Friday, July 13, 2012

Xterra Harbison Half Marathon :::: 6 of 12 in 2012

xterra harbison half marathon (trail run)
half mary # 7
race# 6 of 12 in 2012
time:  3:20:42

No, unfortunately that time is not a typo. Moving on...

This race kind of sneaked up on me. We got back from vacation and I was checking out my planner when I realized I had a half coming up. A trail half. Last year I did a lot of trail running. This year for a bunch of random reasons, I've only been on the trails 2 or 3 times. But I still thought it was a good idea to sign up for this race. (I know, I'm hilarious). 

Brad and I headed to Columbia, SC after we finished work on Saturday. We checked into our roach motel and I realized I didn't have any race fuel with me. Brad insisted that we go out and get me something. Thank goodness he did. He also went ahead and picked out his birthday card for next year.

I got to the race around 6am and got checked in. They gave us our bibs and timing chips. They only had the park bathrooms, but they did the job. Even though the lights didn't work. Peeing in the dark is super fun.

my first race in my new Brooks Cascadias

I went back and forth a hundred times about whether to use my CamelBak or Nathan hand held for this race. I've ran with my CamelBak before but it didn't go so well. I've used my handheld several times, but I'd be lying if I said I like it. I hate carrying it and it doesn't hold anything. So I chose the CamelBak. My pack isn't really made for running, it's more for biking/hiking and it sloshes around a lot, but it did pretty well. The only crappy thing was that the water got HOT. Nothing like drinking lukewarm water while running/stumbling through the woods. 

The course was EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. It was the most technical trail work I've ever done. The course was marked really well. Follow the red flags. I heard some people got lost and I could totally see how. Even though it was well marked, You'd often run for a while and not see another person. If you zoned out it'd be easy to miss a flag. 
No kidding, I had to get across that then stopped to take a picture. I'm not sure about the elevation (that would require me to know how to use my Garmin), but it was pretty crazy too. My ankles, feet and Achilles were all shredded. I hurt in places I never knew I could hurt. 

And I'm not sure if you're familiar with Columbia, SC, but it's known for its heat. I'm talking heat index of over 100, feel like you're trying to breath through a damp sweater hot. I was soaked 15 minutes in. 

They had these cute little signs every once it a while. They made me laugh (mostly to keep from crying). 

This was definitely the hardest race I've ever run. Even harder than the Spartan Sprint (probably because I was on the course an hour longer). I wanted to quit several times. It was physically and mentally exhausting. 

Bright points:

A pair of women asked me if I was in the military, "because they're so hard core." That made me smile even though  I know I'm no where near the level of hard core they are. 

The water stop volunteers around mile 9 were lifesavers. The walked out to meet us with cold water, walked/jogged us into the stop and basically catered to our every need. Need some Gu? Powerbar? Here let us fill your CamelBak. I could have kissed the little guy that helped me (probably 14 years old). 

Finishing. With my worst race photo ever... I usually can at least keep a smile on my face, but I was outta gas. 

The course was challenging but beautiful. Pretty well organized. My biggest complaint? They gave out shirts after the race. Which I'd understand if they said finisher on them. But they didn't. And they obviously didn't give them out according to the pre-registered size on our bibs. Because sure enough, they were out of mediums. Just a little frustrating. 

I stumbled to the car and drove to the hotel to get a quick shower before the 11am check out. That shower was what kept me moving through the forest. The thought of having to ride home in my nasty, soaked clothing was too much bear. 

Brad and I had lunch at Which Wich, which I was pretty pumped about. We'd never eaten there before but have always heard great things. It lived up to the hype. 
Brad loves condiments more than life itself so he was in hog heaven. Side note - I had planned on having a protein shake for recovery but ended up having and Oreo shake instead.... Perfect!

best sandwich ever!!

#6 of 12 in 2012 is in the books!!

compression all the way home!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Firecracker 10K:::: Brevard, NC

firecracker 10k
brevard, north carolina
july 4, 2012
1:08:30 (PR)

on wednesday i got up early to head to brevard to run the firecracker 10k. when i ran this race last year it was my first 10k and i love holiday races to i really wanted to do this one again this year. 
i was also really excited because i found these nike shorts a couple months ago and knew they'd be perfect for a 4th of July race. i've never raced in shorts before... this will come into play later. 

this was my first race in my wave rider 14s (i'd been running in the ruby red 15s but they've got too many miles on them now). i am not digging the white shoes. they have a little pink and black on them but i think i got used to the bright colored ones. unfortunately for my vanity (but fortunately for my wallet) i have another pair of these exact shoes in my closet because i found them for $39.99 at TJ Maxx. i think i'll get some bright shoelaces or something to make them more fun and break up the white. 

i was excited when brad got up to come to the race with me. i know he'd rather have slept so it meant a lot to me when he got up (i didn't ask him to). 

anyways, back to the race. the rotary club puts this race on and i think they do a great job. lots of little old men with big smiles on their faces! love them!

there was a 5k race also. i thought there was a pretty good crowd for such a small race. there were 109 in the 10k and 316 in the 5K.

it was still fairly cool when we started and they'd changed the course from last year (less hills this year) so i was feeling pretty relaxed and looking to hopefully bust out  a new PR. and then i started running.

quick side note:  i don't know if you all have noticed or not, but i only race in capris or tights. these legs are not made to run in shorts. but obviously i wanted to wear them because they're cute and colorful. and i figured it'd be hot. and it's ONLY 6 miles. right. 

so, you know where this is going. i wasn't even a half mile in when the chafing started. and it was misery. i was having to take walking breaks just because i felt like my thighs were on fire. i was pretty sure if i looked down that my skin would be peeling off (i never exaggerate). 

so needless to say it went downhill from there. my mental game went to a really crappy place and i started thinking to myself... you're struggling to run 6.2 miles, how in the world are you gonna run 20 plus this? not good at all. i was extremely happy for this race to be over. 
i did manage to put a smile on my face for the finish and brad got a couple of pics of me.

you live, you learn. i won't be racing in shorts again (unless i've run the distance in them before). i won't disrespect the mileage. i will get my head in the game. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July! I ran the Firecracker 10k (more on that later) and now I plan on spending the rest of the day with my boys. We are going to take some time and go do some shopping for the military care packages that our church is putting together. 

Whatever you do today I hope you'll take a minute and reflect on the fact that freedom isn't free. We have AMAZING, SELFLESS, INSPIRING soldiers that choose to defend and serve our country. I pray that God will take good care of them. 


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I've Done It Again...

I started my little piece of blog awesomeness almost a year ago with this post which I titled "oh crap." It was basically one sentence where I stated that I'd bitten the bullet and signed up for my first half marathon. Well, I'm at it again... 

On June 15 registration opened up for the inaugural Asheville Marathon and you'd better believe I signed up within the first 15 minutes!
So it's officially on! I've gone back and forth between being pumped and scared to death, but I'll get there!

I came thisclose to registering for the WDW full in January 2013 (celebrate the big 3-0 by running my first full) but logistically this just worked better for me. I want to be able to concentrate on enjoying my first full rather than all the goings on at Disney (not that I wouldn't love to do a Disney race at some point!). I also didn't want the added pressure of a whole trip planned around me racing. Heaven forbid I get hurt and we waste all that money. 

So that's that, I've made the first step. Contrary to my pitiful last month of mileage my plan right now is to start building a good base. Most of the plans I've looked at are 16 weeks, so I've got a month or so before I'll start an official plan. 



Sunday, July 1, 2012

Rear View Mirror::: June 2012

i finished June strong with 52 miles. when i looked at my daily mile total on the 22nd i realized i'd only ran 28 miles so far. it was the smack in the face i needed to get going. honestly i don't know if this is just what happens in life or what but i feel like i turn around and then i realize i haven't ran in 4-5 days. it's crazy and i don't realize it. 

i haven't strictly followed a training plan since my first half and i have really enjoyed running when i want, how much i want. i've managed to keep a comfortable base that has allowed me to concentrate on weight training three times a week but also keep working towards my goal of 12 half marathons for the year.

i ran one half this month, downhill at dawn and it was a new PR for me!

weight training:::
i am still weight training three times weekly. this month i started following stage 1 of the New Rules of Lifting For Women. i am really enjoying the workouts, although i sometimes feel like i'm not doing enough. the authors mention this and encourage you to trust the program and not add to it. i'm trying to do that. i am continuing to run, which the author does not recommend in the first stage. 

this month i finished two books:
the latest sookie stackhouse book came out in may and i've been saving it for an easy beach read. quick tangent:  i just got into these books last summer and i read them straight through. of course i was addicted and had to watch all the true blood episodes. now i'm so confused as to what's happened in the show vs. the books (the show just started back a few weeks ago too). this drives me crazy. end tangent. the book was kinda boring. 

i cannot even describe to you how amazing this book is. seriously, it's the first (non-running/workout) book i've recommended in a LONG time. the author has a wonderful way with words and the book is truly inspiring. basically, he does humanitarian work during his undergraduate and post grad work (he was a Rhodes scholar!) but realizes that you have to be willing to fight for what you believe in and he believed in helping and protecting others. so after he finished his PhD program at Oxford he enlists in the Navy and becomes a SEAL. i can't say enough about this book. read it and you'll understand. you'll highlight it and recommend it to everyone. 

i'm just going to be honest... I literally just got back from a week of vacation and i have no idea how much i weigh. when i left i was sitting at -11 since January. we're going to go with that. i ate what i wanted and i'll get back to it this week (i also exercised more than i ever have on vacation so to me that's progress). i have joined up with Run With Jess to lose a marathon so hopefully that will provide me with the motivation i seem to have lost since the challenge at my gym has ended. 

i just got back from a family vacation in tybee island, georgia. it was an amazing week! brad and i and my family (mom, dad, brother, and brother's gf) all drove down on sunday and brad's fam (his mom and dad and brother and brother's gf) joined us on wednesday. i'll definitely do a post or two about the week, but i couldn't have asked for a better week. so great to see the fam, i miss them.