Monday, April 29, 2013

Nike Women Half Marathon DC

I had been wanting to run a Nike race for a while because of the coveted Tiffany necklace. The race is always in San Francisco, which is a little far for me to travel. When I heard they were having their inaugural race in Washington DC, I knew I had to go. I signed up for the lottery and after waiting a week or something, I found out that I got rejected. I think I even de-friended the Run Nike Women Race Facebook page (ha). [I eventually re-friended]. I knew I wanted to run a race in April, so I then registered for the Derby Mini-Marathon in Louisville, Kentucky. My husband and I decided to even go to some horse races while we were there. I then got this magical email from Nike saying I had a second chance. It took me a couple hours to decide that I had to go. I canceled Louisville trip and started planning for DC!

I went to Niketown Friday afternoon to see what gear they had. I was really interested in the limited edition 5.0 shoe, but figured they were sold out since they went on sale Thursday. I was surprised they had my size so I tried it on. I just couldn't justify the $125. Also, I did not need the shoes. So I held them and took a picture to prove I could have had them, but chose not to buy, lol.

The Shoe.
I then went to the expo and was surprised that there weren't any vendors. But there was a lot of fun stuff to see, I especially liked the writing wall.

Packet pick up was painless and very efficient. Lots of cool samples in the bag as well. Here is what I came back to the hotel with:

My Loot!
I then met up with some friends and we did a lot of walking!! There is just a ton to see in DC. I woke up Saturday morning and my legs were already sore. And then we did a lot more walking! A full day of walking.

We saw the White House:

Being a Tourist. 
Lincoln Memorial:

Much Needed Rest. 
World War II Memorial and Holocaust Museum (a must-see!!!). Had a few drinks in Georgetown:

At a Pub!
My legs were sore. I went to bed Saturday night nervous. I was so sleepy and I knew the 4 am wake up was going to suck. Pre-race jitters never go away, no matter how many races you do. And destination races are just hard. I want to see everything and enjoy myself, not rest.

I actually woke up before my alarm went off. I slowly got dressed and didn't eat as much as I normally do before a race (which made me even more nervous). I made my way to the Metro and headed downtown. Pre-race was nothing special. I was in the 9:00-9:59 wave and I stood there for a while. It got pretty packed in there.

Awesome morning view of the Capitol.
The race started right on time, one gun, and we all took off. It was really packed. I knew I was going slower than I wanted, but I was fine with that. I just wanted to enjoy myself. My legs were surprisingly not in pain. My husband was tracking me from home and texting me my splits. My projected finish at the 5k was 2 hours 9 minutes. I was shooting for 2 hours and I knew I had to increase my pace. At the 10k, my projected finish was 2 hours 2 minutes. I thought I could really do this. But between the 15k and 20k, I got tired. The course was flat, which was nice for a change. The weather was great, it was amazing running with so many females. I loved the spectators. I didn't get a PR in the end. I finished in 2:06:17. My PR is 16 seconds faster. I really hope to get a sub-2 hour half this year, we will see. I did come home with this though, which is amazing:

My 'Medal'. :)
I really have no complaints. The event was amazing. They probably should have done timed waves to alleviate the congestion in the beginning. I am interested in what was in the finisher's tent, but I was not going to wait in the huge line. Maybe if I stayed off my feet a bit more before the race I could have done better, but I'll take it. I had a great weekend.

Place: 688/2635 Female 30-34
3820/14627 Overall

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Running with Lululemon

This weekend I went on my first run with the Lululemon store. First, they lead a 5k and then they do an hour of yoga. The route was majorly hilly... hill after hill. I was running a fast pace and was getting pretty winded on the hills, but I kept up. On the very last hill, I gave up. Uggggg. Regret. I give up way too easily. I did the 5k with a 8:59 average pace! Can't wait for the Benton Park 5k. It's flat, so I'm hoping for a PR! I leave Friday for Washington DC. Really looking forward to the Nike Women Half Marathon. Maybe I'll come home with a PR??

The yoga portion after the run was pretty challenging. I am so not balanced and I felt pretty wobbly. I'm pretty sore today from all that stretching. We all wore Blue/Yellow to honor Boston. I know I'm wearing an orange jacket, but my shirt under the jacket is blue!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Running for Boston

I have been contemplating registering for another marathon... I signed up for the Chicago Marathon lottery, but I didn't get selected. So I put the marathon idea on the back burner. After Monday's events, I decided it was the perfect time to sign up. I will be running the Mo' Cowbell Marathon on October 6, 2013.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Go! St. Louis Marathon Relay: Team Canine to 5

This was my first time to run a relay of any kind. I joined team Canine to 5 and we raised money for Stray Rescue St. Louis. The team ended up raising over $2,600!

I ran the third leg of the route, which meant I didn't have to wake up that early and I could make the Soulard cheer station. I live right by the cheer station and it is truly the best cheer station on the route. All you have to do is go out in your pajamas to join in on the fun!

Me and my boy Gus. 
It's very exciting cheering on the runners. I love seeing the smiles and all of the positivity about living a healthy life. We also got to watch the elite come through and they are amazing. I hated leaving early, but I had to go get ready for my leg and get to Forest Park!

Josh dropped me off at Forest Park about an hour before my teammate was supposed to come through. We were all keeping in touch through text, so that made things easy. The waiting part was kind of painful because it was getting so hot!! I was wearing all black and I could feel the sun baking. I was kind of frantic when my teammate approached because I wasn't entirely ready. I grabbed the team bib and took off.

Waiting at the relay transition.
I really felt like I was cruising. I was passing soooo many people (usually I'm the one getting passed). This felt strange to me. I looked down at my watch and I was at around a 9 minute pace. I thought to myself that I should slow down, but then I told myself to kick it and see how long I can keep this up.

I had to stop to go to the bathroom early on, about a mile in. I've never had to do this before, but since I started later on in the day and I couldn't really leave my relay post, I really had to pee! There was no wait so it wasn't an issue.

I ran the full Go! course last year and I remember thinking about those relay runners and how they are only running a fourth of the route, but I really gave my 7 mile leg my all!! I was only running against myself so I tried to keep that in mind. I was 100% thankful that I wasn't running a full today though. It was so hot and I saw a lot of people struggling. I also kept having flashbacks to how I felt while running the full last year. I like to think I've improved a lot in my running in the last year and I do hope to finish another marathon again. Not sure when...

Looking awesome... not!
I made it to the transition and team Canine to 5 was there to cheer me on! It was so much fun being on a team, I really enjoyed it. I ended up running the 7 miles in 1:04:57, a 9:18 pace! Check out my splits:

So they are not negative splits, but I'm really like that 8:57 mile. The second mile was the bathroom break and I had to walk some of the hills near the end.

Our team cheerleader made signs for everyone!

Running to the finish line!
In the end, we finished the marathon relay in 4:33:44. Go team Canine to 5!

The team!
Next race is Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington DC. I cannot wait!! Shooting for 2 hour 1/2 marathon, but I'll take 2:05.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Budweiser Clydesdales

One reason why I love Soulard...

Bumped into the Budweiser Clydesdales on our evening walk :o).