Monday, October 31, 2011

Spinx Runfest Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Greenville, SC
Saturday, October 29
Half Marathon #48
State #40
Weather - CHILLY at the start, wet ground from TONS of rain night before

South Carolina is my nemesis. I was supposed to have run there way back in February. I had plans on doing a double race with Disney Princess. Then the race director arbitrarily changed the date of the race to a week later. I found out only because I clicked on the link on my blog and it was a dead link. After googling, I found the new information, emailed the race director who told me “the race is still happening, it’s just a week later” and refused to refund me. I had to dispute with my credit card company to get my money back. So you can imagine that when we planned another double weekend, involving the Spinx Run Town half marathon in Greenville, SC, I was a bit apprehensive.

Once again, we had ELABORATE travel plans. The cheapest flight we could get sort of in the middle was into Nashville. Which meant we had to leave early because it was roughly a five hour drive to Greenville. The flight was early enough that L was not going to have time to come home first after work, so I drove myself to the airport and waited for her at the gate. The flight to Nashville was uneventful and I got ALL my homework done that I brought with me. Score. Hit the Sbux in the airport and marveled at the live band. Fancy! For the fist time in ages, we didn’t have to take a shuttle to get a rental car, we were able to just walk and get our car and go. Easy.

We drove for just a few minutes and had lunch at Hardee’s. Burger and fries. Tasty. L needed to rest, so I did the rest of the drive in. It rained the ENTIRE TIME. Like typhoon crazy rain. I really hate driving in the rain. It is hard to see, and it was making me really tired. After a few hours I had to pull over because I was concerned I was starting to fall asleep. So weird, I had gotten plenty of sleep the night before. I put some gas in the car and got a soda, and it seemed to do the trick. About an hour outside Greenville, we started looking for an Applebee’s to eat at. No worries, we found one pretty close by. As always, food was good.

We arrived at our hotel in Greenville around 9:00, and we were exhausted. We were both in bed by probably 9:45.

EARLY wake up… get ready, and head out. We were only about 5.5 miles from the start of the race, but due to the road closures we were having a hard time getting there. We finally found a car that seemed to know where they were going, and managed to get some free parking about a half mile from the start line. Even though we didn’t have our bibs yet ,we figured we wouldn’t have time to get back to the car, so we took everything with us. Glad I had my huge throwaway sweatshirt. It was cold!! But at least it wasn’t still raining, and at least the gale force winds had died down overnight.

Arrive at Fluor Field, and find packet pick up relatively easy. And then, like usual, there is nothing to do but wander around and go to the bathroom a billion times. Since we were at a baseball field, there was plenty of indoor bathrooms – complete with running water! Hurrah! We did bag drop only because we had just gotten our race shirts with the bibs, and then headed to the start line. Did I mention I was freezing?? I was dreading getting rid of my sweatshirt, and I had forgotten gloves. I swear it was an omen that I saw a pair of orange/white striped stretchy gloves lying neatly on the ground. L says I hit a new low because I picked them up and put them on. I don’t care.

Start line
Self portraits somehow keep getting worse. And worse.

Not sure if there was a “go” or a gun going off. People just started surging forward. We weren’t even entirely sure where the start line was because there was no timing mats. The course was described as having “rolling hills” with a “few steep inclines.” Well. At least I was sort of prepared for it. My legs were feeling pretty decent, and I didn’t have calf pain again, yay!! It was cold and I was SO happy that I had picked up those gloves. The first mile or two was in the city, but then we started running through a really nice area, Cleveland Park. With the changing leaves it was one of the more pretty sections of a race I have ever run, even WITH all the hills. The first aid station was about 3 miles out. And I needed it. Bad. From then they were spaced a bit better and I don’t think we ever went more than 2 miles without one.

I don’t remember too much of the course, but it was hilly, and there seemed to be more ups than downs. I started feeling like I would need to use the bathroom again, and luckily there were some potties right around the halfway point. We had to wait a few minutes, but totally worth it. We stayed in the park area until maybe mile 7.5, then we ran a bit in a residential neighborhood. About mile 10 was when we entered the city again, and FINALLY the sun came out and it got a bit warm. I think that was the point I finally tucked the gloves in my race belt.

Maybe around mile 3?

Mile 3?
Mile 4?
Mile 5?

Not sure why almost ALL my pictures were totally blurry. They usually come out way better. I had a lot more that were even worse than these. Bummer :(

We ran through the section where we had started, and I knew we had about a half mile to go. Like usual, I had NOTHING left at the end, and like usual, L pulled off a major sprint and beat me by almost 20 seconds. I don’t know how she does it.  Food at the end was pretty awesome . They had cups of grapes, pineapple, apples, and sandwiches. Picking up our bag was easy too, no wait!

Bib # 2257
Official Time - 2:16:07
Official Pace - 10:23
Overall Place - 858/1266
Garmin Time - 2:16:10
Garmin Distance - 13.04 miles
Garmin Pace - 10:26
Mile 1 - 9:47
Mile 2 - 9:42
Mile 3 - 9:34
Mile 4 - 10:10
Mile 5 - 10:52
Mile 6 - 10:12
Mile 7 - 12:28 (bathroom)
Mile 8 - 10:04
Mile 9 - 10:53
Mile 10 - 11:24
Mile 11 - 10:14
Mile 12 - 10:30
Mile 13 - 10:06
Mile 13.1 - 9:09

The medal was really nice! And FYI, the 5Kers got a medal just like ours only with a different colored ribbon. That’s pretty awesome too! I think this was a great race, and South Carolina redeemed itself to me. Not an easy course by any means, but the aid stations were well stocked, good volunteers, potties on the course, and of course the scenery on the course was amazing too. Plus, it’s always cool to finish on a field.

Can you see my awesome free gloves???

We headed back to the car. Getting back to the hotel was easy too. Shower, pack, then we are on our way. The drive to race #2? Even longer, 6 hours or so away.

First order of business – finding souvenirs. We are striking out again. Like usual. Heading back to the highway, we drive past a Dunkin Donuts, and in the  process of turning around, we see a small pizza place called “Frodo’s” that had a lunch buffet. You don’t have to tell me twice… Right when we get there a little league team arrives so it was LOUD and chaotic. But. We got a salad buffet, some pizza, and a drink for $8. Can’t beat that. Weird thing was the owner/manager asking if he could take our picture and put it on his Facebook page... Uh. OK. Headed back and got a coffee. I just love their pumpkin latte lite! So tasty!! I really REALLY wish they would come to Denver. Sorry, Sbux, their coffee tastes better and it isn’t as expensive…

We have to stop a total of TEN places before we finally find our souvenirs. At Wal-Mart of all places. Then we can FINALLY start the actually drive to Louisville, KY, where we would be racing the inaugural Big Hit half marathon.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. Random race pictures I found but never posted.

Horsetooth Half Marathon - Ft. Collins, CO - April
Cincinnati Half Marathon - October
2. Leave in the morning for another double weekend. Last races for a few weeks, kinda excited about the break. If you are going to be at the Spinx Half In SC or the Big Hit half in Louisville, KY - shoot me an email and maybe we can meet up (although, warning, I'm on a tight schedule). squirrelgirl44 (at) hotmail (dot) com

3. I just realized I have only 4 weeks of actual class left. A week off for Thanksgiving and a week of finals. How did that happen already??? Time flies.

Happy running!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Drumroll Please!

What some of you may (or may not) have been waiting for!! The big reveal is here! Ready to find out where and when the 50 state challenge will be completed? Well, here it is! My newest race schedule!


October 29 - Spinx Half Marathon - Greenville, SC (State #40) Registered
October 30 - Big Hit Half Marathon - Louisville, KY (State #41) Registered
November 19 - White River Half Marathon - Cotter, AR (State #42) Registered
November 20 - Route 66 Half Marathon - Tulsa, OK (State #43) Registered
December 5 - Las Cruces Half Marathon - Las Cruces, NM
December 31 - New Years Double Half Marathon - Allen, TX Registered
January 1 - New Years Double Marathon - Allen, TX Registered
January 15 - Rock 'n' Roll Arizona - Phoenix, AZ (half? full?)
January 29 - Tinker Bell Half Marathon - Anaheim, CA Registered
March 4 - Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans - New Orleans, LA (State #44) Registered
March 24/25 - Moab 100 Miler - Moab, UT (still giving this thought...)
April 15 - Platte River Half Marathon - Littleton, CO
April 20/21 - Ragnar SoCal - Huntington Beach to San Diego, CA Registered
April 28 - Rock 'n' Roll Country Music Half Marathon - Nashville, TN (State #45)
May 5 - One America 500 Festival Mini Marathon - Indianapolis, IN (State #46)
May 6 - Pittsburgh Half Marathon - Pittsburgh, PA (State #47)
May 13? - Superheros Half Marathon - Morristown, NJ (State #48)
May 27 - Edinburgh Marathon - Edinburgh, Scotland (full) Registered
June 2/9 - Incan Trail Marathon - Peru (27.5 mile trail marathon) Registered
June 23 - Rock 'n' Roll Seattle - Seattle, WA (full) Registered
June 24 - Vancouver Half Marathon - Vancouver, BC, Canada
July 29 - San Francisco Marathon - San Francisco, CA (full) Registered
August 3 - Legacy Midnight Run - Salt Lake City, UT (half)
August 11 - Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon - Idaho Springs, CO
August 19 - Pikes Peak Marathon - Pikes Peak, CO (full?)
August 20 - News & Sentinel Half Marathon - Parkersburg, WV (State #49)
September 9 - Maple Leaf Half Marathon - Manchester, VT (STATE #50!!!)
September 23 - Rock 'n' Roll Montreal - Montreal, Quebec, Canada (half)
September 29 - Wine & Dine Half Marathon - Lake Buena Vista, FL (half)
October 29 - Marine Corps Marathon - Arlington, VA (full)
November 6 - New York City Marathon - NYC, NY (full)
January - Goofy Challenge (half & full)
May/June - Comrades Marathon - South Africa (56 miles)
Australia - No specific race selected yet.
February/March - Antarctica Marathon - the waiting list puts it out this far. Plus it is INSANELY expensive. I'll have to save for this one. Probably will be my only out of state race that entire year.

**Keep in mind some of these races do not have a 2012 date officially set, so the date might be from 2011, and I'm just assuming it will be roughly the same time**

So. With all this in mind... seems like I am going to have an even BIGGER 2012 than I had originally planned. Will I see any of my bloggy buddies at any of these races? Well, besides RnR New Orleans and RnR Seattle. I am obviously pretty full already, but am ALWAYS open to suggestions. And my February is completely naked...

I have MONTHS to work on it, but I plan on an AWESOME giveaway when I complete my final state next fall.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gobble, Gobble!!

I forgot what it is like to be so busy! With my crazy traveling/racing, work, school, I have NO free time. Super quick blog today, just want to post about my FAVORITE headbands, from Razzy Roo. For limited time only, she is offering TURKEY TROT HEADBANDS. Here is a picture - aren't they adorable?? Use link and code at the top left corner of my blog and save 10% off your entire order!

Coming later this week?? Revealing the rest of my 50 state races! (And by the way, my overall calendar for 2012 is already SUPER.FULL.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis Half Marathon (Race Recap)

St. Louis, MO
Sunday, October 23
Half Marathon #47
State #39
Weather - Coolish at start, Warm mid-race and SUNNY

Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis, yet another race I registered for in February. I had another night of somehow sleeping fabulously. Woke up at 5:45, got ready, and then headed out to meet up with the Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics for a group picture. We managed to get there in time and without getting lost. Amazing! Didn’t recognize any of them, although I think I am a (bad) Facebook friend with at least one of them. Realize I forgot my gum. Damn. But probably pretty low on the list of things I try to remember to take with me. Forgetting GU or my iPod would have been much more devastating.

Half Fanatics & Marathon Maniacs
Can you believe that sweatshirt on L was a THROW AWAY??
Decided to head over to the bathrooms before the start. The line took forever. Got to the potty about a minute or two before the start, and of course the one that I used was out of toilet paper. Figures. At least it had hand sanitizer. Once again, the corrals were congested and we were not able to enter.  

I didn’t especially want to go in the corral I was assigned to – Corral 4. When I registered way back in February, I said I could run in 1:55… Heh. I haven’t run anywhere CLOSE to that since January, when I did run a 1:58:30. Anyway.

By the time we sneaked in, it was already about corral 6 going by, which was an ok pace to be running. We somehow got sandwiched RIGHT BY the 2:00 hour pace group. I don’t like pace groups, nor the crowds that occur as a result. But I also didn’t wan to run faster/slower to get around them. Problem. Anyway, pace is pretty good, but the beginning of the course is tough. LOTS of turns, and it is tough to maneuver. There were turns where we practically had to walk. Immediately the temps started heating up. First to go were the gloves. Balled those suckers up and tossed off course. Might have hit someone. Very shortly after that, the arm sleeves went to - I tie them to my race belt. It was hot, sunny, I was already overheating.

One of the things I really enjoy about RnR races is that there are tons of water stations. I’m a bit bummed that most races seem to be cutting costs and no longer have electrolyte drinks at all the stations. First aid station, only water, feeling good.

Shortly after mile 2, we run into a friend, Lauren, that we met in China. She was running the half, and her boyfriend was running the full. In Corral 2. Yeah, he is pretty bad ass. I could already tell that she was running a pace faster than I felt comfortable running, so I wished her luck and pulled back a bit. (Again, what ARE the odds of finding someone I know on the course… especially with 22,000 runners??)

There's Lauren, in the blue by the center lines... so long!
Didn’t feel the calf tightening like before, so that was good. There were more hills/inclines than I was expecting, so I was instead having tight quads. Nothing unmanageable. The course around mile 3-4 was super hard to run, the road was REALLY torn up and I kept thinking I was going to twist an ankle. I hate having to stare at my feet.

Best aid station was right before mile 5, the local YMCA. They had little kids dressed up like the Village People and their own balloon archway. Rad! Just before mile 6, we spot the random Marathon Maniac that we saw in Bismarck AND on the marathon course in Denver. He was super chatty and pretty much told me every single race he is running between now and April (FYI, a TON). Felt like I slowed down a bit to talk to him (he was having some knee pain), but the split at the water station right afterwards showed we were running a decent pace.

Just past mile 7
Another course where I really don’t remember too much. The miles didn’t really “fly by,” but I was feeling ok, and was pretty distracted. At the GU aid station around mile 7.5 I grabbed a few extra. OK, I took 5 total. My fuel belt isn’t big enough to hold my phone AND that many, and since my skirt didn’t have pockets, I had to shove the excess in my bra. Don’t judge me. And as a result I couldn't get my phone out of my belt, so, no pictures after that aid station (I suck, sorry).

The course split around mile 8, and then I go blank again. Although I vaguely remember running by a park, changing leaves… not too much else. Until a huge hill at mile 8.5ish. Almost forced me to walk. It was huge (or it least it FELT huge). Then aid station at the bottom of the backside of the hill. Nice long decline with about a billion timing mats. WHY?? You might think I was exaggerating, but there were at least 6-8 of them within about a quarter mile. A funny thing off the course… a car trying to exit a driveway of some sort. And there were 2 or 3 cars behind him. And they were all just holding down their horns. I don’t understand this. Where do you think he is going to go? And just from the little time I spent in St. Louis, there was LITERALLY SIGNAGE EVERYWHERE. Your fault for not leaving home early enough.

About mile 10, I notice we are still keeping a pretty awesome pace. I figure “it’s only a 5k left” (Yeah, I just keep telling myself that, even though I know otherwise), and I’ll push as best as I can. Last aid station around mile 11.5, and very shortly after that, a beer table!! L and I each took a cup, thanks!

Pretty decent sized uphill the last ¾ of a mile or so of the course and like other RnR courses, the LONGEST CHUTE EVER. L did run ahead of me in the chute, I don’t blame her. By the end I could barely move. Crossed the line and my legs almost gave out on me. But!!! Another really good time!

Bib #4525
Official Time - 2:09:21
Official Pace - 9:53
5K Split - 30:26
10K Split - 1:01:34
10 Mile Split - 1:39:26
Overall Place - 5043/14511
Gender Place - 2377/9635
Division Place - 490/1732
Garmin Time -2:09:22
Garmin Distance - 13.17 miles
Garmi Pace - 9:49
Mile 1 - 9:42
Mile 2 - 10:04
Mile 3 - 9:34
Mile 4 - 10:11
Mile 5 - 9:55
Mile 6 - 9:18
Mile 7 - 9:48
Mile 8 - 10:21
Mile 9 - 9:41
Mile 10 - 10:15
Mile 11 - 9:46
Mile 12 - 9:57
Mile 13 - 9:07 (!!!)
Mile 13.1 - 9:33

Man, this is a BAD picture...

Of note. Didn’t have to use the bathroom during the race. Again. I think this is 4 in a row!

Got my medal, bottle of water, and a banana. Quick finisher picture, then we headed back to the hotel to shower and check out. We figured we had about an hour to see the RnR band, Sugar Ray, so we walked BACK to the race (about a mile away). We stopped at a booth, where I got this - check out their website:

Isn’t it awesome?? Of course it will stay in the packaging until I have actually DONE all 50… Then we watched the band, Sugar Ray. I gotta say, he still looks pretty good, and they sounded good live. 

Sugar Ray!!
We only had a chance to stay for about 5 songs, then we headed back to the garage to get the car. 

Fountain with red water for the Cardinals
Occupy St. Louis

Not sure what this is...
Best view of the city - The Gateway Arch and changing leaves

Get to the parking garage and notice that there are about a billion people in line for the exit. I jokingly say it looks like it’s going to take a half hour to get out. This was no joke. With about 20-25 cars in front of us, I am NOT joking when I say that it took 45 minutes to get out. FORTY.FIVE.MINUTES. People were getting out of their cars, and after 40 minutes, I’ll admit I got out too (we had moved in 40 minutes about 8 car lengths). We had a 2:25 flight, it was already almost 1:00, and we were still 20 minutes from the place we had to drop off the car, take a shuttle, get to the airport, check in, go through security, use the bathroom, lunch.

I’ll admit. I snapped. The guy claims the gate is broken. I want to know a). why they have a system that is so old/stupid that there is no way to manually override it so PEOPLE CAN GET OUT, and b). who was going to pay for my flight change if I missed it.  Literally the line started to move right then. I’d like to pretend it was because of me.

FINALLY get out at 12:53… Cutting it close. The guy at the gate had the nerve to small talk with us, wanting to know how our race went. Really? Get us the heck out of here. At least the $18 parking fee was waived…

We still have to stop and put gas in the car, but luckily there is a gas station a half block away from the rental car return. You can imagine that the man we returned the car to was the SLOWEST MOVING HUMAN ON EARTH. Finally board the shuttle at 1:16… an hour until the flight leaves.

Go inside and luckily no wait at the kiosk, get the boarding pass and then book it through the airport to get to security. Which is… you guessed it, moving SUPER SLOW. Takes another 15-20 to get through security. Seriously, who ARE these people who don’t know to take off their belts and take the change out of their pockets? Security has had the same rules for like 10 years now.

Anyway. Finally get to the gate, use the bathroom. 30 minutes or so until departure. Phew. Only place to eat is Quiznos. There are about 6 people in front of me. Did you know that Quizonos employ the OTHER SLOWEST HUMANS ON EARTH??? 21 minutes for 2 subs. Seriously. Only 6 people in front. Only people to board behind us were the other idiots who thought Quiznos would be a fast lunch. Flight is fine, arrive without freaking out.

Sigh. What a stressful trip.

Overall about the race/St. Louis

  • Driving in St. Louis is SUPER stressful. Allow LOTS of extra time. With that said. Running St. Louis was actually pretty fabulous...
  • The course is pretty good, but obviously very congested, especially in the first 8 miles before the marathoners split
  • LOTS of great crowd support
  • Plenty of aid stations
  • Actually got to see the concert - so that was nice

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cincinnati Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Cincinnati, OH
Saturday, October 22
Half Marathon #46
State #38
Weather - Foggy, Chilly

When we originally booked the St. Louis race, we hadn’t planned on doing a double weekend. Then a race appeared in Ohio, the Cincinnati Half Marathon. Looking at a map, it seems like Cincinnati is “right by” St. Louis. Well. It’s not.

Anyway, our flight out of Denver was supposed to leave at 10:40 am. Mechanical problems on the plane caused a switch to a different plane and delayed our departure by about 40 minutes. Only mildly important because we had to get to the expo for RnR St. Louis (thanks to their crappy Saturday expo hours and refusal to release packets to anyone else) and THEN drive to Cincinnati.

Fairly uneventful flight to St. Louis. L and I weren’t sitting next to each other, so I got my homework done. When we landed, quick trip to Sbux for a pumpkin misto, then off to rent our car. Which, we didn’t realize was off site. Annoying. Finally get the car, then head to the expo. Another awesome thing about big city races is that they host expos in gigantic convention centers in downtown so you have to pay (a ton) to park. $8 later, we park across the street from the expo, intending to run in and run out. Which is next to impossible for RnR because they are so big. Got J a shot glass from the race, then we quickly checked out runningskirts and some other vendors. We almost got an awesome running top, but their signage was confusing and I was horrified when I got to the register and they wanted me to spend $35 on a tank top. I don’t give a crap if it’s made of bamboo, I’m not spending that.

Angrily head out of the expo and get on the road. 

MLK Bridge
Only to find out the drive is somewhat further than we thought… By the time we left it was after 4:00. L was resting, and I was screaming. Literally. Driven through the Midwest lately? ALL CONSTRUCTION. ALL OF IT. I swear it’s a good thing I’m not a violent person, I about blacked out from road rage. We stopped in some teeny town in Indiana (funny, I completely missed even being in Illinois) and had dinner. Yep, at Applebee’s. And yes, it was delicious.

Back on the road, and L realizes that all of a sudden we are in eastern time. So to top it all off, we have lost an hour, so it is even later. Still driving in construction. Still annoyed. Still screaming (but quietly, since L is resting). Arrive (finally) at the hotel, and pretty much go right to bed, since it’s already almost midnight.

I somehow managed to sleep FANTASTICALLY. Woke up at 5:50 feeling refreshed (VERY rare on a race day), and we got dressed and headed out. And it was COLD. Like really cold. Glad I had brought a throw away sweatshirt. Only took about 10 minutes to get to the parking lot by the start. We were really close, maybe only 2 minute walk to where we picked up our packets. Then we just sat in the car with the heater cranked. Couple trips to the bathroom, but honestly we stayed in the car as long as possible. Almost shouldn’t have trashed the sweatshirt since we were so close to the start but I didn’t think about it until it was too late. Literally only about 3 minutes after we joined the field, we were off. I accidentally started my watch a bit early since there was no banner or anything to indicate the start. We did cross a timing mat and we were off.
At the start line - Look how well we coordinated our outfits with the race bibs
L and me
Immediately I was concerned about my calves. After last weekend, I really hoped I wouldn’t have the tightness again, I wanted to have a good race. I had worn my arm sleeves and L gave me a pair of gloves, which I was glad for. Again, it was COLD. The first part of a course was a 5 mile loop through an industrial district and part of downtown. 

Not sure which stadium this was.
We ran by a stadium and the baseball hall of fame, but honestly I really don’t remember too much of the course. The first aid station was about 2.5 miles in, and I was really happy because my calves were not tight yet, but we were already running a faster pace than usual and I wanted a quick walk break. The next few miles were uneventful, although much L’s annoyance, I did stop to pick up a quarter.

This is where I picked up the quarter! lol
Pretty much the only hill on the course. I *think* mile 4.
Next aid station was at mile 5, right by where we parked the car. 

Loved this sign!
The next 8 miles were an out and back. The course was advertised as flat and fast, and it really was… the temperature never really went up and it was SUPER foggy. Nice because I didn’t overheat, but I ended up keeping my sleeves on all race (which I’ve only done one other time, in Alaska), and wore gloves most of the race. The first elite runner heading back passed us when we were at about mile 6… speedy. 

What the first mile or so of the out and back looked like. Somewhere around mile 6.5? (Or 11.5 on the way back)
Course goes through a sort of residential area with some smaller businesses. Aid station at mile 7 with Gatorade (finally!) and then at mile 9 we turn around but run about ¾ of a mile by a river before meeting back up with the street just before mile 10.

Girl with the white shirt/pink shorts - Shirt says "duck, duck, moose" - I spent about a mile wondering what the front looked like.
On our way out, it seemed like we would be running uphill on the way back, but it didn’t feel (or look) that way when we were running it. I was still feeling really good, but was working harder (and running faster) than I have in a long time. Aid station at mile 11, and we thought that was the last one on the course. Course turns off around mile 12, and we ran on this cobblestone sidewalk through a “garden for Africa” and are pleasantly surprised with another water station. YAY!!!

I have been watching my Garmin for the last few miles and it is really looking like we are going to have a great time. I am getting tired, but running with L really helps me push myself a bit more. We see the finishing area and I give it all we have. I click my watch, and YES, for the first time since MARCH, I finally have another sub 2:10 race. I was starting to think I’d never be able to run that fast again.

Cross the line and get… a CHM towel. Best idea ever!! Get a bottle of water and our medal, grab a few snacks, and head back to the car. A man thanks us for setting a pace. I tell him he lucked out that I was having a good day.

Overall, the course was just “ok” visually, but flat and fast, and wow, these guys are organized! Tech tee in men’s and women’s cuts, reusable bag for a race bag, plastic cup, commemorative towel, a rad medal AND good course support? Top it off with a reasonable entry fee? I recommend this one. 5 stars.

Bib #1203
Official Time - 2:09:26
Official Pace - 9:53
Overall Place - 655/1130
Gender Place - 298/647
Division Place - 59/107
Garmin Time - 2:09:36
Garmin Distance - 13.23 miles
Garmin Pace - 9:48
Mile 1 - 9:22
Mile 2 - 9:25
Mile 3 - 10:13
Mile 4 - 10:34
Mile 5 - 10:11
Mile 6 - 9:41
Mile 7 - 9:38
Mile 8 - 9:59
Mile 9 - 9:31
Mile 10 - 10:00
Mile 11 - 9:41
Mile 12 - 9:44
Mile 13 - 9:31
Mile 13.1 - 9:06

Head back to the hotel, shower and pack, check out only a few minutes late. Then comes the inevitable task of trying to find souvenirs. Quick stop at Dunkin Donuts for a pumpkin latte, and then about a billion stops at drug stores and gas stations trying to find shot glasses and key chains. No luck. Frustrated we stop and get lunch at White Castle (Yes it was good, No I didn’t get sick), and they have… souvenirs. J gets a pint glass instead of a shot glass, and R gets a candle instead of a key chain. Win.

Dreading the stupid long drive through all the construction back to St. Louis. Which, in case you forgot is NO WHERE NEAR CINCINNATI. Luckily L was on deck to drive, so it was a lot less annoying. I spent the time on my phone researching the last few races we will need to sign up for to round out all the states. Yes, we are THAT close. Trying to get on a highway, miss the exit because it isn’t properly labeled for construction. Spend about 20 minutes driving around trying to find an exit that can actually get us back to where we need to go. CURSE INDIANA. CURSE IT ALL. But, we got an awesome tour of the deserted parking lots by Indianapolis International Airport.

Stop at some random store in the middle of nowhere advertising Nike. Get a tech tee that we plan on racing in. Yes, you heard me. Tee. Not tank. Should be awesome.

Tried to find an Applebee’s on the way in that was off the highway. Wish there was an easier way to tell Jill (my Garmin) that I want one ON MY ROUTE… Finally find one, again in the middle of nowhere. Had dessert this time too.

Trying to get to our hotel in St. Louis… we see a construction sign about some bridge being closed and that an alternate route should be taken. I comment that they should tell you an alternate route to take, because most people aren’t going to know where to go. Turns out that Jill was routing us on that closed bridge. After 20ish minutes of driving around, getting totally lost, pissed off, and annoyed, we finally find access to the MLK bridge, and get across the river. Finally find our hotel, only to discover we have to park in an $18 a day parking lot… across the street. Tick. Can’t find the underground tunnel to the hotel. Registration hard to find, and then we get our room… ground level, right by the pool with a toilet that won’t stop running. Boy. CANNOT WAIT TO LEAVE THIS CITY.

Lights out early.  Too annoyed to even be awake.

Week in Review (May 14 - May 20)

Tuesday  (12,837 steps) - Peloton ride before work. I was about 40 minutes into a 45 minute ride when our internet went out. Totally forgot ...