Monday, June 20, 2011

taking the "occassional blogger" role too seriously.

In my Twitter Profile, I list myself as an "occassional blogger". I think I've taken that description a little to far this time - my goodness, more than a month and a half . . .really??

I never even came back to report on the half marathon. MY FIRST HALF MARATHON...and I said nothing about it. AND? I ran my SECOND RAGNAR RELAY. Forgive me now- this might be a long post.
Half Marathon Recap.
When I set out to run my first half marathon, I really wanted to run the whole thing. I knew that might be hard but I was very determined. I followed all the miles in my training regimen, I rested when I should and I was very focused. My running partner and I had a lot of running around to do the night before the race- packet pickup, meeting up with her family, going back to her house to prep and finally get to bed way later than planned for a 4:15 wake up. The race start was at 7:30 and we had to be in our corrals by 7am to be sure; but in order to find parking and not be blocked out when 35,000 other runners and their families are trying to do the same thing - you have to get an early start.
The weather was pretty perfect- rain threatened but it was about 60 degrees at the start- and that is perfect to me! I was excited but not scared or anxious- just ready to run!
I have to say- the MOST frustrating part about doing this race- having never run THIS race before- is not realizing just how many people 35,000 really is. I had been overly conservative when putting my finish time in for corral selection. I believe I ended up being placed (in corral U) about 3 corrals back from where I should have been. I spent the first 25 minutes weaving around people who were either running slower than I do (which is absolutely fine) or people who were walking. I have 0 issues with people walking the half marathon; however, I do take issue when they inconsiderately walk 4 across in the MIDDLE of the road. If you are new to racing, any race, any distance- PLEASE be considerate and walk 2 across as most and move to the side of the course. I truly believe that all the weaving and navigating around burned up time and LOTS of precious energy.
When I got to mile 6, I was feeling pretty great- running a little faster than my expected 11:45min mile pace. Then I hit the track. The Indianapolis 500 track is 2.5 miles of asphalt. I knew that before the race...but what I didn't know is that when you enter the track- you go down a very steep hill and then right back up a hill of the same grade- this took some wind out of me- but I recovered. However- when I hit the 7.5 mile mark- I started to have some trouble- I think I had fueled too late in my last dip into my sports beans. By the time I was leaving the track- I was over 8.5 miles into the race. Then, it started raining. Mentally, this was really challenging to me. I don't mind running in the rain- but after running 8.5 miles- and feeling low on energy- it hit me very hard. I did a lot of run/walking from mile 9 to 10 and then walked most of 10-12. The interesting part is that walking actually hurt my hips more than running did- so after walking a while, I'd have to run to alleviate other pains. When I saw the final mile marker- I wanted to sprint- but I didn't have it in me. I ran/walked until I got to the last quarter mile- then I ran, really ran, it in. The BEST part was that my husband had volunteered for the race crew and was hading out water at the finish- so I got to get my new medal and then give him a kiss! After that- I pretty much found a spot on the ground and parked it for the next hour- my legs were DEAD. I really nursed them that day with a lot of aleve and rest and lots of hydration.
Other than some general soreness, I felt FANTASTIC the next day.
That's me, girl in blue shirt in the front behind the guy in the black. Time says 3:30- that's gun time. Because when you're in corral U- it takes 30 minutes to get to the start line.Ugh.

At the Half Marathon finish- I said I would never do it again. Then, 2 days later, I signed up for the Indy Monumental Half Marathon . The course is fast and flat- and I'm looking forward to kicking my PRs ass. My 500 Festival Half time was 2:59:06 (My first goal was to finish in under 3 hours- and I got it in, barely). Setting sights on running the entire half this fall- and looking to finish in 2:45:00.

Ragnar Relay- Madison, WI to Chicago
I honestly am not going to recap the entire race- but after having stayed healthy for almost an entire year- I managed to get sick the WEEK OF the Ragnar. And not just a bloody little cold- a full on sinus infection turned bronchitis. As an asthmatic, you can see where this might have been an issue.
However- anyone who knows me also knows that, while I may whine- I am determined. I was going to run that race if it killed me. Like the half marathon- I went in with goals. I wanted to run all 3 of my legs without walking- and I was hoping to maintain a faster than 12 minute mile pace throughout. My lungs had other plans, unfortunately.
My first leg was 4.7 miles and I did pretty well until about 3 miles into it- there were a couple of long, slow inclines that made me work harder- which made the asthma flare up. Even with my inhaler, it was difficult and I had to walk. I still managed to have a faster than 13 minute mile avg. My 2nd leg was 3.7 and at about 10:30 at night. It started out GREAT- lungs felt good, legs felt good- there is just something so amazing about a night run with almost nothing around you. I did fantastic until the last mile- the first half of which was all uphill- it wasn't a steep hill- but a long slow one again. I lost a lot of steam and walked the hill. I did pick it up for the last half mile though and did achieve my goal of under a 12 min mile for this leg. My last leg at 7:30am the next morning was, by far, my roughest. It was 4.9 miles total- and 2.5 miles in- I had a full on asthma attack. Couldn't break, started to panic and had to stop- not walk- STOP. After a few inhaler puffs and calming down- I started walking to finish. I texted my team to let them know what happened (it was an unassisted leg- so they weren't going to see me at all until the finish)- and told them to expect me to walk the rest.
But I started feeling better just a short time later- and instead walked and ran in intervals for the rest of the  leg - arrived almost 10 minute earlier than my teammates had expected and they had to end up running out of the van to meet me at the finish line- I could hear our next runner yelling "Oh my god, she's here already! there she is!" - it made me feel so good to surprise them and I yelled out "I didn't die!!" I truly love the Ragnar Relay series- it makes you feel like such an athlete and a truly amazing experience. We weren't the fastest team by any stretch of the imagination- but we finished, we had fun and we beat our Utah Ragnar time by nearly 3.5 hours! That's good stuff!
Our team, Ragnar Chicago 2011. <3 'em - every one :)

1 comment:

  1. YAAAY! Congrats on your first half and meeting your goal! Once again, I read your Ragnar report and totally want to do one some day.