Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fall Happenings!

I love October! It's such a fun month for runners. I have a lot of events to look forward to.

September 16: Lululemon Lemon Drop 5k
October 7: Mo' Cowbell Half-Marathon
October 14: Halloween 10k
October 21: Rock n Roll Half-Marathon
November 10: The Skippo 10k Trail Race

I'm debating about signing up for the Warrior Dash September 29.'s a fun event, but I did the same course last year and I dunno, would like to do a different obstacles.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

SeaWheeze Half Marathon 2012

I met a good friend in Vancouver so of course we wanted to see and do a lot. We arrived Vancouver Thursday morning and spent the majority of the day walking and touring. On Friday, we went to the race expo around 9 am (opened at 8 am) and that was pretty crazy. I heard there was a line starting before 7 am to enter. We didn't get a race bib, instead got a bracelet and a shoe timing chip. We also received a free pair of flip flops. We then had to wait in a short line to enter the merchandise store. Wow, I saw some major Lulu addicts. They were only selling the special Lululemon Sea Wheeze gear at the expo and I saw some ladies with 10+ items. A lot of the cute stuff had already sold out, but somehow I managed to grab this colorful duffel bag. I gave it to my friend to see if she'd be interested in purchasing it. Two ladies approached her asking if she wanted to buy the bag. It's CRAZINESS. After spending a little over an hour at the store, we had to wait in line another 2 hours to check out. A couple before me spent $940 (well they tried to, their credit card wasn't approved. Tons of Americans were having issues with that b/c of the large out-of-country expense)!!!! We made it out a little after noon. We spent the rest of the day walking around the city and then hit the hay pretty early, around 8 pm. My legs were feeling pretty sore from all of the walking.

Craziness at the expo
I woke up well rested for the run. We only had a short distance to walk to the race start. We hopped in the 2:20 corral and started running about 15 minutes after the race start. The race started downtown on normal city streets. There were tons of people, but you expect that in the beginning. I wanted to keep a slow pace, but it almost seemed too slow b/c of the congestion. It didn't really matter to me because I did not sign up for this race to have a PR, I just really wanted to enjoy the event and the weather. (But you know, it would be nice to have a PR).

Ready for the race to start!
I started out feeling really good. I was breathing easy, my legs didn't feel heavy. I think I was smiling. There was a point where it got so congested, we had to walk! But...the scenery was beautiful, so it wasn't that big of a deal.

Gorgeous weather!
My iPod Shuffle crapped out around the 3 mile mark. I was a bit bummed, but I did have my iPhone w/ me with a limited playlist so I listened to a couple songs over and over again. I have a feeling I won't listen to that playlist for a long time. The water stops were kind of a joke. They were running out of cups so they were handing out these huge bottles of water! It was such a waste. Well, I guess it wasn't a waste if you had your own bottle.

Wasted water bottles
We ran over the Burrard Street Bridge and there was a slight incline. I didn't have any issues with it, it was probably the only hilly part of the course. There were a ton of people walking, which made passing difficult. Also, the travel lanes were so narrow so that didn't help any.

Burrard Street Bridge
We worked our way to the West End and then around Stanley Park. I really wanted to enjoy the view, but I kept looking down because I didn't want to trip (there was a bike lane and a walking lane, one lane was higher than the other). I was feeling really good, even started to pick up my pace some.

Running around Stanley Park
I finally started to crap out around mile 11.6. It happened just after a water break and I think I just drank too much. I got a tight pinch in my stomach, so I gave into temptation and started to walk it out. From here I did a run/walk to the finish line. People started yelling..."You only have 1 kilometer left!" The crowd support was really amazing around the finish line.

Me and my medal!
There are some things I loved about the race and some things I hated.

Pros: (1) The medal was kinda cool - it was a key chain linked to a bright pair of Lulu shoelaces. It's likely I won't ever use the shoelaces because I like to hang all of my medals. (2) It seemed like everyone (except me) was wearing Lulu. I think I was checking out all of the matching outfits more than the scenery at times. I'm not really sure if this is a pro or a con, but it definitely kept me entertained. (3) The weather was perfect. It felt so good to run in 60 degree weather again. (4) Although the race course wasn't very practical, it was a good change. Lulu did an excellent job showcasing Vancouver. (5) They served breakfast after the race (waffles/fruit) and they had the band .Fun there, but we didn't go. I just wanted to get back to the hotel and shower. (6) They gave us bracelets instead of a bib. I like this because pinning a bib to my shirt usually messes it up. However, this means no race pictures unless you are lucky and spot yourself in someone's picture.

Cons: (1) The congestion!!! How much can I bitch about this?? Maybe I just started in a slower corral than I should have, but I just felt like I couldn't move. (2) They ranked us by the official race start time, not by chip time. Well, I started a good 15 minutes after the start clock. Maybe some slower people started in the first corral and this is why it was bottleneck at some points (we literally had to walk at times). (3) There were tons of people walking and they weren't very polite about it. If you have to walk, please move over so the runners can pass you. (4) My biggest issue is that...this was my worst half marathon time yet!!! I even felt really good like 90% of the race. I ran all of the hills, I smiled. I high-fived. So why is this my worst time?? My first half (the Mo' Cowbell) I had to start run/walking around mile 6 and I still did 3 minutes better there. A lot of folks who ran the Sea Wheeze are saying that their GPS calculated the race a bit longer than a half marathon, as did mine (around 13.42 miles). I just can't believe that I did worse and felt so good, so frustrating. (5) I felt a little nauseous after I crossed the finish line. Do other people feel like they need to puke?? What is my deal? I really think it's motion sickness because I don't feel queasy until I stop moving. I really have no clue. But, I didn't puke so I call it a win. (6) This was my first destination race and I had trouble "being good" while on vacation. I wanted to stay up late, enjoy some know, be on vacation.

My splits were pretty about being all over the place.

I did find the most perfect Bloody Mary in Vancouver. It's called the Caesar and they use clamato juice instead of tomato juice. It was pretty perfect and yummy.

The Caesar
Maybe that's why my run wasn't a success...I had too many Caesar's.

Monday, August 6, 2012

My Summer at a Glance

I haven't posted in a very long time. I figure it's because I've been less obsessed about my running. Anyways - a few updates. My husband and I ran the Benton Park 5k. I ran this race last year and it sort of kick-started my running hobby. I set a new 5k PR (27:15)!

Benton Park 5k. A new PR!
Then a couple days later, we set off for Italy and I took two weeks off from running (not that I'm complaining).

Florence: We took a bus up to Fiesole thinking we'd spend an hour there. Turns out we were on the last bus before they closed off the roads for a race. Of course, we didn't know this b/c we don't understand Italian. Anyways, we were stuck in Fiesole for 5 hours and watched the runners. I enjoyed watching instead of running b/c the route was straight uphill.
A more iconic view of Florence
Amalfi Coast, Positano
When we got back from Italy, I started my training for the Sea Wheeze...which is this Saturday!! I'm so excited. I'm meeting a girl friend there (Vancouver) and this will be her first half marathon! Training was going really well, doing a lot of my runs outside rather than on the treadmill...until I got robbed at gun point. It was a pretty scary event and therefore I don't run outdoors in the morning anymore (it happened at 6 am). The St. Louis City cops were pretty awesome, however, they were never able to recover my phone :o(. My husband took this picture of me after the robbery, and I think it's kind of funny.

Anyways, I've been making up my own training plan for the Sea Wheeze... doing what I can. I hope it's enough. I just really want to enjoy Vancouver and not really care about a PR.