2011 3M Half Marathon Race Recap

The coffeepot was pre-programmed to brew this morning at 3:15. I crawled out of bed just after 3:30, grabbed a large bottle of Smart Water, and poured myself a cup of coffee. And then I got back in bed and pondered how I insane I am for waking up so early to go run and inflict pain upon myself. After the coffee hit me, I remembered how much I enjoyed racing and began gathering all of my necessities.

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I packed a peanut butter and banana sandwich in a Ziploc bag, and then threw a few extra Ziplocs in my gear check bag. (I ended up putting my cell phone in one, and my camera in the other).

Speaking of the camera, it completely failed me today. I tried to take a photo of the starting line this morning, standing completely still and it came out blurry. Eight times. I was so angry I decided I wouldn’t take any pictures while I was running either. If standing still can’t produce a good shot, action photos will only come out worse. Therefore, this will be the most photo-less race recap ever.

I decided last night I was going to wear UA compression capris with a pair of Tempos over them. Then this morning when I saw the 95% humidity at 6am, I decided to wear only the Tempos. This would have been fine, if I had remembered to use Body Glide. Enough said.

I also decided to race in my compression socks, rather than regular UA heat gear socks & compression sleeves. The foot part of the sock is actually A LOT thicker than the socks I usually wear, and by mile five my feet were feeling incredibly cramped in my shoes. I ended up with terrible blisters.

Parking for the race was abundant, which is always a plus. I dropped my bag at gear check, and made my way to the starting line.

It was a sold out race, capped at 5,750. The course was never crowded, and I really enjoyed that aspect. Water was available at every two miles, and Powerade (in addition to water) every four. I would have appreciated Powerade at all of the water stops, and water stops at every mile. Easy fix: run with my own next time.

The left earbud on my headphones decided not to work today, so that was pretty annoying. All of the songs sounded weird. Ah, first world problems.

Usually when I’m racing, I’ll run a majority of the mile and then walk for a minute or so to recover, then repeat. Today I completely forgot about my routine and ended up running the first seven miles straight. Which is “hooray!” because I’ve never ran seven miles without taking a walk break before, but also “you’re an idiot!” because I completely burned myself out in the first half of the race. Rookie mistake. Grr.

Here are my splits:

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One minute slower than Rock n Roll San Antonio, but still faster than Wine & Dine. I walked most of miles 11-13, but really picked it up at 12.5. I was running a 10-10:30 pace (best pace 7:35) right past the mile 13 marker, and crossed the finish line at 9:25 pace. I was trying to at least to tie my San Antonio time, but I picked up the speed too late. If I had started speeding up considerably once I hit mile 12, I could have done it. Ugh.

This “fast, downhill race” was incredibly tough for me. It was 64 degrees and 87& humidity at the starting line, and it only got warmer. Around mile ten, the sun came out and further compounded the miserable conditions. My lackluster training didn’t help the situation either. I couldn’t have expected to PR coming into a half with my most recent “long run” being only 6 miles.

Overall, I really enjoyed the race and I look forward to doing it again next year – properly trained, of course!

Distractions

Perhaps drinking countless glasses of alcoholic beverages on Friday with a half marathon on Sunday wasn’t such a fabulous idea. Seemed like a good one at the time. I was hating life this morning, and am still desperately trying to rehydrate. Hey, I never said I was a smart girl.

In an attempt to take my mind off the hangover and numb my pre-race nerves, Brad and I headed out for a day of retail therapy.

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We hit the mall first so Brad could get fitted for his tux at Men’s Wearhouse. Seriously, $170 to RENT a tux? It better do a little song and dance for us when we pick it up. I hit Victoria’s Secret to redeem a coupon for free underwear. Free is my favorite.

For my birthday, my parents sent me a gift card to Sur La Table. That place is dangerous, no exaggeration. I could have been in there for hours but since Brad was with me I tried to make it quick.

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I bought a 5 piece set of OXO Pop storage containers, a pastry brush, a microplane, and a lemon juicer. I also conveniently planned tonight’s dinner around these items so I can use three of them immediately.

I bribed Brad with lunch in exchange for a quick trip to the Coach Outlet. We hit Pei Wei, and then the Round Rock Outlets.

So much for a quick trip. The Coach store was an absolute mob scene – it was like Christmastime. Upon walking through the door, I was promptly handed a coupon for an additional 30% off anything in the store. My heart skipped a beat.

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Full Retail: $428 Outlet Price: $199 Final Price w/tax: $151

Happy Birthday to me! An absolute steal. I usually treat myself to one designer bag per year, but only from Marshalls/TJ Maxx/Outlet Store. This will be 2011’s.

After 30 minutes of waiting in line at the register, that baby was mine. Next we headed to Academy so I could grab a long sleeved dri-fit shirt for the race tomorrow and some Gu. And then our FINAL STOP, Target. We did a quick 20 minute grocery trip, and then went home.

It was a long day of shopping, but it really kept my mind off of things for a few hours. Now I’m sitting on the couch with butterflies, freaking out about the forecast for tomorrow:

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Not a fan.

Time to distract myself again – with cooking! On tonight’s menu is Shrimp sautéed in garlic & olive oil with wheat pasta, tomato, basil, and pesto. Simple, yet satisfying.

How do you deal with pre-race jitters?

3M Half Marathon “Expo”

Today was pretty exciting! I crossed off (half of) an item on my goal list for 2011: I paid off one credit card! I can’t even explain how good that feels. Not quite as good as crossing the finish line of a half marathon, but it felt GOOD!

On my lunch break today I headed out to the 3m Innovation Center in the boondocks of Austin. Maybe not the boondocks to all, definitely to me who works downtown and lives just north of Austin. It was incredibly out of the way.

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However, I was making the drive for a bag chock full of free goodies. How could I complain?

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I was pretty pleased with the contents of the swag bag for the 3m Half Marathon. If the bag is too heavy to carry to the car, you know they’ve done a good job. Let’s take a look at what was inside:

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I love that the race shirt is a tech shirt – this guarantees I will actually wear it.

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Sunglasses – this is a huge plus in my book. I’m just not a fan of running a race in my aviators.

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Not exactly sure what a Shammy towel is, but I’ll use it. Pop-up Note & Flag Dispenser = LOVE! I’m a huge Post-It nerd, and these dispensers are not cheap. I’ll take a free one, thank you very much!

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Oh shin splints, story of my life. Clearly someone tipped them off that it would be beneficial to slip this flyer in my bag. I’m all for the shin splint cure.

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An issue of Austin Fit. If my reading it will make my abs magically look like hers, I’ll be reading this in bed tomorrow morning, for sure.

Well kids, I’m off to bed. It’s 10:34 and WAY past my bedtime. It was date night tonight and we saw “No Strings Attached” (against the boyfriend’s will). However, it actually ended up being really funny. I can’t stand chick flicks or happy endings (things don’t happen that way in real life), but there was a lot of hilarious moments and raunchy jokes in the movie. I’m still laughing about certain scenes. Even the bf said he’d allow me to sleep in the house tonight because the movie was actually enjoyable!

Ladies & gents, that’s what we call a win. I’m off to drink copious amounts of H20 to counteract all of the pinot noir and prosecco I consumed this evening.

Time to get my game face on!

It’s almost here!

Two days until the first half marathon of 2011. Two days. TWO!!

I’m loving today because (a) it’s Friday, obviously, (b) I’m wearing jeans today, so I also was able to wear sneakers to work. My shins have thanked me a hundred times over for not subjecting them to another day of dress shoes. And with sneakers come compression sleeves. Oh sweet, sweet compression.sneakers-sleevesOn my lunch break today, I headed to the 3M “Expo”. I put expo in quotes like that because there really wasn’t an expo per se; just a line of employees checking runners in and distributing their packets.

3m-swagbagI haven’t done a lot of digging through the bag yet. I think the drivers I shared the road with on the way back to work appreciated me keeping the bag closed tightly. However, I did see a pair of sunglasses in there – score! And also, a mini bottle of Rudy’s BBQ Sauce. I’ve already forgotten about the lack of expo and fallen in love with the 3m swag bag. More details on the contents of the bag later today.

Happy Friday everyone! What are your plans for the weekend?

Thoughts on 3M

My run yesterday was lacking something … a certain 3 miles. I just couldn’t hold out for the full 8. My shins were definitely still achy. Running really is mostly mental. When I first hit the trail running, I was ready for 8. Half a mile in I was really second guessing the status of my shins. Once I hit 1.5, I was convinced I could power through. After the 2 mile mark I began to talk myself out of the 8. At 2.78, I turned around.

I’m not exactly sure why I let myself do that. I think part of it had something to do with the fact I chose a different trail than Town Lake. The trail had less runners on it, so I felt less inclined to run the entire way. As soon as I couldn’t see any runners in the distance, I slowed to a walk. When I run downtown, the trail is always packed and my pace is always the best. Yesterday it was less than desirable. Although I generally run much slower on long run days, my pace resembled that of a turtle. I simply couldn’t get it together.

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So what does that mean for the 3m Half Marathon next weekend? I had planned on this mostly-downhill race providing me with a new PR. The meager 5 miler I completed yesterday is causing me to think otherwise. Additionally, I haven’t ran farther than 6 miles since mid-November, in my last half. At that time I had completed three races in 45 days (1/2 marathon, 10k, 1/2 marathon), and was in fairly decent shape. Now I’m coming off a running hiatus and mediocre training.

Nervous is an understatement.

But I really want this:

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My plan for this week:

~ ICE ICE ICE
~ switch my runs to cross-training if the shins aren’t feeling 100%
~ foam roll & stretch like it’s my full time job
~ when in doubt, DON’T PUSH IT!

Last week I had set a sub 2:40 goal for myself for this race. I have since adjusted this goal to sub 2:45, which would only be shaving 2 minutes off my previous race time. Although it would only be 2 minutes, it’s still a PR Smile

My, things have changed

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Five years ago, I turned 22. I arrived at the Hard Rock Casino shortly after 10pm, and spent the night drinking and dancing until nearly 4am. It was dubbed “the best birthday ever.” Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you who was in attendance that night. Too many drinks, one extremely late night.

Yesterday, I turned 27. The evening started shortly after 6pm when my boyfriend arrived home with ingredients to prepare dinner for me. While I sipped on a delicious glass of pinot noir, he banned me from the kitchen while he whipped up dinner. (No cooking, no cleanup? Yes please!) Then, we watched a couple episodes of Criminal Minds, and after enduring a hilarious rendition of “Happy Birthday” and blowing out my candles, we each enjoyed a giant red velvet cupcake. (And I may or may not have had the rest of my cupcake for a morning snack…) We were both exhausted and headed to bed around 9pm. On my nightstand was my birthday card. The combination of the card and the personal message he added inside really made my day. It’s amazing how such a simple evening could mean the absolute world to me.

The new “best birthday ever”.

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Today, once I deem the temperature bearable enough to run in, I’ll be knocking out an eight miler downtown, as per my training plan.

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I’m off to fuel up for my run. Only 8 more days until the first race of 2011!

Happy Saturday everyone, hope you all have an awesome weekend!

Google Docs Obsession + Training Schedule = This

The amount of time I put into drafting, formatting, color-coding, and planning a training schedule is R I D I C U L O U S. And I’m sure, even though I am posting this one in it’s *final* state, I will change it at least 5 times in the coming weeks. But alas, here it is kids…

I’d like to incorporate Body Flow and Hot Yoga into my Saturday/Sunday schedule as well, but that all depends on the day. Body Pump will most likely make a guest appearance on Wednesday evenings, and I’ll get my cross training done in the morning. I have always always always used Monday & Friday as my rest days, and I’d like to keep it that way. Hot Yoga seems like the perfect way to decompress from a “case of the Mondays” but Friday is non-negotiable.

Let’s be serious: the only running I’ll be doing on Friday is to the wine rack for a delicious bottle of red or to the fridge for a cold refreshing beer.

A New Beginning

For me, 2011 didn’t start out exactly as I had planned. I was supposed to spend it on 6th Street in downtown Austin with my boyfriend and a few of our friends from California.

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Instead, I spent it at a house party in New Jersey wearing a feather boa and tiara due to a certain blizzard.

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I hadn’t even started drinking yet, and I fell down a flight of stairs. My back and right leg still haven’t recovered fully. Just shortly after 1am, a fellow partygoer dropped by brand new camera, shattering the lense.

 

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Just my luck. I’ve been shooting with an 8mp camera for 3 1/2 years, and when I FINALLY upgrade, it’s broken during the first use. The next day, I noticed my iPod Touch wouldn’t hold a charge; the battery needs to be replaced. And after I returned to Austin? My hair straightener died. Not my year for electronics.

The camera was replaced (with a protection program this time, duh), a new straightener was purchased, and I dusted off my old video iPod to stand in for the dead one.

Two weeks into 2011, I was starting to get back in the swing of things. I developed an appreciation for early morning pre-work workouts, even if it meant waking up at 4am. My eating habits finally switched out of holiday mode. My training schedule stopped being just a Google Doc, and I began putting it into action (12 miles this week and an hour of yoga, I’m back!). Things were really looking up.

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On Sunday morning, I opened up my budget spreadsheet and logged into my online banking to make sure I had logged all of my expenses for the weekend. Right away I saw a $225 charge that I did not recognize, and then a $60 one, and then a $90 one. After adding up all of the miscellaneous charges, I realized there were over $500 worth of fraudulent charges on my account. With the help of a bank customer service rep, my debit card was cancelled and the dispute process began. Unfortunately, since today is a holiday, I won’t be able to really get to the bottom of this until Wednesday after all the charges clear. Ugh.

2011, I will NOT let you get the best of me.

I am starting my “New Year” today, January 17, 2011. I’m dismissing the events from the past two weeks, and today marks the start of a new beginning.

2011 will be the year I…

  • run a sub-2:20 half marathon
  • complete a full marathon
  • finish a rough draft of my novel
  • pay off at least two credit cards (yes, I have more than two)
  • run 1,111 miles

Ambitious, yet attainable, goals. I’m ready, bring it on!

2011 Race Calendar

I’ve been working on my tentative race schedule for 2011, and here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

January: 3m Half Marathon

February: Austin Half Marathon

March: Champion 5k; Rock n Roll Dallas Half Marathon

April: ZOOMA Austin 5k or Half Marathon

May:

June:

July: El Scorcho 25k

August:

September:

October: IBM Uptown Classic; Marine Corps Marathon

November: Rock n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon

December:

January 2012: Goofy Challenge

I’m thinking a half marathon in April (4 in 4 months) may be overkill, but I feel if I run the 5k I’m going to wish I did the half. So I’m still on the fence for that one. El Scorcho is in Ft. Worth, so that would require some traveling. I might be willing to suck it up though since there isn’t much going on in the 100+ degree summer in Texas. We’ll see what happens.

I’ve also set a goal to run 1,111 miles in 2011. With all of the training I’ll be doing, I feel this is an attainable goal. I’ll be tracking my mileage on Daily Mile.

Do you have your race schedule planned out or will you be deciding as the year progresses?

Race Fanatic

Now, if you have been reading for awhile, you know I already have two races coming up in the next two months. With the Rock n Roll Dallas 1/2, that means I am shooting to run three (3) 1/2 marathons in 90 days. If I can successfully complete the challenge, I will be considered a Half Fanatic. Are you a Half Fanatic? Check out the criteria to see if you qualify! It’s not quite a Marathon Maniac, but baby steps. I have to actually RUN A MARATHON before achieving Maniac status.

Which brings me to my next piece of news: I have finally decided on what marathon I will be running in 2011.

My original plan to run San Diego was foiled when we were invited to a wedding in March in Florida. Those two vacations would be too close together, so I scratched San Diego. I switched my focus to NYC, but I didn’t want to have to rely on getting in through the lottery (and I’m terrible at fundraising), so I scratched that idea. I could do the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio full … but in case you missed the memo – Carly is moving to Austin, so we’ll be running the half together. After much research and deliberation, I decided on MCM. My family would be able to come and see me race for the first time EVER, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about that marathon. Registration opens February 23rd, and I can’t wait!

What marathons (half or full) are you planning on running this year?