Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's Official

...I just signed up for my first Marathon.

When: April 15, 2012
Where: Saint Louis
Why: B/c I'm crazy.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rock -n- Roll 1/2 Marathon - St. Louis

I had absolutely no expectations for this race. I started feeling sick on the Wednesday before so I took Thursday and Friday off from work to rest up for a very busy weekend. My friend asked me to take pictures at their rehearsal dinner on Friday and then we celebrated their wedding on Saturday. I didn't even get to bed until 1 am Sunday morning. It was a beautiful wedding.

I woke up Sunday morning very tired and still feeling pretty sick, but also excited and ready to get the race over with (and get my medal). Josh dropped me off downtown and I had a short walk to the starting line. It was still dark outside.


I was in corral 16. It was a beautiful morning.


I had been standing in my corral since 7 am and we didn't even start until 7:56ish. Each corral started about 1-2 minutes after each other. I was kind of annoyed...until we actually started running. What a BLESSING to be running with people at my pace. No one was tripping me trying to get ahead, I didn't feel pressured to run faster, I just felt really good and I think I was actually smiling.

I saw a lady trip right in front of me about a 1/2 mile in. After that, I was more cautious about my footing. The last thing I wanted to do is trip. I saw a man juggling *and running* at mile 1...I wonder how long he kept that up?


It started to get hilly around the third mile, but call me crazy, I love hills. I didn't feel winded at all, which is surprising since I was sick. I was passing a lot of people walking the hills and felt pretty proud of myself! I remember the days when I couldn't run hills so I spent a lot of my summer training on the Soulard hills. Practice makes perfect! Also, when you climb a big hill, you know you're going to have a nice downhill at some point.

I passed Josh around mile 6. I was feeling very strong and just happy.


Yup, feeling good!

I hadn't stopped for one single water break, so I made sure to grab some water before mile 8. I kept telling're almost there. I then saw a man with a sign that said, "You think you're almost there, but you're really not." Seriously?!??!

I knew there was a massive hill coming up just after mile 8, so I was preparing myself for it. I kept reminding myself, slow and steady. I actually never even seen the hill, but I had been warned. I saw the monster in the distance, but kept on. I weaved through the walkers and ran every bit of it.

I think my favorite part of the race was around mile 10, running down Russell Avenue. Beautiful homes, tree-lined street, people dressed up as pirates. I stopped again for more water. I knew I was going to have to pick up my pace if I wanted to beat 2 hours 20 minutes.

We made our way to the Lafayette Square area and then I got passed by the first marathoner. I stopped to take his picture and cheer him on.


I was running a lot faster now and really started to feel the pain. Josh was at mile 13 and snapped some pictures before I crossed the finish line. I just kept telling myself to smile because I looked absolutely miserable in the pictures from the Mo' Cowbell 1/2.


I crossed the finish line and it was so packed! I saw this girl spew like crazy. I felt for her because I did the same at the Mo' Cowbell, but I did it in the privacy of my own car, lol. I stayed away from the finishers beer afterwards and stayed puke free! Yay! I finally found Josh and he snapped some more pictures of me with my medal.


I absolutely loved this race. I felt good and managed to have a fun time while running. The support from the crowd was amazing. I loved reading all of the signs, I wish I could remember what some of the signs said, but I don't. There are a few I remember, like "Worst Parade Ever", but that's only because it's a pretty common race sign.

Start: 7:56:47 AM
5k: 33:22 (Pace: 10:45)
10k: 01:06:43 (Pace: 10:45)
10m: 01:47:35 (Pace: 10:48) -- I stopped for a few water breaks, which slowed down my pace.
Finish: 02:19:22 (Pace: 10:14) -- I just had to beat my 2 hour 20 minute goal...and I did! I can't even believe I had the power to run faster in the end.

Average Pace: 10:38

My GPS went crazy for the first few miles... My speed and elevation are both way off. The only walking I did was the water breaks (about 4 times).

I'm not sure what is next for me. I really do want to do a marathon someday, but I'm not 100% dedicated at the moment. Do I sign up for another 1/2 marathon and try to improve my time?

My memory is back...."Run like you have to poop." That was my favorite sign :o).

Also, Pain is Temporary - Pride is Forever...

Friday, October 21, 2011


This Sunday is the Rock -n- Roll 1/2 Marathon. I have no idea how it will turn out. I'm sick, my ears are clogged, my nose won't stop running, my head and throat hurts. Why do I have to be sick this weekend?!?! To top it all off, I'm going to a rehearsal dinner tonight and wedding all day tomorrow, so I'll have very little time to rest. I'm hoping for the best, but not in any way trying to beat my previous time.

Slow and steady.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween 10k

The Go! St. Louis Halloween 10k is my favorite race to date.

I woke up not wanting to all. I did the Warrior Dash the day before and my butt was incredibly sore because I slid down this mudslide and must have hit a rock.


The race started downtown, weaved through Soulard and back to downtown. I loved every minute of it!!! My hill training really paid off because I thought the hills were not too challenging. I got to see Josh and my puppies at mile 2.


We ran through AB (I'm always running around it) and that had to be my favorite part - - besides the fun costumes.

I finished the race really strong and I think I even had a smile on my face. I really wanted to come in under an hour, but I'm still very pleased with my finish time: 1:01:28.


GPS messed up around mile 3. Went under a bridge and threw it out of whack.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Warrior Dash

The Warrior Dash was much more challenging than the previous one I did in Chicago 2010. Although the obstacles were a lot easier at Chicago WD, I just had trouble running. This time, the obstacles were TOUGH, but I ran the entire way. I finished WD Chicago in about 37 minutes. My only goal through this WD was to beat that time.

When we checked-in, I got some random bib. Somehow, the St. Louis WD bibs were sent to another location, and we received some other location's bibs.

Here we all are pre-race, nice and clean.

The last obstacle was the mud crawl and let me tell you, it was freezing!!!

P1140554 - Version 2

You could check your results after the race and I'm not 100% sure about this, but it looks like I did it in 42ish minutes. Uggg, I so didn't beat my goal. But to be fair, I did have some issues with the obstacles and the mud crawl was just plain miserable. I'm still waiting for the official results - - they are all messed up because of the misplaced bib incident.

I will definitely be signing up for the Warrior Dash again.

Update: My official time was 42:36 with a 14:04/min pace. Ok, so I didn't beat my previous WD time, but the courses can't be compared. I did, however, beat my husband by a good 6 minutes so I call it a win. (He beat me at the Chicago Warrior Dash).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On to Better Things

Lots of fun things are about to happen!

This Saturday we are running in the Warrior Dash. I did it last year and it was so much fun... and a bit tiring. Although the course will be different, I really hope to (well, I better) beat my previous time. I think I finished a little over 37 minutes.

On Sunday I'll be running in the Halloween 10k. The course starts downtown, carries on around Soulard and back downtown. We'll be running pretty close to my house! My Soulard hill training better pay off!! They are handing out running gloves, but I don't think we'll be using them as it's supposed to be in the low 80s.

The Rock-n-Roll 1/2 Marathon is 11 days away. I'm not going to let myself get nervous about this race and just have fun with it. On Saturday, I decided I was going to go for a 10 mile run. I was scheduled to run 12 miles, but since I ran a 1/2 the weekend before, I pretty much thought I was exempt from running that far. I decided to do a new trail: Grant's Trail. What a pleasant experience!! It stretches about 8 miles in South County. I parked at one end and planned to turn around after running 5 miles. When I got to 5 miles, I just kept on going. Everything was feeling really good, my pace was steady and I just really enjoyed the scenery. I eventually turned around at 6.5 miles and ran the whole way back. When I finished the 13.1 miles, I felt WAY better than I did the weekend before. Sure, I was a little sore, but I wasn't nauseous and puking :o). My time was slightly faster, but I really don't intend on getting a better time at the R-n-R race. I know if I push it, I'll just kill myself and wear myself out.

Grant's Trail Run

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mo' Cowbell Half Marathon

So I ran my first half-marathon yesterday.

Here I am pre-race ringing my cowbell. I was pretty excited!

Mile 1: Big smile on my face, but man, some of those racers are just plain rude. Cutting off us slower people, nearly tripping me, pushing me. So I figure I need to pick up my pace a bit. Already saw 1 girl walking, glad that wasn't me.

Mile 2: Oh, this is a breeze. I was feeling good, nice downtown St. Charles scenery.

Mile 3: Out running in the middle of nowhere.

Mile 4: Shit gets bad here. I swear I thought I was a lot farther in the race, like maybe 6 miles or so. I wasn't checking my time at all, as I didn't want that to scare me so early on in the race. I did see Josh around mile 4, so that put another smile on my face.


Mile 5: Still out in the middle of nowhere. Knowing we are going through New Town at some point, I just kept waiting and waiting for that little village to appear. ...did pass this one pumpkin and mum farm that looked all country and cute. Told myself I should go there at some point.

Mile 6: Officially in New Town. The bridges had some horrible drainage grates, I didn't want to run on them because I feared tripping. Finally a water station...drank some water while walking. (I skipped the 1 mile water break). I was carrying my own water, but was salvaging that, lol.

Mile 7: Wow, New Town is a lot bigger than I thought. I did enjoy the architecture and all the people on their front porches.

Mile 8: Dammit, still running in New Town?! How big is this place?? Also, lots of people in vehicles pissed that the roads are cut off. At some points, I was getting cut off by cars or running along side moving cars. I felt strange.

Mile 9: Thinking to myself...oh Josh, where are you? I wish I could just hop in the car and we can go home RIGHT NOW. Pardon the french, but I kept saying to myself...Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, why am I doing this? Fuck, fuck, fuck. I really started to feel the pain.

Mile 10: Oh joy... a huge freaking hill. I can see people at the top walking, this isn't good. The name of the road is Little Hills Expressway. Little my ass.

Mile 11: Ahhh, downhill. I can do this. But then I see the 11 mile marker and it says: Humpty Dumpty also hit a wall. Grrr, thanks for the encouragement guys. Near the end of mile 11, there was this very painful steep downhill part. It killed my knees.

Mile 12: I got the real encouragement I needed - - knowing that the race was almost over and lots of people yelling at us, saying we can do this, not much more big hills or steep downhills.

Finish: Approaching the end of the race, I took off my headphones so I could hear the crowd. Nice that they announced the names while crossing the finish line. The guy did a pretty good job pronouncing my last name, but still messed it up slightly. I tried to keep a smile on my face, but I was in so much pain. I've never felt pain like that before. I crossed the finish line with a man whose bib number was #1234.



My thoughts on the Mo' Cowbell:
I thought the scenery, although pretty, was just very boring. I'm used to running on city streets or through the woods where the sight distance is minimal. Here, you could see miles in front of you. Also, there was hardly any shade!! Although the temperature was cool, the sun beating down on you is just exhausting. Running with all those people made me feel intimidated. I had to keep reminding myself that this was my first 1/2, I had no idea what to expect, keep it slow... don't let those other runners see how tired I am.

When I crossed the finish line, I was in so much pain. My knees were sore, my hips felt all out of whack, my head hurt, but on the plus side my lungs felt pretty great. I sat down and just wanted to cry. Not because I accomplished something grand, but because I was so mad at myself for running such a shitty race. I chugged some water, then grabbed a beer. I had a sip but it tasted horrible so I gave it to Josh. I was ready for home, I didn't care about the music or the awards ceremony.

In the car, I started to get really nauseous. I have no idea what I did wrong, but about 3 miles from home I started to puke. Luckily, I was able to grab a plastic bag so I didn't spew all over the car, lol. But I did get some on my iPhone and it died. Ahhhh, I swear, I do not deserve iPhones. I've already killed 4 of them. I have no idea why I puked. I don't know if I didn't hydrate correctly, drank too much during the race, drank too much after the race, did that sip of beer just not settle right? Was it the nerves?

Anyways, I hate running. I'm running the Rock-n-Roll 1/2 in TWENTY days. I'm afraid I'm going to put myself through another day of hell. Is it worth it? Kinda, I want to prove to myself I'm better than my Mo' Cowbell experience.

Official Time: 2:25:24
Official Pace: 11:06

See that at mile 6? That's called hitting the wall.