the 4 corners spikes was even in the ground. Crossed our fingers that the tent would still be there when we got back and headed into town. We had dinner at the Moab Brewery. It was DELICIOUS, along with a local beer, Dead Horse Ale. Tasty. We picked up donuts for the morning at City Market and then headed back to camp.

The wind had not died down at all and it was FREEZING. I had brought the same sleeping bag I took with me to Peru and figured I would be nice and warm. NO. I was NOT. Once it got dark there was nothing to do and we were both pretty tired so "lights out" was around 9. I barely slept. The wind was insane and LOUD. I kept waking up because of the noise and the cold and the fact the tent was pretty much collapsing in on us.

Saturday

I woke up WELL before my alarm went off. Turned out to be a good thing as apparently I don't move too quickly in the cold. I wasted probably 20 minutes just hovered in front of the heater in the car trying to get warm. When I had been looking at the forecast I figured with highs in the upper 40's that I would be fine wearing a t-shirt and shorts. Lisa thought I was insane. It WAS a bit chilly so I figured I'd dress a bit warmer for the first loop and could adjust later as necessary. I did NOT use any body glide (anywhere) and I wore a brand new long sleeve shirt as my base layer. Turns out, that worked out nicely.

Lisa had not registered yet for the 6 hour nighttime "fun run" and I needed to get my packet, so we headed over around 6 to get that taken care of. I was still SUPER slow getting my stuff together. I was still scrambling at 6:44, and barely made it to the mandatory pre-race meeting. I wasn't too concerned about it since I had already been through this all last year. Lisa got a picture of me at the start and then headed back to the car to stay warm.


In addition to NOT wearing shorts, can you tell I have ALL THE CLOTHES ON?? I had on a long sleeve shirt, short sleeve shirt and a jacket. Capris with compression socks, a ski hat and my awesome CIM bandanna/tube thingy for my face. Turns out, I would keep this ensemble on THE ENTIRE DAY. That should tell you how cold it was.

Start was at 7:02. This year there was a 50k added to the distance series so there were a few SUPER fast people out on the course. Like last year, I started in the back. Knowing the course, I had a conservative plan for the day. Jogging or walking up the inclines, running the flats and downhills at always an easy pace. I knew better than to care how "fast" everyone else was going. I knew how easy it could be to overexert myself.

The cold was brutal. I was wearing gloves and yet my hands were still freezing. I wanted to get some pictures on the course again, especially during the first loop when the sun is coming up and the rocks look especially red.


It was so cold that when I went to take my first drink out of  my hydration vest I couldn't because the water in the bite valve was frozen. Gross. I kept hoping that once the sun came up that it would get warmer. It didn't. For 2 loops during the day, I took off my jacket thinking I would be more comfortable. It wasn't. The winds made the already cool temperatures even colder. I was doubting my ability to even MAKE it to night, much less 24 hours.

Honestly, the race is a blur. I was cold and spent most of the race looking down, trying to keep the wind off my face. As I remembered from last year, everyone was really friendly and I made sure to at least wave to the other runners. I was taking a gel at the end of every loop so I could toss my trash at base camp. I had to pee every time I got there, so even though I wasn't draining my pack, I guess I was drinking enough for the conditions.

I think the rocks look like knuckles - every time I ran by I'd think - Moab is giving me fist bumps! (See, this is the type of crazy thoughts I have during an ultra. Maybe I've shared too much).
I remember getting TONS of sand in my shoes last year in the "beach" sections. This year I wore the Mizuno Cabrakans, and they were great. My feet weren't tired and I didn't have to stop to dump the sand out.

Sometime early afternoon, I noticed that it looked like storm clouds were rolling in. In addition to the fact it was not supposed to be windy all day, there was also supposed to be a 0% chance of precipitation. Not LITTLE chance, NO chance. And then, the snow started. Thankfully, it was a tiny amount of flurries for maybe a loop. Nothing major and it went away before it got dark. I met up with Lisa around 4:30 at base camp while she was getting everything ready. She snapped this pic of me, which is after 32ish miles:


Lisa had spent the day sightseeing at Arches and I was going to be coming in to base camp around 6:15, so she held off on starting her 6 hours until I got there. We made sure to get some pictures in before it got too dark:

Doing a zombie walk in my zombie shirt....
And then of COURSE we had to do a Pitch Perfect inspired picture:
Ideally, Lisa wanted to get in three loops. I was ready to stop after doing one with her. She was on fresh legs and kept telling me to "pick up the pace" and "I've never done 5 miles this slow" - I'd already been moving all day and was getting tired. She had to talk me into going out for one more loop. We were definitely slower the last loop. It was MUCH colder. My hands felt like icicles the entire time. I was really regretting not having picked up hand warmers, even though I had thought about it before I had even left Denver. Lisa was wearing Newtons and was having the same trouble I had last year and had to dump sand out of her shoes probably a dozen times.

We wandered back into base camp around 10:25 and I had NO qualms about calling it quits. We sat around the heater and ate some pasta. We had ZERO plans of trying to sleep in the tent again, so we warmed up the car and slept in there. Woke up a few times because it was cold, but it was MUCH better than the tent.

Sunday

In the morning, we stopped by the results tent to get our official finish times. While we were waiting, we got some delicious grilled cheese sandwiches. YUM. Turns out, the cold had messed with a LOT of people and I ended up with this:

Second place female!
Loop 1 (5.37 miles) - 8:23 am
Loop 2 (10.74 miles) - 9:49 am
Loop 3 (16.11 miles) - 11:22 am
Loop 4 (21.48 miles) - 1:04 pm
Loop 5 (26.85 miles) - 2:47 pm
Loop 6 (32.22 miles) - 4:33 pm
Loop 7 (37.59 miles) - 6:16 pm
Loop 8 (42.96 miles) - 8:14 pm
Loop 9 (48.33 miles) - 10:26 pm
Total Miles - 48.33 in 15:24
Overall Place - 5/9
Gender - 2/4

Last years winner ran 91.29 miles. This year, she ran 69.81. Last year I ran 64.44 and ran 16.11 less this year. I think part of that was lack of training, but most of it really was the weather. Throughout the entire day, I never felt like I was comfortable and my hands were cold all day. Overall, I am very pleased with my finish. Other than being cold, I had a great time.

Of note, this year there were only 2 finishers in the 100 mile division, whereas last year there were 3. This is NOT an easy course for the 100 distance!!

The drive back to Denver was ok. We stopped in Grand Junction again for gas and also got some food and coffee at Starbucks. We hit the snow about 20 miles before Vail. The drive was a lot slower as the roads were pretty icy and the snow was coming down pretty hard. Luckily, we missed the ski traffic and got out of the mountains by 1:30. We had lunch at Smashburger. After showering, it was time for naps. I unfortunately had to take her to the airport around 8:00 since she had to be at work the next day.

Thoughts:
  • Every time I do an ultra I say:
    • This is dumb.
    • Why am I doing this?
    • I'm  never doing this again.
  • And then as soon as I'm done...
    • Maybe I'll come back next year.
  • I am really glad I had brought some warmer clothes for layering. They helped quite a bit, but honestly, there were people on the course in actual ski coats and pants. I could have put on more clothes.
  • I really should have brought hand warmers. I might have done another loop if my hands wouldn't have been so cold.
  • I only ate 4-5 gels the whole day. I ate LOTS of M&Ms and had some chicken soup after loop 7. I also ate about a billion Mike & Ikes. They are delicious.
  • I filled my hydration vest with grape nuun. I only drank about 3/4 of what I had put in there. The entire day. Last year I think I went through 3 filled packs.
  • I had some birthday cake after 5 or 6 loops. THAT was delicious.
  • I am really happy I had different shoes this year, they were a lot more comfortable.
  • I think if I were to do this again, I would need a for real, legitimate "pacer" to get me through the night hours. I get cold, and then I stop.
  • I am pretty sure I will be back next year. Moab is gorgeous, the event is top notch and I absolutely LOVE that it is still a small event. I recognized a few people from last year and I know that the same people will be back next year. I just hope there is better weather next time.
So.... What next....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Musings

Normally I would have saved this for a Thursday post, but I have the time today and I likely won't tomorrow.
  • Mother Nature obviously hates me. Last year it was 82 for a high in Moab. This year (and the number keeps dropping) the HIGH is projected at 46 degrees. Which means I am going to freeze to death at night.
    • Poor L is actually racing in Denver this weekend. Forecast here is even worse. HIGHS in the mid 20's (which obviously it will NOT be at the time she is racing) - and Saturday is predicting 4-8" of snow. I think I'll pick a cold 24 hour jaunt over that. Blech.
  • Really curious to see how Moab goes. Last year I put in about 1000 miles of training for it. My brain broke and I dropped after 64ish miles. I have... less than half those miles in training this time around, and even the miles that I have been running have not felt easy or strong. Sooooo. Should be, um, yeah. Interesting.
  • After Moab, I guess I need to maintain my mileage a bit since Eugene is just over 5 weeks away! Other than the Big Horn 50k in June, it is my only "distance" race on my schedule... um for the foreseeable future. There are, however, TONS of half marathons coming up. I guess that means I should work on speed a little bit. I'd love to "shatter" my current Colorado half marathon PR - 2:10ish range.
  • Thanks to my "flash giveaway" the other day, WE raised $205!!! Thank so much to everyone that donated, I've notified the winner - Alex Detrick (he was in my tour group when I ran the Athens marathon in Greece in 2010) and I will be sure to post what he picks!
    • I'm a little over a third of the way to my goal (YAHOO!!) - but of course, please donate if/when you can. You can donate HERE ($10 will still get you in my raffle - and the GUARANTEED prizes right now are Pro Compression marathon socks, Nuun AND a gift card for INKnBURN!) I am still working on getting more prizes, so keep checking back!
  • Lately, A has really been into taking silly candid pictures. So, if you missed this on social media, here ya go!
I posted this on Facebook. My dad asked, "who is in the pictures with A?"

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lucky Louisville "5k" (Race Recap)

Saturday, March 16
Louisville, CO
A's 9th 5k
Weather - chilly and overcast


You might be wondering why the Lucky Louisville 5k is in " " - well, it was NOT a 5k... I've run one other race put on by this group, and that one also measured extremely short. No biggie to me, but for people who at least want to run their best, a short course can be extremely frustrating. I mean, how hard is it, really, in this day and age with GPS to measure a 5k? Anyway. That's my ONLY complaint (no, really!)

I thought I knew where the start area was, but then they just gave an intersection and warned an iPhone might tell me to go to Kansas. So.... we left early. We stopped on the way up and got pre-race fuel:

A had the one with the sprinkles - I'm NOT a huge sprinkle fan
We got there about 50 minutes before the race started. Out of all the races this weekend, I picked this one because it was close and it was inexpensive. $25 for me, and all kids under 8 were FREE. FREE!!! I picked up my bib (and really NICE shirt). Even though A's entry was free, she got a shirt (but no bib).

Since it was so chilly, we sat in the car until about 9:30, then we headed to use the bathroom. There was no wait so we were back in the car a few minutes later. We were literally only about 200 feet from the start line, so we didn't head over until 9:57 (with a 10 am start).

There was also a one mile option, and dogs AND strollers were allowed. It was a pretty small race though, and people were overall pretty considerate where they staged themselves. Those doing the 5k were asked to go to the "front" and we placed ourselves toward the back of the front (does that even make sense?)

A started off fast - always a concern for me since she tends to burn out fairly easily and then isn't too happy towards the end. She kept sprinting ahead and then stopping to wait. I told her she could just keep going, as it was a smallish race and I could see her ahead of me. We got to the turnaround point and that's pretty much when she started to get tired. Originally she told me she "wanted to catch the girl with the piggy tails" - but then she didn't really want to run.

Colorado isn't all that pretty in the dead of winter (yeah, I know "spring" is supposedly here this week but you wouldn't know it):


She jogged a large portion of what was left, and when we could start hearing the bagpipes, she knew we were close. She had been chasing a little boy (apparently HIS goal was to beat A - his mom kept saying - she's going to beat you!) and TOOK OFF with about a quarter mile to go. We did end up beating the little boy and his mom, and I barely was able to keep up with her to the finish.

Time - 28:07
Mile 1 - 11:34
Mile 2 - 13:10
Mile 2.35 - 9:14 (seriously, she is so fast!!)
 
A is wearing the race shirt - nice, right??
I (for the first time in my LIFE) had a cup of green beer. Overall, a fun day, but not something you want to run if you are super serious about the little things like accurate distance and such :D

PS - SEPARATE from my regular raffle, I'm doing a"flash giveaway" for anyone that donates to my fundraiser HERE. ANY donation I get today or tomorrow will be entered in to win a FREE INKnBURN tech tee of the winner's choice. ($10 minimum for the regular raffle). So get your entry in before 11:59 pm MST tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Worst Blogger Ever

That would be me...
  • In a crazy turn of events, I have actually been... running. Like, not a 3-4 miles here and there. Still sticking to my promise of rebuilding my base and hoping I get some of my strength and speed back. To recap:
    • Weds 3/6 - 7.5 miles ( 7 sets of 800's and other stuff)
    • Thurs 3/7 - 7.0 miles
    • Sat 3/9 - 6.01 miles
    • Sun 3/10 - 9.1 miles
    • Weds 3/13 - 8.12 miles (4 miles "easy", 4.12 @ "MP")
    • That's almost 38 miles... of straight training. What.
  • I've been awfully quiet about it, but in just over a week I am headed back to Moab. I didn't sign up for the 100 this time (THAT would be crazy). Optimistically I am signed up for the 24 hour division, and I plan on taking it easy and enjoying myself. I haven't even started checking the weather yet (although I'm totally going to the SECOND I am done with this blog post).
  • Random yoga again:
  •  Still miserably failing at fundraising. I think I'm tapped out... RAFFLE is still open until May 1... donate if you can.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. While I have not had that many GOOD runs lately, I have been sticking to my plan of rebuilding my base. I think it is helping, as I have run longer (and a bit faster) than I have in months. Not to mention, I was NOT that sore after running (WITH ZERO WALK BREAKS) the hilly Little Rock marathon on Sunday. I'd say that is some great progress!! I did speed work (AGAIN!!) for a total of 7.5 miles on Wednesday morning... before work!! I plan on another 7 or so tonight (or tomorrow morning). And a long run of some kind on Sunday. Hopefully outside if we don't end up having a blizzard on Saturday.

2. I finally went to yoga at my gym last night. For the past 18 months or so, I only have been going to yoga at Lululemon. And I LOVE going to yoga there. Different instructors every time means I have yet to be bored at a class. Anyway, going to yoga at my gym reminds me that I do not especially LIKE yoga there. The flow of the class is awkward and the first half always seems crazy easy with the second half filled with random and complicated balance moves that most people are afraid to even try. However, my body felt GREAT after taking the time to do some stretching. I really need to be better about it, I know it makes a huge difference.


3. Planning our race schedule this summer. WOW are there a lot of races in Colorado! I actually had to make a spreadsheet so I could track registration fees and when the price increases are. Average entry fee for a half right now is $54, with five costing less than $40! We have a lot of interesting races coming up that I can't wait to share with you all!

DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT MY RAFFLE!! 
(I have added a NEW prize - which will hopefully sweeten the deal!)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday


The weird middle picture? The giantest blister EVER on (encompassing?) my pinky toe. Upper right is keeping track of my 800s - I can't keep all those numbers inside my brain :-/

Monday, March 4, 2013

Little Rock Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, March 3
Little Rock, AR
Marathon #20
State #10
Weather - Chilly at start, SUNNY, some wind


The Little Rock marathon was pretty much the last "distance" race I signed up for before I realized how bad my IT band injury was. I signed up August 1, opening day, which was a few weeks before my injury hit rock bottom.

I had been dreading it a bit, as I haven't been spending that much time on my feet, and I haven't had that great of a marathon (or even a half for that matter) in ages.

Saturday

There were ZERO direct flights into Little Rock on Saturday. NONE. We opted to fly Southwest, which left us with a connection in St. Louis. For three hours. Turns out, that is just enough time to catch up on social networking, have lunch and get a snack.


We landed a few minutes early in Little Rock (which may be one of the smallest airports in the country) and got our AWESOME GREEN Ford Fiesta rental car without any problems. The expo was TEENY tiny. We got our (pretty lame) unisex shirts and headed out within a few minutes as there were practically no vendors there. But there WERE lots of fake horses.


On our way back to the car we stopped at a free museum. It's been a while since we did something cultural.


We finally managed to get in touch with Ruth and went to a place near her hotel called "Boston's," where we carb loaded. Pasta AND beer. Both were delicious.


L and I headed to our scary hotel and lights were out by about 9:00. The race packet was very vague on race day planning, with the only hint about parking "there will be ample parking available near the start." Uh. Ok.

Sunday

Alarm went off just before 6. Got dressed and headed out. Got to the general vicinity of the race without any issues, but there was a lot of traffic and many of the roads were closed. We VERY luckily were able to get into a parking garage (for only $5) that was just a few blocks away from the start. We sat in the car until about 7:25 as it was pretty chilly out.

View from the parking garage
Heading over to the start area, and we certainly see the start area and the corrals (which we didn't even KNOW there were corrals), but we couldn't find the bathrooms. We finally found them, waaaay down the street, and it took 15-20 minutes to get through. We were forced into the back of the corral since they took up the entire street and we couldn't move up or get in anywhere else. At the pace I've been running, we probably deserved to be back there. National Anthem was sung at 7:50 and the wheelchair race started at 7:55.


Very crowded start!
We were ahead of the 6:00 pacer but behind the 5:25 pacer. My goal, optimistically, was to finish ahead of the 5:25 pacer. Apparently, along with the corrals was a staggered start. We did not cross the line until about 8:18. It had been pretty cold standing around in the shade, but we warmed up pretty quick once we got into the sun.

I knew NOTHING about this course, other than there was a hill somewhere around 14 and another around mile 24.

No idea what is happening here
I was feeling pretty good the first few miles. My calves really started to tighten between miles 5 and 6. If I wouldn't have been running with L, I probably would have stopped to stretch or walk. She was just far enough in front of me that I couldn't really talk to her, so that forced me to keep going. It eventually worked itself out, which was nice.

HILARIOUS
The course was not super interesting but there were a LOT of spectators, which was nice. We got TONS of complements on our awesome outfit (INKnBURN tech shirt and Lululemon pace setter skirt).



We even got our picture taken in front of the Governor's Mansion with Mike Beebe - he was a nice guy (and I'm still amazed at how non-runners are willing to hug gross, sweaty runners).

Camera lens was all sweaty so it's kind of blurry :-/
We split from the half marathoners around mile 10.5. We "merged" with them for a bit around our mile 12. I WAS SO UPSET TO SEE THEY HAD A BEER TABLE ON THEIR SIDE BUT THERE WAS NOT ONE ON OURS :( :( :(

I remember saying to L - wow, this girl's going to have a great memento of texting during the race!
The halfway point of the marathon was right in front of the capitol. I wasn't running with a watch, but I could tell it was the fastest half I have run since my injury (official 1/2 split is 2:27:50). I remember commenting to L that I was a bit sad we had to keep running because for ONCE, I was at mile 13.1 and I was still feeling pretty good.

Not too long after, and we got to "the hill." It lasted for maybe 2 miles, and it was just one long, gradual hill. It wasn't super steep, and again, if L wouldn't have been there, I probably would have walked up at least part of it. We made it up the whole thing without walking. And since I sorta new that was the only hill of the course, we decided no matter what, no more walking. Blarg.

There was, however, a very nice downhill to compensate for the uphill, although it did not last nearly as long. I swear I felt like I was cruising and expected my pace to be faster than what it was. Oh well.

And after that is pretty much when the course got tough for me, somewhere between miles 17 and 19. I stopped to use the bathroom and then I knew we were headed out on a long out and back stretch. It was pretty flat and the roads weren't torn up, but this section didn't have any spectators and the course had really thinned out. We saw Dave just before mile 20. I was pretty pleased to see that our mile 20 split was under 4 hours. The rest of the course seemed to go on FOREVER. I had been looking for our friend Ruth on the out section and never saw her.


There were supposedly aid stations at every mile after 20, but they weren't spaced that way. It was very weird that the first aid station with GU wasn't until well after the half marathon split, but then they were at every single aid station until the end. Seems like there isn't really a point to offering it so late?

Mile 20!!
 

Mile 23 and we are finally heading back into the city. I see the overpass and think that is the big hill at mile 24... turns out the hill is actually just before mile 25. At the mile 25 aid station, there was an older man that had fallen and was bleeding. So close to the end. I sure hope he finished :(

We did NOT walk up the hill, although there was a nice lady at the top handing out gummy bears - and of course I took one. About a half mile down the road and there were FINALLY people with beer. I was so happy when I saw them!!

I think this is my final "push" towards the finish
I really wanted to push it towards the end, and again, it felt like we were running a lot faster than we were. Saw Bart Yasso at the finish line, and we crossed together.

The medal is pretty much the entire reason that we ran this race, and it did NOT disappoint. Stopping my phone from mapping my run and I only had about 3% battery to get a few finisher pictures.


 


Official Time - 5:16:47
Official Pace - 12:06
Overall Place - 1563/2446
Gender Place - 582/1088
Division Place - 114/187
Official 10K - 1:09:18
Official 13.1 - 2:27:50
Official 20M - 3:54:23
Official Last 10K - 1:22:24 (Yep, slowed a LOT)
Mile 1 - 10:48
Mile 2 - 10:28
Mile 3 - 10:41
Mile 4 - 10:28
Mile 5 - 11:09
Mile 6 - 10:53
Mile 7 - 10:51
Mile 8 - 10:55
Mile 9 - 10:29
Mile 10 - 11:00
Mile 11 - 11:27
Mile 12 - 11:21
Mile 13 - 10:38
Mile 14 - 11:10
Mile 15 - 11:47
Mile 16 - 12:14
Mile 17 - 12:15
Mile 18 - 11:00
Mile 19 - 12:42
Mile 20 - 12:35
Mile 21 - 11:57
Mile 22 - 13:23
Mile 23 - 12:30
Mile 24 - 13:03
Mile 25 - 13:30
Mile 26 - 13:14
Mile 27 - 11:49
Mile 27.2 - 10:48

(Above mileage splits are from L's map my run. Mine recorded over 28 miles - clearly I am the worst tangent runner EVER, and no splits were available. Also, there was ZERO walking in this marathon outside of the aid stations. That is a HUGE accomplishment for me. I haven't done that in a marathon since my PR race 15 months ago. A little over 3 minutes faster than AZ, which was a FLAT course. However, I walked a LOT during Arizona, and not at all here. So. There's that.)


The most disappointing thing in the entire world about this race was that there was NO BEER AT THE FINISH LINE. Um WHAT??? NO BEER? I spent the entire race thinking about the two Michelob Ultras that I planned on having at the finish. And yet, NO BEER. :( :( That is, in my opinion, a MAJOR FAIL. Michelob Ultra was one of the sponsors, and "host" of miles 5 and 15. AND NO BEER (ok, rant over. But really. Rude).

We sat in the car with the heat running. Went to Dunkin' Donuts again. Sat in the car with the heat running. Went back to Boston's and shared a tiny buffalo chicken pizza. I also had the world's biggest beer. Yum.

 


Then... off to the airport. Good times.


Flight mostly on time, home by 9:30. Phew.

Thoughts on the race:
  • If you are all about the bling, do it. Even the half marathon medal is pretty big and clunky.
  • The shirts were not good. I am so tired of these dumb unisex shirts. I am SMALL. Not a "men's" or a "unisex" small, just a small person that would like to wear a shirt more than once. This is a waste. This race sold out in DECEMBER. That is PLENTY of time to order gender specific shirts.
  • The expo was crowded and small. And closed early - 5 pm. Would love an option to not have to go - the race isn't THAT big.
  • Signage at the start would have been super helpful. The streets were crowded and it was annoying to have to keep asking people where to go. Glad I didn't have to check a bag, never even saw bag drop.
  • Course is ok. Could be a PR course as there are just enough hills to keep your legs interested, but nothing extreme. Not incredibly visually appealing, but people in Little Rock are friendly and the spectators really got into the race. Also, I didn't get any pictures, but this course also has permanent mile markers (like street signs) on the course. I think that is neat.
  • Aid stations were pretty good, but I wish there would have been more notification of when they were. The course was pretty turny, and we didn't know there was an aid station coming until we were already there.
  • Related - all the aid stations had Gatorade and water. The Gatorade was in tiny plastic cups, and I spilled EVERY TIME. the water was in HUGE paper cups and way overfilled. But, they weren't out at any aid stations, so that was good. GU was at a lot of aid stations, but I didn't see any until VERY late (like mile 17 or 19 or something?) and then to have GU at every aid station until the end makes no sense. No one is taking GU at mile 25. They are just pocketing until the next race. Have some available earlier. (Really DID appreciate the variety of flavors - I bet they had at least 6 different kinds). There were also oranges and pretzels at some of the aid stations. Mostly, they were great.
  • Bathrooms at EVERY aid station. A+ - every race should do that.
  • THERE IS NO POINT IN HAVING A BEER SPONSOR IF YOU ARE GOING TO RUN OUT OF BEER :(
  • Every race that has Bart Yasso is a little better for it. Bart makes every finish line happier. Thanks, Bart!!
  • Even with the corrals and staggered start, it was EXTREMELY crowded for the first mile. There was an optional early start (2 hours earlier) for those that planned on finishing slower than 6 hours. So in my opinion there is NO excuse for people walking (leisurely) that early in the race. Although... the 10K started WITH the marathon and half, which probably contributed to the cluster. Started the 10K later might have eased the congestion.
  • This was the 11th year of the marathon and it seemed like there were some logistical issues that should have been worked out. Many travel for this race, and "plenty of parking" without any suggestions as to lots, garages or road closures makes people uneasy.
  • As for me... other than the mile early on with tight calves, I was mostly pain free until the last 8 miles. I started having the same hip pain as I did in Arizona, and my ankles were aching a bit. Not as bad as last time, but I was wearing newer shoes, which probably helped. (Writing this the day after and I'm walking ok. Residual aches are lower back, right hip and inside of right ankle).
Sooooo. With that said. For the most part, I liked the race. However, I would not travel for it again.

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If you are still here... check out my raffle. Guaranteed to be giving away 2 pairs of pro compression socks and still plan on INKnBURN gift cards if donations start coming in!

Friday, March 1, 2013

February Rewind

All in all, I'd say I had a pretty "decent" month. Ever since I had that epiphany about rebuilding my base, I've really been working at doing a better job of logging more substantial training runs. Shorter runs a bit faster, and adding in runs over 6 miles again. I know, this is not rocket science, and yet... sometimes it seems like I make it just.that.complicated.

Miles - 105.31

Races - 2 half marathons (Super half and Ralston Creek), 1 marathon (IMS AZ)

Current aches - wah. The calves have gotten a lot worse, and I was having (right) hip issues during the last 10k or so of IMS AZ. I've been getting some deep tissue massage and trying to be a lot better about stretching. We'll see if this gets anything better in the long run.

Current goals:
  • So hey, I'm apparently going back to Moab in three short weeks. If I didn't already mention it, I signed up for the 24 hour division. Certainly will be slower and probably more painful than last year since I'm WAY less train for it. Goal is to complete at least 50 miles. Last year I did about 100K (64.5ish) and of course I would like to do more than that, but probably not feasible. I *did* purchase a better headlamp, so hopefully I can move a bit faster in the dark. I'm REALLY excited for it this year - especially since I know a bit better what to expect. 
  • Have a good race on Sunday at Little Rock. My last few marathons have been pretty blah - I'm hoping to get done with this one and be ok. Plus, I'd really love to be in "sub 5" shape for Eugene.
  • I have ZERO half marathons in March (what??).
  • Be more diligent with my training - really do some speed work (I did do 1.5 speed sessions - but I'd like to get that up to once a week.
  • At LEAST one 7-8 mile run (non-racing) a week. After Eugene (end of April) and Big Horn (mid June), I am marathon/ultra-less until probably the end of September. I need to accept the fact that since I am not fast, my strong "base" is what makes me a better and more consistent runner. So yeah.
Current Obsession - You mean, BESIDES INKnBURN (use code BeckaToldMe for 15% off)??? These socks that I just ordered from Pro Compression - use code SOM3 - but if you are on the fence, order NOW, rumor has it they will sell out ASAP.


Don't forget about my raffle!!
(^^ new prizes added!)
ps - I have the Instagram now (squirrelgirl44)

Week in Review (November 7 - November 13)

Tuesday  (9,392 steps) - Nothing... walked on the treadmill and watched an episode of Game of Thrones. Wednesday  (19,114 steps) - Runners ...