Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My 500 Festival Mini Marathon

I got up early and attempted my last efforts at hydration and fueling prior to heading downtown for the nations largest half marathon. 

Once we arrived in the middle of the half marathon chaos traffic, my stomach started having its own conversation.  I made my chauffeur, a.k.a. my husband do a quick detour to a nearby drugstore and grab me some Imodium.  I had never used this stuff, but coincidentally had read some suggestions from other lady runners via blogs and Facebook, who have frequent tummy issues who had said this keeps the stomach inactive long enough to get through your run.  Just say they were right, thankfully.  This wasn't the time for any unexpected pit stops.   

As usual, the course was full of spectators and performers.  There was quite the variety of musical bands, cheerleaders, and dancers. There were the repeats from previous years, the cloggers and the square dancers.  Most children were excited to high five any willing runner.  

I started off at a decent pace.  I knew this was not the day to go out too fast.  I maintained a decent pace and felt comfortable as anyone could running in 98% humidity.  Unlike my last half where at mile 10 my legs felt like concrete, my legs were still strong and pain free.  I think my recent endeavors on the weights at the gym had paid off.  Even though, my muscles were ready to run, the rest of me was not.  The heat was just too much.  It depleted any energy reserves I could have possibly had.   

Me, running & trying to not die
of a heat stroke.

We were warned about the heat and humidity.  Participants were sent emails, the news told us over and over again, it was going to be a hot one.  We were told to hydrate and hydrate well.  It didn't matter.  I hydrated like a man who was just told he was going to the desert. I seriously ate salt straight out of my hand.  I attempted to hit almost every water station. 

Guess how much that all mattered; obviously, not very much.  The humidity was literally almost to die for.  You know that warning all runners have heard over and over again like your mom telling you to brush your teeth for the thousandth time; if you're thirsty it's too late.  Well, it was too late for me.  Obviously, I survived or you wouldn't be reading this.

It could have been better, though.  I finished at 2:17:05.  I did shave 1 minute 22 seconds off of my last half from 2:18:27.  It was still disappointing.  My legs felt stronger and faster, yet the humidity zapped me of almost any extra energy.  I'm positive if it weren't for the heat and humidity I would have shaved off even more time.  Oh well, life goes on and there's always that next race.  

Thanks to those who have endured reading my long, sometimes rambling blog entries, liked me on Facebook and/or have followed me on Twitter. If you have yet to do so and are a glutton for punishment, you may find me here on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter and Daily Mile

Friday, May 4, 2012

First Half Marathon Five Year Anniversary

This Saturday, May 5th, 2012 is my five year anniversary to the running of my first ever half marathon.  It was an eventful day, not just for this reason.  You can head over to AnotherMotherRunner.com to read my feature Why I Run to fill yourself in on some of the details. 

It will be five years to the day, this Saturday, I ran the one run I will never forget. Not all of the facts of that day have been revealed in my fabulous AnotherMotherRunner.com feature. I didn't get to tell you that the night prior while attending the 500 Festival Mini Marathon Expo, I had received a call from my best friend's husband informing me that I needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible.  She was having life threatening pregnancy complications and she had requested my presence. 

That was not my only beckon to a local hospital.  Soon after, I received a call from my youngest brother to tell me my sister-in-law was in labor.  I spent the evening in two separate hospitals with two different pregnant women.  After we came to the realization that it would be a while before my newest niece would be making her entrance into the world, I made my way home to get some sleep prior to my morning race.  

From there, you know most of the story from my Why I Run story.  My aunt/running partner got beat up by the concrete, I was informed my niece had emerged prior to mile 12, and I had the overwhelming desire to chop my legs off when it was all said and done.  I spent the remainder of the day and evening making my rounds to the two different maternity wards of two different hospitals and seriously considering admitting myself for a double leg amputation.

I topped off my evening with some additional self inflicted torture by checking out one of our neighbor/friend's band at a local bar.  I didn't mean it that way.  The band was fine, it was the need to walk from the car to the building, from the door to a table, and once again back out to leave.  At that point, any form of movement by my legs was highly undesirable. 

This year's fifth anniversary version of my race day seems to be just as eventful and it hasn't even started.  Luckily, this year's events are expected and planned.  Well, kind of.  I didn't expect to have to run a little faster to ensure I get home in time to shower and ready myself for one of my husband's college graduation events by 11 and his graduation ceremony by 2 p.m.  

Immediately following his ceremony, we get to rush home to host his open house to celebrate his graduation.  Since my day will be non-stop commencing from the early a.m., my weekend will start early on Friday with party preparations.  Thankfully, this year's training comes with a little more experience and effort, so I hopefully will not have to endure any of the physical ailments of my first half marathon while hosting this party. 

Happy 5th Birthday to my niece Adisyn, this Saturday.  She'll turn five while I'm out running my race. 

Thanks to those who have endured reading my long, sometimes rambling blog entries, liked me on Facebook and/or have followed me on Twitter. If you have yet to do so and are a glutton for punishment, you may find me here on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter and Daily Mile