Showing posts with label race recap. Show all posts
Showing posts with label race recap. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Race Recap: Kansas Half Marathon

Holy Moly, I hate the new blogger set up.

I'm sure it rolled out like a long time ago, and I just haven't been on since then.  I mega fail.

ANYWAY, I need to recap the Kansas Half Marathon which was....ummm...April, 22nd?  Yeah....that sounds right.  Because I ran RTP on the 14th and it was a week later....

YEAH, you read that correctly, I did two half marathons in two weeks.  Like what what?  I know there are people out there who do like full marathons back to back, but honestly that sounds absolutely horrific to me...and 2 halves in 2 weeks was a lot physically on my weakling body.


Sunday, the 22nd was the Kanas Half Marathon in Lawrence, KS, a week and a day after the Rock the Parkway half marathon.  A week and a day after I ran into so many fueling and knee problems, and struggling to finish 20 minutes over my goal time.  So I was mentally prepping myself more than anything. 

I wasn't quite sure how my running schedule should be the week in between races, so I did a bunch of cross training and kept my mileage moderately and increased my speed.  I invested in Cliff Shot Blocks for the race to avoid my fueling issues, but I did fail to eat.  Except some small cookie thing that was in my packet. 

I met my Marathoning Mate Megan before the start, and we decided it would be best to use the porties before the gun time, but the lines were SO LONG.  It was determined that it was best to just start late, so we waited and waited and waited.  We were running to the start when the gun went off, and ultimately lined up with the correct pace group and started on time....but it was close enough to give me anxiety.

Right off the bat, I felt great.  No knee pain, I had energy and didn't feel dehydrated.  The only complaint I had was the wind was pretty strong.  The first five miles kind of flew by, except for a climb that I have climbed many times in the past. 

We ran up Daisy Hill, on KU's campus.  It's the hill where all of the dormitories overlook campus, it's a fairly steep incline and stretches for what seems like forever.  I lived atop that hill for a year.  Do you EVER think I ran it ONCE? Nope.  Never even dreamed of it.  I walked it several times, but I thought it would kill me.  Most of the time, I hopped the bus and had it drop me off in front of the cafeteria.  Where I ate myself the cliche 15lbs heavier.

So there I was, three years later, and nearly 30lbs lighter, running up it.  

Miles 6-7 were REALLY fast.  We were downhill and had a tail wind.  I felt really good.

My only complaint about this race is that there are over a thousand runners, and we run on basically the lead runners can get slowed down by gobs of runners getting through aid stations or passing each other.  Or high fiving them...which is what I did.   So maybe it's a toss up, I really enjoyed high fiving all the lead runners, and cheering them on very personally. But wow, does it make you feel slow.

The biggest problem I had with the sidewalk cluster is that whatever pack you were in when you got it, was the pack you were stuck in, because trying to pass people was impossible especially as you approach mile 7 because you turn loop around and switch directions.  So the sidewalk is split in two directions with runners, one pack still hitting the front miles and the other pack on their way back to the finish.  

I ended up getting a wicked bad chub rub around mile 7 also, and it was gnarly.  I think because of the wind, my legs couldn't warm up and they weren't sweating like they normally do, which is gross but prevents the chaff.  I had to stop to ask a pacer for something to alleviate the pain.  

I also had to stop a lot because every time I hydrate while running, I am getting really bad side cramps when I try to resume running.  Anyone have this issue?

Finishing after all the side cramps from hyrdrating was pretty freaking brutal, but we did it...and Megan is the ultimate trooper.  She stayed with me, when she's a super speed demon and probably could have finished 20 minutes before our final time.

Megan, is the best.

This week we will finish Running with the Cows Half Marathon, to close out the 39.3 series!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Race Recap: Rock the Parkway Half Marathon

And man, am I still tired?

It may have been the two day expo that I worked for the race or it may have been the actual 13.1 miles,
but I was pooped.  I'm still pooped...and it's Wednesday.

I was really excited about this race, because it kicks off the Heartland 39.3 Series and my company PRA decided to be one of the sponsors, so unlike most races I had a gaggle of family and friends there running also.  

My goal for this race was to run it in under 2 hours.  Thinking that a sub 2-hour half would get the ball rolling for the spring in a big way.  I have been training relentlessly, and it was attainable.

My long-distance-long-distance Running Love!!  Pre-Race.
The Race started at 7:30, and it was kind of hectic.  As usual, I had planned on getting there earlier and it just didn't happen, so I ended up getting pretty stressed out.  Also, large groups of people are kind of annoying to me-a terrible phobia for someone who's addicted to road races.  I was suppose to have baller status parking, and we couldn't find the lot and we ended up trying to walk to the start and my shoes got all wet, and I whined a lot about it.

Anyway long story short, Megan and I got separated at the start but I met my dear friend Mary, who was running her first (!!!) half marathon.  The race was off and the humidity was really thick.  I hate it when you sweat, and it doesn't go anywhere, it just stays on your skin.  Sitting there...all wet...and hot. GRossss.

I decided to try and line up with a pace group, but turns out I am also not a fan of those. People get really weird about trying to stay near the pacer.  There were runners who were doing everything short of throwing elbows to get people out of their way.  It was really crammed and made me feel really anxious.  So I drew back and slowed so they could pass.

The first few miles were easy peasy, nice and slow but I still felt like I was going too fast.  By like mile 4, I started to notice that I was turning over my left foot in an odd way.  Like my shoe wasn't tied right or, the unlevel road was making me strike funny?  

Around Mile 6, I noticed a familiar pain in my left knee.  No doubt from the odd strike pattern in my left foot. I started to get really discouraged.  I started to think about not finishing the KC Marathon, and how crappy that felt.  

Around Mile 7, I slowed myself waaaay down.  I was exhausted, pretty much out of gas and starving.  I didn't eat or drink anything before the race, and only water so far during.  I am struggling with GI issues while running, and want to find a happy medium.  I switched to gatorade mid-race hoping that would help.

For the rest of the race, my pace was slower than anticipated and I knew I wasn't going to hit my goal.   I was pretty defeated, there's nothing like forcing yourself to finish when what you wanted to achieve is out of the question.  But running a half marathon is an achievement in itself, so I should be proud each and every time.  

I finished with a smile on my face, and that felt awkward.  Physically I could have done more, I just didn't have it in my knee or my energy to get the job done.  I ended up finishing 20 minutes over my goal. Ouch.

The course is beautiful.   Of course I am going to say it's an amazing race :)  I will be back. Hopefully faster.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Race ReCap: Brew to Brew 44 Mile Relay

what what

Yesterday, myself along with a good friend and six new ones ran KC's Brew to Brew Relay.

Brew to Brew is a 44 mile relay race from Kansas City's Boulevard Brewing Company to Lawrence, Kansas's Free State Brewing Company.  

44 Miles
10 Legs
8 runners
Lots of beer

We started at 06:30, and by we I mean Mark, our first runner.  Never the less, I still had to be up at 04:30.  Rough....seriously rough, especially when you were up until midnight because of the KU game.

I didn't drink coffee because I thought for sure I would nap in the car as we drove through the exchanges.  That's a newb mistake.  Silly, silly.  The car ride from exchange to exchange was where all the fun was at:
Blaring Meatloaf, Justin Bieber and others
Squirting water guns
Cheering on the runners

I had legs 9 & 10, so yeah, I had to wait all day and build the excitement and anticipation.

By the time it was my turn to run it was about noon, almost 90 degrees and pretty darn humid.  I was really stoked to run, so I took off pretty quick but also quickly slowed myself.  Leg 9 was pretty wicked.  Long hills, just constant up and down.  I do enough hill training that it wasn't so bad, but it's pretty discouraging when you see EVERYONE walking up a hill a half mile ahead of you.  Also it was on gravel, I hate running on gravel.  It kinda sucked.  But leg 9 whirred by, it was 4.2 miles.

Leg 10 is where things got a little frustrating.  I arrived at the exchange point, grabbed some water.  I couldn't see where to go next, so I asked some guy and he said "yeah, just keep going!" so I took off.  I was pretty exhausted.  I am just trucking along, it was weird that there wasn't anyone ahead of me, but I shrugged it off.  Finally, I heard someone yelling "hey...hey!!"  It was a paramedic on a bike, who told me I was going the wrong way and that the guy who told me to go this way was joking.  AWESOME!! I had ran a mile and a half in the wrong direction.  I turned around and went back, adding three miles on to this leg.  
yeah! One of the legs has a boat crossing! 

I was livid.  By the time I got back on track, I was along a levee's small gravel trail in full sun.  My first leg went by so quickly because the length wasn't visible, but on the levee I could see for miles.  And miles down the levee relayers were still running.  It was kind of daunting.  I had no gauge as to how far I needed to go because I had ran three miles already and my head was spinning from heat and dehydration.  

I asked several runners how much was left and everyone said "oh about two miles..." well I heard that like six different times for 10 minutes.  Longest 2 miles of my life.  I stopped sweating in those "2 miles" and got chills.  It was pretty miserable.  Leg 10 was suppose to be 4.7 miles, but I ran 7.8.

Finishing was the best feeling in the world, but I was super intensely mad about the three extra miles I ran.  Ya'll know I love to run, but there's something to say about being mentally prepared.  When you think you're gonna run 9 miles, you mentally gear up for that.  If you feel good enough to run more that's great, but that's probably not gonna happen when it's 90 degrees and the sun is in full force.
That's me in the back at the finish, notice the look of despair on my face
Team Life Equals finished in just under 8 hours.  Not bad for running extra miles in the heat and sun! I ran my legs in just under 2 hours, 12 not too bad!

This was my first relay race, and I am definitely wanting to do more!!

Finish line photos are the best.

Have you ever ran a relay race?
What was the distance of your leg(s)?
Do you want to do one again?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Race Recap: Kansas City Marathon

Alright, so I am going to do my best to recap and then analyze for y'all.

So Friday night I carbed up with the family that I choose. All you can eat Italian buffets can be troublesome diet wise, but when you are loading they lose. Three trips, and I was stuffed.

Saturday morning, I woke up at 4:30 and gleefully got up. Shocking.
I arrived at the race site at 5:45 am, there's something to this thing about getting there early instead of 5 minutes before the start. I had sooo much time to relax, warm up,stretch and chat with Megan.

We lined up in the corrals 15 minutes before gun time and stuck ourselves to the end. Neither of us had any desire to run with a pace group, we just wanted to run. Run by feeling. I did not even wear my garmin.

Gun time finally came and went and I said to Megan "If at the half split I try to follow you, you yell at me! Unless of course my knee hurts too bad!" she agreed and within the first mile, it did hurt.

Attitude can go a long way. I told myself all week, all morning and throughout the first mile: you do this because you love it. PROVE IT. Prove that you love it. So I did, Megan and I rocked out mile after mile.

Everything seemed like I was learning from last year's mistakes, Everything seemed if I was finally giving myself the perfect marathon experience.

Megan unfortunately had to split off around mile eight, and I have to admit-she is the wind beneath my wings. Dear Megan, thank you. I love you. Sincerely, Julia. Our miles together were excellent, we had fun and were not in agony.

We said our goodbyes and I got a little teary eyed. It was emotional. I was doing it, I felt it, I was doing. Alone. There is a real sobering moment when you have to realize that the only thing you have to lean on is you. That only YOU will get you through this.

At mile 9, Logan was there waiting for me. I walked through the aid station, hugged him and walked until my water was gone, he wished me luck and said he'd see me again in about 9 miles. What a daunting thought: 9 Miles until a recognizable face.
I took off and breezed through the next few miles, of course my knee was still bothering, but I consciously reminded myself that attitude was everything, that positivity can go a long way-maybe 26.2 miles, and that the right song can make anything happen.

I went though the aid station at mile 11 all by myself, there weren't other runners for a minutes. I felt like a celebrity. The full in KC is VERY thin, so even with no one around I was still mid pack.

Right after the aid station, I expected a long-drawn out incline that I had planned on walking. As I walked up this mountain, a pace group caught my tail and asked me if I was ok. Strange? Why would they ask me that? It was at this point that I finally realized I was limping. They encouraged me to run with them and stick with a group. So I did.

That pace group was a two edged sword. It was super encouraging, but I also am not a fan of being with a group. They got me through the next few miles. A great bunch of people, and I know they all finished strong. We all passed the half way mark together, cheered and continued on.

The next mile is kind of blurry. All I remember is a lot of pain. All I remember is my knee hurting but my brain telling me to overcome it. I called Logan and said that I hurt, he said he was a few miles ahead. He asked if I could get there, and I thought I could.

I continued to try to put one foot in front of the other. Then my right leg started to cramp. I took some sodium shots and tried to wait for them to hit. The compensation my right leg was making to keep my left knee from buckling felt murderous.

Volunteers at the aid station at 14 yelled at me to stretch and to keep my chin up. I felt tears pour out of my eyes. I couldn't stop them, they jutted out without permission. I fought to make them stop.
It was kind of odd, I was sobbing and couldn't really explain why. It was my body reacting to the pain, I just wasn't denying it. I wanted this so bad, and I wasn't going to let it go.

Sometimes though, it's not up to you. As I crossed an intersection, an office who has sworn to serve and protect, protected me from injuring myself further. He instructed me to stop. He help out his hand like traffic. Like I was a speeding sedan. I stopped confused. He was mouthing something, and I took out my headphones as he said "...ambulence." For who? He repeated:

"I'm sorry, but if you stay on this course I am going to have to call you an ambulence."
So I walked off the course. I don't need a $500 ambulence bill, $100 ER copay and several hours of time to know that I shouldn't have been running. I called Logan and my friends in tears, gave them my cross streets and they rescued me.

I just really don't like people telling me I can't do things.

Monday, October 17, 2011

That's Not My Name

Oook so let us talk about the marathon.

I really DON'T want to talk about the marathons, but I need to.

Here is what I will say for now:

The first 14 miles were the best miles of my life.

I did not finish.

I am really depressed.

An ambulance was called. Don't worry it was for liability purposes, it wasnt serious.

I did not get out of bed until this morning, to go to the doctor.

My knee finally gave out

So I gave up.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Race Recap: The Plaza 10K

Saturday, I worked the packet pick up for the Plaza 10k. Saturday, I also fully committed. I was really up in the air about it because of my knees but I couldn't let everyone else have all the fun. I also wanted a really sweet Brooks tech shirt.

Sunday morning, I awoke to pouring rain and excitedly got dressed in head to toe dry fit. I have never raced a 10k before!

It was sooo easy to park, and with 1,600 people I was slightly worried about parking on the plaza. Yeah, it's not Chicago but still 1,600 is a lot for a plaza locale race.

Gun time was 7:30, and it was still spitting rain. I love rain running!! Remember my PR at Rock the Parkway two years ago? Rain and hail.

Within the first half mile I knew I dressed too warm but I didn't want to take off my jacket so I somehow managed to strip off my dry fit shirt.

The course was gorgeous, even in the rain, and incredibly flat. Thhaaaannnnk you!!!

There is something to this 10k thing, after I finished I didn't feel like I wanted to die or kill anybody, but it was a good distance to be proud of.

I took it really easy because my knees literally feel like they are going to snap, and still finished in under an hour. Which was my goal! Win!

Have you ever ran a 10k?
What's the biggest race in your area?
What's your favorite distance to run?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Race Recap: Chicago Half Marathon

The time has recap on ChicaaaGOOO!

My alarm went off at the ungodly hour of 4am, after a sleepless night.

We rode the L down to the shuttles, and then took shuttles to the race start. We arrived at the start around 6:00am, with plenty of time to check gear, get stretched out by a PT and use the porties.

Katie and I eagerly followed the 2 hour pacers to our corral, and waited for the gun. I felt like s fish out of water. I have ran my fair share of races, but never anything this large and this thick.

I expected the first few miles to be thick with people, but eventually would thin out like all other races. In retrospect, I think the sheer volume of entrants gave me anxiety. There were people literally everywhere.

Around mile 4, I got really nauseated and goose bumpy. I urged Katie to enjoy her first half, while I fought stomach issues. I got my stuff together, and tried to make up for time lost. Katie and I were clocking 8:40s and 9s, and I was hoping to finish in under 2 hours.

The next few miles are kinda blurry. It is a VERY fast course. I will take this time to mention that I have secretly been ignoring some pain in my ACL. Spare my the lecture, I know.

It was around mile 8, where the pain in my right knee became nearly unbearable. It'd amazing what you can push through, because I hadn't really noticed that I wasnt really weight bearing and relying on my left leg. My hip flexors started barking in my left leg from the added weight.

At mile 8, is also where I realized that if I was struggling this much in a half that a full in a month is probably not the best idea ever. So my eyes swelled with tears, as I tossed back shot block after shot block trying to get enough energy to finish.

The volunteers, aid stations, spectators and organization were all absolutely amazing. It was a glorious race course along the lake coast, a beautiful day and just awesome. It just wasn't my day.

At the end of the day, I finished the Chicago Half Marathon but I can't help but be disappointed. How often do I get opportunities like that? Like never, and I was underperformed. I feel like I choked, or my body let me down. Then I was like hum WAIT...YOU FINISHED THE CHICAGO HALF MARATHON!!

Sooo yeah it might not be the best ides to:
1. Run a half marathon while still on antibiotics
2. Ignore ACL pain
3. Mentally defeat yourself

But running is a learning experience, and I had an amazing trip and spent good times with amazing people who I love, so how can I be sad about that?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Race Recap: Warrior Dash Kansas City

I want to preface this recap with one thing: I am a runner, I am a Kansas Citian.  I run local and support local.  Warrior Dash is not a local race and it supports nothing, so it kind of put a bad taste in my mouth as far as a capital-money-maker race, ahem $50 entry fee.

ANYWAY, Warrior Dash is kind of one those bucket list races.  You gotta do it, or one similar to it at least once.  Last night, it was my turn.  Along with Isaac and Bob, we tackled the 3.1 miles of trails and obstacles to become survivors or warriors, I guess.

Our wave was at 5PM, the whole day had been shaded by cloud cover and barely 80 degrees.  The morning waves were blessed with showers of rain.  Our heat, was literally a heat.  By 5PM, the sun was out in full fervor and the heat index over a 100 degrees.  Perfecto!  

My team arrived in the parking lot, begrudgingly paid the $10 to let our cars sit in a vacant lot of three hours and the lined up for the shuttle.  The school bus shuttles had been absolutely destroyed by previous dashers, the seats were filled with muddle butt prints, some fresh and some dried.  Unfortunate for our spectators, they too had to suffer the mud-butt.

I will give the dash this: Incredible organization.  It's not often that a race of this many entrants can do a same day packet pick up, gear check, etc so smoothly.  Everything was marked, organized and thoroughly coordinated.  

The corral for the start was an uphill battle, and by that I mean it was actually uphill and every seemed to be preparing for battle.  Everyone was so pumped, maybe it was my mood but I wasn't in to the hype.  We stood in the corral for like 20 minutes waiting for the fire/blow horn to go off.  While waiting I watched some girl make an absolute fool of herself attempting to dance to Usher.

By the time our wave was up, I was totally heat exhausted and kinda already feeling like it was vomit o'clock. We took off anyway. This is an appropriate time to mention that the last time I ran a race without any music was...never.  It's awkward as heck.  The first mile was silent, everyone heavily panting and trodding.  Weird.

In all honesty, I was slightly disappointed in the obstacles Kansas City was given:

1) Barricade Break Down: up and under some barricades
2) Teetering Traverse: Balance up and down narrow boards

3) A Balance Beam: Climb up a ladder, walk across a beam with monkey bars atop

4) Tire Field: Maneuver through a field of tires
5) Dead Man's Drop: Climb up a wall, flip over the other side and baseball slide down a wall
6) Tiny Wall with a rope: Climb out of a river and up a wall with a rope, obviously
7) Chaotic Cross Over: Go up a ladder, and cross laterally a bed of ropes
8) Hay Fever: Climb a 30 foot thing of hay

9) Cargo Climb: Climb a pyramid of cargo nets
10) Warrior Roast: Literally jump fire

11) Muddy Mayhem: crawl under barbed wire through thick soupy mud

So no huge wall to climb, or cars to jump.  Approaching the race, I was a little sad but during the race I changed my mind.  The trails were challenging enough to walk because of swamped out mud, but coupled with the head I was cooked.

We all finished in under an hour, an attempted to wash off in the same time.

All in all, I had a really good time with my friends. I am also really proud of what they were able to accomplish since December when we decided to do this.  It was an incredibly fun and challenging course.  If I can get over the fact that is it a money-making-monster, I may do it again.