Update: A Trophy, Missing the Century Mark, and a Humbling Half

As you may or may not have noticed, I took a blogging break/mini social media break. It was a rough month’s end (April) and I needed some recoup time. I’m feeling a lot better, but I do want to catch you all up to speed.

A Trophy

In early April I snagged my new 5k Pr (and broke 22 minutes!). I ended up placing 2nd in my Age group which was a complete surprise to me, especially since it was 30-39, a wider spread than the usual 30-34. I received an e-mail that I would be awarded at an Arizona Diamondbacks! Free tickets in addition to the award!

My husband and I decided to make it a date night and it was just so much fun!

Cheesin’ real hard 😀

The trophy was really fancy and I got to go down to the field and everything! (And even make a jumbotron appearance 😀 )

Missing the Century Mark

I finished April with 99.64 miles. I did not care about being .36 off 100.

A Humbling Half

The last day of April had me running a much anticipated half marathon. The She Power Half is an inaugural race that happened to take place in my city. I was really looking forward to this race since I first signed up for it last year. I thought maybe it could be a PR race. But after Phoenix Marathon, I didn’t feel as up for it as I had hoped. I also felt tired, which isn’t a surprise considering the year I’ve had. When I talked to my coach about She Power, she agreed that it wasn’t an ideal race for me to attempt a half PR and instead, gave me a race plan that was still challenging enough to make it fun for me (because I like making my life difficult).

But from the get-go I knew my coach’s plan wasn’t happening. The first mile was fine, a little fast. My husband and kids surprised me right before the mile mark and it was my best mile of the race.

My favorite cheerleaders ❤

It was all downhill from there (and not in the good race downhill way). My BQ training buddy Ashley was with me and I told her at mile 4 that things were not looking good for me and to go on on her own. The rest of the way had me trying in vain to keep her in my sight.

At mile 10, the cramps came as well as defeat. I knew my family would be at our neighborhood entrance after the mile marker and when I saw them, I came to a complete stop. I was done. I chatted with my husband for a bit and thought about waiting a little longer for some friends before I decided to just finish the race. It was about a 4-5 minute stop.

Exactly what I needed at that moment ❤

I saw a girl around the last mile of the race who looked like she was on a mission. I asked her what her goal was and she said 1:55. I told her that we had it and to “Let’s go!”

After the race I felt like I’d been hit by a train. My entire body was so sore and I knew that I was battling some dehydration. I hung out with friends for a while afterward (which really made this race into a WIN) and when I went home, I immediately went to bed.

The race did not go at all according to plan and instead, it left me in more pain than my last two marathons combined. There’s an ache specifically in my right foot that I’m getting checked out this afternoon. With official BQ training approaching, I want to make sure I can start on the right foot (see what I did there?).

Even though She Power wasn’t a race to remember time-wise, I can’t help but think how far I’ve come in my running when a 1:55 isn’t a “good” race. I remember training for that time. Now looking back, I’m glad the race went the way it did, because it has really helped me reflect on my journey and appreciate every race for what it is. Of course I know that not every race can be a PR, this one wasn’t even meant to be, but sometimes you need a reminder that there are waaaay more things that make a race “good”. My friends are what made this race and it’s those memories that I’ll look back on the most.

My Moms Run This Town family ❤

Beer. Yes.

Cheers!!!

Such a fun race 🙂

That medal tho.

–How was your April? Would you have completed .36 to make 100 miles? 

–Are you ready for summer running? 

Cheering at the Kiss Me I’m Irish 1/2 Marathon

I have a few races to recap as I’m a little behind. I didn’t run this one, the Kiss Me I’m Irish half marathon, my husband, Ben, did–but I went along to cheer. 😀

The race was the day after St. Patrick’s day. My husband and I don’t usually celebrate as we’re old with kids now, lol! But I had won free tickets to our local Shamrock Festival in downtown. We went early Friday evening, I had my mandatory green beer (my husband didn’t), and we went home. I knew Ben needed rest for the early wake-up the next morning (the race was 45 minutes away).

This was the inaugural half marathon for this race. In previous years, they offered shorter distances, a 4k and 8k (and a kids’ race). Late last year, one of our run club buddies suggested this half in an attempt to PR. There’s a friendly competition going between him and Ben, with Ben currently having the upper hand.

So the original plan was for them two to race to PR (Ben’s is 1:30 and our friend wanted that or under) and for another friend to help pace them both. It was decided though, in the days leading up to the race, that conditions weren’t in favor of a PR–it was 70 degrees at the start (with a high of 88)!!

The race also started 25 minutes late which really didn’t help.

I had my sign ready to go–there were 3 of them “racing”–could you tell who I was going for?

Three amigos

On the back side, I had a little message for my husband. He had reeeeally wanted a Guinness or two the night before but stayed disciplined because of the race the next day, lol!

Needless to say, there were quite a few people who were anxiously awaiting their post-race beers as many asked to take a picture of my sign, lol!!

Even the leprechaun thought my sign was funny, lol

Start line selfie!

Once my husband was off and running, I stayed to cheer on the rest of the runners in all the distances.

And with there being multiple distances, by the time I finished cheering at the start, there were people coming in to the finish. So I just moved there and continued the cheer-fest. 😀

After a while, I finally saw my husband and I started yelling my little heart out. He was with the pacer friend, Tomio, and I could tell this hadn’t been an easy race for Ben– but, he was happy with the finish and very much so looking forward to his Guinness.

He, and others I spoke to, later told me that the race had some work to do. The water stations were not as advertised as there was a long stretch of no water when he knew there should have been some. There was also a section of tight back-to-back switchbacks (not shown on the course map) that threw off a lot of the runners. Oh and no electrolytes/Gatorade. We also recalled how when we arrived (suuuuper early) the race area was empty. Usually, we see people moving about getting things ready, but when we drove up to the event, having driven along part of the course, we noticed that there were no signs or cones designating the course route. When they announced the race would be starting late, they said it was because there were still barricades needed to be placed. With knowledge that it would be a hot day, we thought they could’ve been a little more prepared and had that taken care of earlier.

But the swag was pretty sweet. Runners received a medal, a hat, and a long-sleeved pullover. And the much wanted free beer 🙂

It was fun to try a new race, too, and I had a blast not racing for once, lol!!

–How was your St. Patrick’s Day? Did you drink a Guinness or a green beer?

–Does the heat affect your racing?

 

RnR Arizona 1/2 Marathon: You Never Forget Your First

I remember my very first 1/2 marathon in 2010–I was “sweatin’ for the wedding” and really had absolutely zero clue about racing. I didn’t know what training plans were, or fueling, or anything at all. I think the longest I’d run up to the race was 6 or 7 miles.

In high school, I ran cross country and in college I ran sporadically, so when I ran RnR AZ that year, I really was a newbie runner.

chillin before the race--you know, in my cotton yoga pants and race day shirt. How many rule could I break in one day?? LOL

chillin before the race–you know, in my cotton yoga pants and race day shirt. How many rules could I break in one day?? LOL

Not surprisingly, it was a tough race for me but I wasn’t upset by my results then because honestly, I didn’t know what was a “good” finish time. To me, finishing at all was an accomplishment. (Isn’t that funny? Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be always but as you learn more, that mindset shifts as you get more competitive?)

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Seven year later, I was back for another first but this time, it was my cousin’s. Back in July, he’d sent me a message asking about half marathons. Since he lives in California, I sent him a few suggestions to do out there. But, I also threw in RnRAZ and told him that I do it every year and that I’d run it with him if he decided to come out.

He signed up as soon as I said that.

On Sunday, my cousin was going to his first ever expo picking up his first ever bib. He’d never done a 5k or a 10k, this would be his very first race.

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I could see the excitement on his face as we got in our corral. My bib may have said 2 this time around but I was him in 11 (a better corral than my first, 15, lol!).

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We had a goal of finishing sub 3 hours but most of all, we had a goal of having fun.

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The first five miles went by smoothly, but I could tell my cousin was beginning to struggle. We began taking walk breaks and then as we reached the big hill of the course (there are little ones to prep you lol) I could tell he was sick. We pulled off to the side so he could, you know, do what he needed to do.

At mile 9, I promised him that as soon as we got up the hill, it would downhill the rest of the way. By then though, he was completely checked out and only concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other.

We reached mile 11, finally, and I turned to him and said, “We are right on schedule. We have 30 minutes for two miles. We can get this sub 3!!

Except he was done. So done. He had his headphones so I couldn’t give him words of encouragement. I only hoped whoever he was listening to was doing a good job for me.

When we reached the last mile, I knew we’d be cutting it close. I nudged him and pointed to my watch. ONE MORE MILE.

Finally, we made our last right turn and we could see the finish. I yelled, c’mon let’s run it in!!! He shook his head.

Um, sorry dude, but we ARE running it in.

I pulled his arm and put my other arm on his back.

Let’s go!!

And at just a couple of minutes over 3 hours, he was a half marathoner 😀

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Our stats :)

Our (my) stats 🙂

He was tired. He was sick. But he was oh, so proud!

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And you know what, he was ready for more ❤

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yesssssss

–Do you remember your first race? What comes to mind when you look back to it?