Race Recap: Annapolis Half Marathon

There have been a few things that have been exceptionally hard to deal with while Hubs is gone. One of the most significant moments? Racing. You see, hubs, as of recently has decided he enjoys running with me so we’ve been racing together. But when he doesn’t race with me he’s always there – at the start line, along the course and most importantly, the finish.

So I get a lil emotional at the start line. And Saturday was no different.

So I left the house at 6:38a – about ten-15 minutes later than I had originally planned. Would have made it there in no time, but the clock said 7:05a when I finally got parked. Holy slow moving batman!

The gun which should have gone off at 7a, finally went off at 7:18 or so.

I decided, due to my ehhh training (well more my long runs or lack there of – the longest distance I ran (by accident really) was the 10k …. whoops?

I knew, based on the National Half in the spring when I got injured three weeks before the race, was uncertain I could run it and had ran about 8 miles, that I could finish. So I decided to do what everyone says you shouldn’t. Change my entire training the day of the race – I decided to give intervals (walk/run) I ran the first mile to warm up, then ran 5 minutes and walked 1. I was shooting for sub 11:00/mi pace when running which worked out for most of the race – until the bridge but I’ll get to that.

The course was beautiful. I love running through downtown Annapolis, though the first couple of miles were around the Naval Academy stadium which was…mildly hilly. Then we went to downtown – running down an empty Main Street was GORGEOUS.

Main Street – a little over exposed (silly iPhone camera – apparently with my cover it doesn’t take great pics)

Then we headed up over the Naval Academy bridge where I met up with my pal Jenn (who I missed at the start). She passed on by (thank god for that one minute of walking up the hill). Saw my fabulous lululemon gals – man their spirit is contagious. I am reminded whenever I see them that forever, I will have a family in this town.

We went up to the head of the B&A trail where it was a bit narrow running – about two people per side for the out and back which made for some slow running. My running pace by this point was down to about 11:00-12:00/mi – my hips were achy but at least my knees were okay. Hips were the worst.

We then headed to the downhill back up on over the bridge. I was a bit confused by this point since after coming out of the trail we had the 10 mile point and shortly after they had a volunteer who said 10.5 miles down…which confused me because I knew something was off up at mile 2 when they said “Mile 2! when we turned down Rowe Blvd, and my Garmin said 1.8 miles. But there were no mile markers! Anywhere! Major let down. I loathe races where there are no mile markers especially my garmin is saying something so different than the volunteers.

By the time we got to the bridge I saw my lulu ladies again which was the kick I needed to finish strong. My pal Becca ran with me for 100′ or so – she was supposed to race but hurt her knee on a training run – major bummer. As she headed back to the cheer section she smacked my bum really hard – pretty sure she left a hand print but the dude running behind me got a nice chuckle.

We finished up about a mile and a half later. Though the finish was rather anti-climatic and about .3 mile short.

Garmin at the finish. Though I forgot to stop it right at the finish. 12.78 miles? According to the facebook page a lot of people with GPS’s got this yet people with Nike+ got 13.1 – I haven’t trusted Nike+ since I ran Marine Corps marathon and it told me at mile 21 “Congratulations! You just finished a marathon!” when I still had 5 miles left. Someone forgot to calibrate their nike+/gps before measuring the course!

Official time: 2:29:05

Which was not a PR by any means but I wasn’t expecting a PR when I got to the starting line however, I did learn that the 5/1 interval is definitely something I will be trying again and will be incorporating into my training for my next half marathon. The hills just killed my time. Badly.

However, it was awesome seeing these guys at the finish:

{me, Jenn, and Drew – seriously, I have the best coworkers ever. How baller is it that two of your coworkers will run a half marathon with you?? Photo cred – Jenn}

Now to find half marathon #4! Am thinking Country Music Half in Nashville? Would love to get a race or two in in Texas in the late winter with hubs (he told me to start looking for races out there! or one here in Annapolis while he’s home) also, Cooper River Bridge 10k in Charleston in April for my birfday.

Any other races I should run??

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Update: A-10 cancelled

Wellp. At least I don’t have to run during the hurricane.

Earlier this AM:

First, the safety of our runners is our paramount concern. Usually this concern revolves around the heat, but this year it might be something different. We stress “might” as NOAA has a zero percent chance of hurricane winds in Annapolis, and only a 20% chance of tropical storm winds.
For the small hand full of people who have emailed us prophesizing “fallen trees & limbs, downed power lines, hard rain & flying debris, etc.” our response is simple – where the storm will actually go is anyone’s guess. On the outside chance that Irene comes up the Bay, both the Striders and the various Police Departments will cancel the race. But none of us are going to make that call this early. We continue our planning, and are adding contingencies.  It is also highly unlikely that the race will, or even can, be rescheduled. The amount of time and planning and coordinating with the USNA, NAAA, police, vendors and others, plus the personal schedules of critical race committee members, makes finding a new date very, very difficult. It is also unfair to the many out-of-town runners who plan for the race like a vacation. But again, we are investigating our options.

We understand that you want to know as soon as possible whether the race will be run or not. We hope you understand that we will do our best.

Not gonna lie, this initial response was rather disappointing and seemed rather…bitchy from the Striders/Annapolis 10 miler committee. They completely undermined the National Weather Service and essentially pointed and laughed at anyone who is heeding the weather warnings. Like me because natural disasters scare the crap out of me. Personally, I felt that all could have been worded much…more professionally. Maybe I’m being all super judgey-pants though.

By 5pm:

“A-10 runners:  The A-10 has been cancelled by the Annapolis City Emergency Management in anticipation of Hurricane Irene.  Please be patient and allow the race directors time to prepare answers to important questions that  you probably have.  Check the Strider website for cancellation updates as they occur.”

 

Glad they waited for someone else to make that call. Thanks Naptown for lookin’ out for us. I dunno, this weather forecast hasn’t changed much in the past 24 hours except for say hey, extreme weather for the east coast and the track still has the possibility of coming up the Bay but it’s likely going to hit the DelMarVa peninsula – as in, Ocean City is already on a full stage 3 evacuation mode. So sure, Annapolis is going to get NO hurricane effects. Idiots.

Sure hardcore runners run rain or shine but I think any normal person would take their safety in mind and to essentially mock (or at least what it felt like as a runner who tends to be a little overly cautious at times) the concerned people.

Here’s hoping they get to either a. reschedule b. allow entries for next years race or c. refund our money. Who knows when we’ll find that out though. Wamp wamp.

In other news, I need to find ONE MORE freakin’ race to make my 12 races for the year. I have a plan – and now I’m one more short. Sooo….Rehoboth Half?

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Fall Races – the race to 12!

I had a goal this year to do 12 races. One each month. Doable.

So far I’ve ran three with the fifth coming up tomorrow. I’m also registered for number six at the end of August.

So here’s what I’ve done (or was registered for and couldn’t run)

St. Patricks Day 8k – Did not race because of a sprained foot
National Half Marathon – 2:29:30
Cherry Blossom 10 miler 1:51:31
Girls on the Run 5k 33ish (no official time)
Dawsons Fathers Day 10k 1:16:08
Womens Running Festival (did not run – was my first Saturday working and I couldn’t find anyone to switch with. Blergh)

Upcoming:
Dog Days 8k Tomorrow! (last time was 53:29 when i ran the NYRR 8000m last year in NYC – hoping to hit sub 50)
Annapolis 10 miler 8/29 (registered!) (Going for sub 1:45:00)
Run for Shelter 10k 9/10 (can I get a sub 1:10:00???)
Volunteers on the Run 5k 10/15 (sub 30:00)
Marine Corps 10k (registered!)
Cold Turkey 10k 11/20
Hot Chocolate 15k
Anniversary Run 15k 12/11

I’m a goal oriented person in that setting goals for myself motivates me to keep going because though I love to run races, training is not my forte. I’ll be the first to admit that.  But I love love love racing. Getting up and just pushing myself to reach my goals. This spring was difficult with my injured foot but I’m really glad I raced the National Half and the Cherry blossom 10 miler anyhow. They were so much fun and though I didn’t reach my time goals, prior to injuring my foot I was well on my way to reaching them.

If I stick to this plan I’ll be WELL over my 12 races this year (which also happens to be on my 30 before 30 list!).  Not to mention, it’ll keep me busy while Hubs is gone. We’ll know more about that within the next week to week and a half.

What races are you running this fall? Anyone running any of these races??

 

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Race Report: Dawsons Fathers Day 10k

Freaders,

I finally got hubs to do the unthinkable. Okay maybe not unthinkable, but something he wasn’t quite expecting to do quite so soon. But Friday night I was like “hey. why don’t you run the race with me.” and he said sure. He had had a not so great day Friday, and we were just enjoying each others company before meeting friends for a dinner downtown.

So with that, he ran a race. With me. And he finished.

Not that I ever thought he couldn’t finish, I knew he could. But he was scared. But he finished. And I couldn’t be prouder of him.

As for me, I finally got new sneaks. Finally on Friday afternoon. The lady tried to put me in neutral shoes and I kept mentioning “I wear brooks stability shoes. Just show me what you got. Make sure I’m wearing the right ones but really, putting me in a neutral shoe is a waste of mine, and your, time.” Okay, I wasn’t that rude but I was definitely thinking it, pretty sure it was because I was hungry.

By the middle of the race the shin pain was gone, but my muscles were still really tight when I was running. I didn’t PR on Sunday AM, but I’m okay with that. Considering I didn’t run much the past week and a half to keep my legs from really getting super sore. Like really, I’ve never had that kind of pain. I was worried it was shin splints – that was the last time I had had such awful leg pain. I think I need to be better about warming up my muscles. I think that’s what’s causing all the tightness.

The course was flat – just about 3 miles out and back on the B&A trail which I’ve run on a couple times. Nothing overly exciting but I always enjoy seeing the lead runners come past me – it gives me something to aspire to. Seriously, those runners are amazing. I really miss being able to run 8 minute miles (faster for those runners but that was my peak when I was 17). I need to get back to that.

All in all, we both finished. Not fast, but I’m more proud of hubs for finishing and finishing strong (and not last!! He was worried about that).

I can’t wait to run more races with the husband in the future, it’s so nice that he’s picked up on running with me and we have something to share together.

I really enjoyed that it was a smaller race. I don’t think I’ve ever done such a small race but I really really enjoyed it. Not to mention the $5 registration fee was definitely appreciated. I’m pretty sure hubs and I are going to become members of the Annapolis striders so we can run with them while training for the Annapolis Ten Miler in the coming months.

My time?

1:16:09 – not a PR (by about 10 minutes) but I finished and I wasn’t racing for time so I didn’t expect much at all.

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Girls on the Run is STILL so much fun

This morning we woke up super early to head into DC so I could be a part of the Girls on the Run DC 5k.

I ran as a running buddy. It was pretty amazing.

The course itself was nestled right in the American University campus. A little hilly. It was two loops including a lap around their track. A few bottleneck situations but overall, a really fun race.

Look at all those amazing girls finishing! Unfortunately, I lost my team (they all ran together which was awesome!) in the bottle neck just after the start line, but one of the other running buddy gals stuck with me (except for when she stopped to help a young gal tie her shoe) and we finished together. I’m really learning to love running with a partner, something I’ve never really done before. We talked about business school (she went to Georgetown), and running as she’s done a few marathons also!

Look at the amazing women who helped start the race! The Chief of Staff of Michelle Obama’s Get Movin’ campaign, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and of course the fabulous founder/vision keeper of Girls on the Run Molly Barker.

Not gonna lie, I really miss coaching. I really really miss the impact that I had on the twelve girls I had the pleasure of getting to know and coach twice a week up in Connecticut in the fall.

The starting line!

Molly and I at the end of the race. She remembered me from the training last year! (I was so touched!) Seriously, I am so flippin’ honored to be a part of something so awesome and even though I’m not coaching anymore, I’m still involved and that’s what makes the huge difference. Though my gals got lost in the shuffle, I was out there encouraging the girls along and at the end seeing so many of them put their 200% into it and just sprint full steam ahead was so inspiring to watch.

Seriously. I wish I still had that much energy!

What types of organizations are you involved in?

{PS Check out my review of a new line of Lipton Iced Teas over on Legallyheidi Loves. Not to mention, you can check out their page with all sorts of fun summer recipes!}

 

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Go Week

So I’m racing this weekend. I didn’t manage to fit in a run this past weekend as we had company and being at the office til 10:30 at night is just not really conducive to getting in a run before picking said friend up at 11am at BWI. Whoops?

Regardless, I have been icing the foot and I have a follow up with my orthopedist Thursday who will tell me just how bad of an idea me running might be on Saturday (and next Sunday for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler) . Friends and Family are kind of shaking their heads at me but if you remember clearly, this is an important race for me – I raised money for Girls on the Run of Greater Chesapeake! (You can still donate here til the end of April!!!)

Earlier in my training I had the goal of knocking off a decent chunk of time from my former half marathon time of 2:28:30 at last years More/Fitness Half Marathon in NYC by hoping for a sub 2:00:00 half. This year? I’ll take between 2:20:00-2:10:00 which I’m hoping for but really I’m not running it for time. I can’t. I peaked at 10 miles before I hurt my foot, and haven’t done much in the past two weeks since then which is unfortunate but better to nurse it back so I can run on it than run on it and hurt it more no?

So this week my goals are:

1. Eat well. Protein, protein protein! Trying not to over do it with the carbs which is easy during a pre-race week!

2. Drink more water! Trying to hydrate early rather than fit it all in the night/day before. Our office has a lot of soda here, and a lot of booze. Neither of which are good for my pre-race diet. Though Wednesday night we do have an office happy hour which I’m bringing hubs to to meet some of the coworkers – I’ll just have a drink instead of three or four.

3. Take care of my foot. I’ve been icing it each night, except last night. Tonight I’m hoping to go straight home, take it easy and start getting my race schtuff together.

That being said, I did sign up for race #3 of 2011 in my goal to get 12 races in:

Boston’s Run to Remember May 29th in Boston! Exciting! Especially since this is my 5 year reunion from college, so I’ll get to spend the weekend with all my pals up there. Not to mention it’ll be hubs and I’s first lil vaca – he starts his new job on April 6th so it’ll be our first vacation since before we were married where we’re both gainfully employed! (note: we haven’t been on a vacation except to visit family since we got married). I’m going  to restart my training plan hopefully next week as I have about 8 weeks before the next half which is plenty o’ time to get my butt back into racing shape.

Anyone else got any fun races that they’ve registered for?

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Banditing!

Recently, Caitlin wrote a post about banditting races.

I agreed with her about big races – a lot of people try really hard to get into a lot of the big races – i would never bandit a race like the Marine Corps marathon nor would i bandit a race i had to travel to.

However, earlier this morning, my running buddy A emailed me asking if I wanted to run a  half marathon with her this weekend – a “practice race.” She didn’t sign up for it either, but she asked if I wanted to “sneak in” with her.

I said sure! Why not, though I was only supposed to run 11 miles this weekend, I could do 13. Why not?

Last night I left work, checked out Vida fitness, ran for a half hour before coming back to hang out with a coworker til super late. I love my new job, have I mentioned that?

I digress, I did 3.25 miles in 30 minutes – thank you 6x400m workout. I was supposed to do 9 but was short on time so I figured it was better than nothing. I’m feeling good, though I haven’t been running as much during the week, I have, since we got back from Vermont/Connecticut, kept up with my long runs which is pretty awesome.

Anyhow, so back to the race. I’m going to bandit the race. I know I shouldn’t. I really shouldn’t, but I feel kind of bad ass. It’s a smaller race, so by the time A and i got the idea to run it, it was already filled up. Sooo…we’ll just run along with them, and our run coach who apparently wasn’t opposed to the idea (she’s baller too). So. Yeah.

I’m a little nervous but what’s the worst that they can do? Kick me out?  I’ll bring my own fuel (so as not to take from the actual runners) and shot blocks (mine are stale. will have to buy more. or have hubs buy them since i’m not buying anything….

But yeah, so I’m racing this weekend.

Consensus among the pals is that this counts towards my 12 races in 12 months which makes THREE races in March, one in April, one in June, one in August, one in September, and one in October (hopefully! Anyone know when 2011 Army ten miler registration is?)

Have you ever snuck into a race??

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Running Essentials

Saturday I ran without my ipod. 45 minutes of quiet, serenity. Nothing but my breath and steps to keep me company, and of course other early morning runners.

Then I met up with my lemon-ladies and we ran another 5 giving me a total of 9.25 – a little short of the 10 i wanted but still a long run. The first four + miles were in about 40ish minutes or so, the next five and a half were

I thought about this long and hard though, about things I absolutely require when I run.

Go to Gear…

Garmin 305 $129

I love my garmin for tracking my distance and my speed. Training for the first 3 marathons was not nearly as easy as it was after Garmin came into my life.

Foam Roller $17

If you don’t have a foam roller, get one. Especially if you have any knee or IT band issues. Don’t know what the benefits of a foam roller are? Read all about them in an awesome article from Runners World!

Fuel Belt $25

I learned early on that bringing fuel with me for my long runs is a necessity. This lil pack often fits an ID, my phone, aspirin, and some shot blocks. And of course water. Because one thing I didn’t learn til recently, was bring water unless you strategically place it somewhere ahead of time. Which I don’t really do. Although this past weekend, it was convenient meeting pals at my car for round 2 around the park!

lululemon ultimate running sock $14

2007-2009 I ran with regular socks. Run of the mill, think I got them at Target (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but I never wanted to really spend money on good socks. I mean, really, what difference do socks make right? Ha ha. Ha. Ohh if I had only known…you know, before I had a blister break on me at mile 22.5 of the Hartford Marathon or mile 20 of the VT City marathon in 2009. In 2010, when I ran…no blisters. Why? I was wearing QUALITY socks. I don’t care what brand socks you wear, but make sure they’re wicking. Even better if they’re anatomically structured with a little extra cushioning in the toes and on the top of the foot. Seriously. Your feet can thank me later.

Usually I run with an ipod shuffle or my iPhone so I have tunes but I might start doing that less and less since it was so nice and refreshing the other day to not have music. Granted I think it’ll be a necessity for when I have treadmill workouts but in general, I’m pretty stoked to try out something different for a change!

Other necessities…

I wear Brooks Adrenaline sneakers. I made the mistake back when I was a rookie in 2007 getting ready for the Marine Corps Marathon of picking shoes based on their color. I wore a Nike shoe that had the nike plus capability and hurt my knees pretty badly. Needless to say, in 2008 when I ran Hartford I got the right type of shoes for my feet and life was good again!

As for clothing? I’m a HUGE fan of the lululemon run line. Not just because I worked there for a year but because I really do think it’s much better quality than many other lines. I’ve ran in Nike, Adidas and Under Armour and just…this stuff is way more comfortable than anything else I’ve ever ran in.

My go to outfit is…

The cool racerback
The groovy run shorts
Run: Resolution LS
Run: team spirit crop (which is in desperate need to be replaced. I bought them last year, have gone down a size since then, but need a new pair of knee length crops because the calf length ones at lulu are too long on me – damn short legs! Both a blessing and a curse 😉 )

What are your workout essentials?

{note: these are my personal views, I was not paid nor compensated for my opinions nor did anyone ask me to write this post. also, images via amazon.com and lululemon.com}

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Last Call

So there’s only TWO more days to enter my yoga startup/$50 lululemon gift card give away!

All this. Plus a $50 gift card for use in stores or online!

The raffle ends Sunday at 5p ET. You can donate here!

Don’t forget the rules…

5 gets you one entry.
$10 gets you two entries.
$15 gets you three entries
$25 gets you five entries

You get the point ;) I’ll throw in an additional entry if you donate and tweet about this, and/or if you donate and blog about this raffle (two possible extra entries!).

I’ll be MIA for most of the weekend, as we have guests in town – these guy…

The middle dude – Ross, is moving back to Japan with his new wife. Larry, on the right is one of hubs’ best guy pals. Hubs is on the left.

Also, I’ll be celebrating. I’ll make more announcements about that on Monday or Tuesday 🙂

After all our celebrating this weekend, I’ll be going for an 8 mile run Sunday AM, then heading into DC.

What are YOU doing this weekend?

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Do Yoga?

So you all know that I’m raising money for Girls on the Run of Greater Chesapeake. Which is awesome. Which I’m so excited about. Because I coached these little girls! Up in CT! They were amazing, and it was by far a life changing experience. Not to mention, two of my second cousins growing up in Vermont, took part in the program up there. Their mother, my cousin, was 18 when she had them, and has not had the easiest life since then. But those girls? Are on the right track just for participating in Girls on the Run. I feel it in my bones.

Anyhow, so I’m raising money for this, and I realized recently that I haven’t raised hardly any money for it! YIKES! I set a high goal for myself, personally I would LOVE to raise between $500-$1,000 to go to the girls. So far, I’m failing. Miserably. I think it’s just that I’m not really that good at asking for money, next up? Writing letters to family and friends. Awesome. 🙂

So, that’s where y’all come in because you are all awesome.

Thanks to the immense generosity of the ladies at lululemon athletica in Annapolis, I’m giving away a yoga startup kit! I’m going to personally throw in a giftcard to any lululemon in there as well (not shown in picture).

That’s close to $100 worth of yoga gear folks! It includes a Manduka Equa towel, an Align Ultra mat, and Sigg water bottle. Add to that a $50 lululemon gift card (paid for by moi personally) , and you are all set to get not only your yoga on, but perhaps your run on?

Here are the rules:

$5 gets you one entry.
$10 gets you two entries.
$15 gets you three entries
$25 gets you five entries

You get the point 😉 I’ll throw in an additional entry if you donate and tweet about this, and/or if you donate and blog about this raffle (two possible extra entries!).

DONATE HERE!

You get the picture. I’ll pull the winner at random on Sunday February 6th at 5p ET and announce it sometime Sunday evening. Leave a comment here if you’ve donated with your email so I can notify you if you’ve won!

{dear FTC, the yoga startup kit here was donated to me not for my use. kthx. that being said, I do work there. but i am not getting paid for this. at all by girls on the run or by lululemon.}

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