Monday, October 15, 2012
Saturday I ran my second Half Marathon in Baltimore, Maryland.
I will first take you back to Thursday. My husband and I drove down to Baltimore which is about 45 minutes from our house. I wanted to pick up my bib early, because there was a total of 27,000 runners participating. Some were in the relay, some were half marathoners and others were marathoners.
The Baltimore Marathon is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, so there were very serious runners participating.
I bought some cute running shirts. The Chesapeake Bay is famous for it's blue crabs - I catch them right off of my dock and can tell you they are pretty awesome! The running mascot is the blue crab and the crab is all over the running shirts!
Underarmour's headquarters is in Baltimore and they were the official sponsor of this race. Here is a picture of me with my bib in front of their huge truck...
Here is a close-up...actually the one I put on my facebook status the night before the race...
I love the "I WILL" sign behind me - what a vision statement!!
Anyway, we ate at a really great Irish place for dinner then headed home. The next day - Friday - after work we headed back to Baltimore. We stayed in a really nice hotel on the Harbor. All of the roads around the Harbor were going to be closed the next day, so it worked out perfectly. We went to Little Italy for dinner. My husband said he had the best dinner of his life. It was baked gnocchi. The gnocchi was a lot wider than normal. I tried a bite and it was delicious. I had rigatoni, chicken and broccoli. We were asleep by 8:30!
Now, the half marathon didn't start until 9:45 AM. The marathon started at 8 AM. So, this time I wasn't worried about oversleeping. I was a lot calmer than my last Half Marathon at Disney. That is, until we turned on the television at 7:45 am! This Half Marathon was on, and it was showing all the runners. There were tons - 27,000 (did I already mention that?). It was like watching the Wide World of Sports (remember that?). I thought, oh crap, what did I get myself into?
We went outside and there was helicopters flying all around. There were tons and tons of runners.
We found my corral. It was REALLY cold that morning - 50 degrees...(Becky, you know how I feel about the cold!) Anyway, I wore a big jacket and throw away t-shirt underneath. I planned on giving my husband the jacket - as it turned out, he got to stay with me until the race started. Here I am cold, waiting to start...
A lot of people ran in jackets and long sleeve shirts or layers, I wore a tank. I knew I would get warm once I started...(I am in the pink tank top, sunglasses)
And then we started...
As many of you know, I didn't hear that this race was hilly until about two weeks before. I train on hills, but, being that it was my second HM, I was pretty nervous. As it turned out, it was very hilly. The only time it was flat was around a lake for 1.3 miles. But, I ran up and down every hill. I was stunned everytime my runkeeper piped in that I was running 9.07 - 9.20 per mile. I didn't stop or walk at all. I do have to admit, at mile 11, my brain almost succeeded in talking me into walking for a bit - but I did not. I told myself I would kick myself later if I did, and I kept going.
I saw one of the most beautiful sights as I ran that morning. I was running down a hill and looked ahead at least three miles straight ahead. All I saw was constant hills and runners in every color shirt running them. They completely filled the street. I wished at that moment that I could stop and take a picture - it was perfect. But, I didn't want to stop.
They gave out water and gatorade every couple miles. They also handed out gu and gummy bears. I had my cherry gummy bears in my back pocket and ate two every two miles. There were news vans everywhere. People lined the streets to cheer us on. They were holding funny posters, wearing costumes, there were bands, it was amazing.
I saw my husband near the finish line - he video taped me running by - we are still trying to figure out how to publish it!! He was screaming for me!
The only bummer was at the very end. As soon as I crossed the finish line, I had to stop dead cold. All the marathoners, half marathoners and relay runners were all bunched together. It was awful stopping so suddenly without being able to walk! I mushed my way through - one of the advantages of being short!I grabbed my medal and water and went to the food line - saw how long it was - and it wasn't moving, said "forget it" and went to look for my husband. I just couldn't imagine standing without moving, waiting for a banana! My legs would have cramped up. This is where Disney really shines! Disney has everyone spaced out, places the medal on them, and takes their finish picture. No one was crammed together and made to stand there. That hurts after running with your all for 13 or 26 miles! (I am going to be writing the Baltimore planners about this!)
So, I do not have a "finish picture" after this HM. I have this one my husband took two days before...
Here is my bib and medal...
Here is a close up of the medal, which I think is pretty awesome...
If you can't read it, the little print under the crab says "What hills don't kill you make you stronger"!!
The best moment was when my husband lifted me in the air and told me how proud he was of me :)
Oh, and my time...I finished this Half Marathon in 2 hours, 6 minutes! This is my new PR! I beat my first Half Marathon time by 4 minutes!
So, what is next, you ask... The Disney World Half Marathon in January, 2013! And, it is a flat course. I will be running it with my brother, who plans on having me run it under 2 hours - YIKES!!
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
It's starting to get exciting! I am getting daily emails about the Half Marathon. I printed out my e-ticket for registration. My husband and I are going to drive down to Baltimore tomorrow afternoon to get my bib and shop at the Health Expo. We have to work Friday and I don't want to be stressed about not getting there in time to pick it up. I booked a nice hotel for us on the Harbor and made reservations at an italian restaurant in Little Italy.
Today I "jogged" my 3.1 hilly running route. I ended up changing back to my "old" sneakers. I have been wearing the new ones for six weeks and have never felt real comfortable in them. When I wore them Sunday for my 13 mile run, I ended up getting a blister under my foot in the arch! I am hoping it is pretty much healed by Saturday.
Tonight I packed my running gear. I also remembered to get gummy bears. They worked great last time. I am going to check out new earbuds at the expo.
Monday, October 08, 2012
Yes, Saturday is the BIG day! It looks like it is going to be in the low 60's, no rain... Yayyy!
Last Saturday, we went to Baltimore to the Fells Point Festival. My husband was going to drive me along the running route so I could see where I would be running since I am hearing lots of talk about hills. We didn't finish at the festival until dark, so I planned on driving back down to Baltimore (about 45 mins from my house Sunday). Then I remembered my iFit module!
I pulled iFit up on my computer and put the entire running map in. Bingo! I ran it on my treadmill while I watched the computer screen which showed the streets I will be running on. Here is what it looked like:
I have never run 13 miles on my treadmill. I had my iPod blaring, two fans running, lots of water and Baltimore streets on the screen! It was pouring rain and cold, so I was in the right place for my last long run. Here is the final graph of my run -- there was 3, 5, and 7.5 incline points. It is going to be a hilly race!
I ran the whole thing without stopping. The only problem I had - which got on my nerves fairly quickly - was that I forgot to change the max speed on my map, so every time I hit an incline it dropped my speed down between 2.4 to 4.2 . I had to keep changing the speed back up. I guess I will be ready if a runner stops in front of me :)
I also wanted to show you where I have been doing most of my training. It is in the development right by my house. I think these hills have helped me the most with all of my races, and I think they have prepared me for this HM.
Here is the first hill - it is the steepest and is the first thing I run up as I get out of my house...
This is the rest of it...
As soon as I get to the top, I turn right onto a much smaller hill. After I run up it, there is an equal distance down hill, then I turn around in the cul de sac, run up and then down and return to the main street.
Then I hit this hill, it goes to the top then I turn around in a cul de sac and come right back down...
This is the the longest, highest hill. I always imagine everyone watching out their windows so I don't stop!
I ran these hills for the first seven miles of training last week. I ran each one four times with the main road in between.
So, now I am taking it easy. I am not sore at all today but know to take a break. Tomorrow afternoon I will go to my chiropractor for my final adjustment. All of this running on asphalt throws my hips out of line. I will run three miles on Wednesday and two miles on Thursday at a nice easy pace.
I will end with a "quote of the day"...
"Many people shy away from hills. They make it easy on themselves, but that limits their improvement. The more you repeat something, the stronger you get."
- Joe Catalano
Sunday, October 07, 2012
Yesterday morning my husband, and two sons (24 and 21 years) and I ran together in the Main Street Mile (held in Newark, Delaware).
This race was monumental not only because the whole family ran, but, that it marks one year that my husband has been cancer free! Last year, my husband walked this mile which wasn't long after his surgery.
It also was the first time my 24 year old has been in a race - he started running two weeks ago. He is the shortest one of my three guys in the picture below. He loves his new running shoes and ran it in 8 mins.
My other son has run several races. He ran this mile race in 7 mins, 15 secs. Two hours later we found out he had strep!
We also had several friends who came out to race too. Most impressive was a friend who is starting to exercise and working on her weight. She has to lose about 100 pounds. She always comes out to cheer us on, but, yesterday walked the Main Street Mile. She came out and did it!
I was so excited by all of the above, I didn't realize until today that I completed another goal! Last year I ran this race in 9 mins 15 secs. Yesterday I ran it in 8 mins, 38 secs.
We all had a lot of fun!
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
So, as I reported earlier, I found out that my upcoming HM has some hills. Yesterday, when I mentioned my upcoming HM to my gym's owner, he looked at me like I was nuts. I thought "oh, crap!".
So I ran a bunch of long hills yesterday. I came up to one long, very steep hill in a development. I got half way up and had to walk fast the rest of the way up. My goal this weekend is to make it all the way up.
Today it rained. I ran 3.5 miles at a 3. Incline for about half of it - on the gym treadmill. I then did some quad work - squats, leg extensions and leg ups.
Tonight I talked to one of my marathon ruining friends. She said she hasn't run this marathon but said she heard it is the hilliest EVER!
So, I am going from the flattest HM to the hilliest! I am going to take my time, get a nice pace going and go for it!!
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