Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Race Recap: Mississippi Blues Half Marathon

Race date: Saturday, January 5, 2013
Location: Jackson, MS

Race Day -1:

OMG. Just OMG. The day started off well enough I got my workout in but realized, while eating breakfast, that I had miscalculated the time I had to leave home to get to the airport to check in in time. So I start busting ass to go, thank goodness my bag was already packed. I got into the car and had to turn on my California driving behavior (massive speeding, aggressiveness, etc.). I go flying at anywhere between 80-90 mph until the weather changed in Anton, TX where there was some fairly heavy snow falling at near white out conditions. I maintained as much speed that I could do safely. Thankfully that was short lived after a few miles and I went back on the accelorator. The whole reason behind the make up time because  Lubbock is 1 1/2 hours from me and it also has a time change to CST which is 1 hour ahead of New Mexico time (MST). Anyway, in Shallowater there was a rollover during a light snow...the large SUV was totaled. I was going about 80mph and slowed down JUST I got to the accident scene (really, I thought that they were totally off the road, but no) and everything slowed to a crawl. As I got on the farm road to the airport more snow was falling and I had to slow down to about 60-65mph. I literally arrived at parking about 5 minutes before my flight was supposed to depart and they got me to the gate with 2 minutes to go. Luckily the plane had come in just a few minutes late and I was able to get on board...of course I had to ask the people in the front of the security line if I could go before them because they had paged me twice already. They graciously said yes and even a couple of people already at the conveyor belt let me go ahead of them. I had taken my shoes off while the TSA agent was checking my ticket and started taking off my coat and anything else at the same time. Once all my stuff came through the xray I just grabbed, not even putting on my shoes, and sprinted to the gate. They were just about to close the door when they saw me and allowed my enough time to put on my shoes and I got on the plane. Did I mention that while I was at the xray the poor TSA agent asked me how I was and when I'm stressed like that that is not a good thing because I almost broke out bawling.  ;)

The flights (had to change planes in Houston) were pretty much uneventful. From Lubbock to Houston I had a whole row to myself. To Austin...or did I get that backwards? Anyway... a couple of women sat in my row and talked loudly for the rest of the flight. Thank goodness it was only about an hour flight. Seriously, they would not shut up at all! What I overheard with earbuds in and music almost maxed out: one was unhappy in her marriage, wanted a divorce, was cheating on her husband seeing someone who is shorter than her. Oh, and she apparently works in the movie biz. The other lady: her nephew rented a 4 story house in Vail for New Year's week, she was supposed to go but had to cancel at the last minute and she was giving advice about ending the marriage to the other lady. Trust me, I did not want to hear any of this but I don't want to go deaf either with the music total maxed out. When we landed in Jackson, they still hadn't stopped yakking even after de-planing and heading to baggage check. That's where I lost them, thank goodness!! I didn't think that my luggage was going to make it onto the flight but by a miracle (and probably the fact that they waited for me at the gate in Lubbock) it did make it onto the plane and was a happy camper.

I got into a cab and headed to the hotel. I didn't think it was far, but I ended up paying $46 + $5 tip!! Thankfully my roomate has offered to drop me off at the airport tomorrow morning. I'll have to wait 6+ hours for my plane, but I don't care...I don't want to spend another $50! Now, I usually stay in the cheap hotels just to save money but since I have a roomate we're able to split the cost so we're at the Hilton Garden Inn - Downtown  Jackson. The rooms are huge and very much nicer than I'm used to staying in. :) 

Hilton Garden Inn - Downtown
A huge step up from the cheap places I usually stay at!

After I checked in and did some unpacking, I headed over to the expo which was fairly small. I got my packet and looked around only buying a couple of thermal beanies for $10 each. I hadn't eaten excep for some snacks on the plane so I walked around and found a Subway. I got a foot long Philly (still have half), broccoli & cheese soup, 2 milks for the following 2 mornings and more water. Right about that time I was, all of a sudden, hit with some extreme fatigue. I would have taken a nap but it was only about 4:30pm. So, I ate and set up my gear for the race. My roomate, Becky, who I hadn't ever met other than messaging on Facebook, didn't arrive until about 6pm and was just able to make it to packet pickup. Since I had already eaten, she drove down from Missouri or Montana, whe went to dinner and met 3 of the wheelchair athletes who invited her to dinner and even paid for it! We went to bed pretty early, about 9pm but I was still snacking on popcorn so I didn't fall asleep until about 9:30pm.

Drawstring bag, program, tech shirt, harmonica and a CD of local music
was the swag. I picked up the 2 thermal beanies for $10 each.

Race Day

Planned gear for the race, instead wore my Half Fanatics skort
and white Injinji compression socks.

What I actually ended up wearing. Rep'ing Team Red

Pcs of all the Marathon Maniac and Half Fanatics at the race,
That's me on the right side of the pic in the red shirt & white Half Fanatics hat.
I ended up waking up at around 3:45am  just out of the blue. So I hid under the covers and checked Facebook and Twitter so I wouldn't disturb her (not easy to do when the linens are white)until about 4:45am when I got in the shower to get ready. I had my Shakeology and a banana and decided to wear a skirt instead of running tights since the temperature was about 38F and I knew that I would warm up pretty quickly. We walked down to the start line near the the capitol building which was only about 0.6 miles away. We then met up with the Half Fanatics and Marathon Maniac for a group photo. I then checked in my gear bag and forgot that I had my hydration belt in there. So for the run I didn't have any of my own G2 or GU (I can only handle the Outrageous Chocolate). We separated and got to the start and within about 15 minutes we were off.

At the starting line, pre-race with the
Marathon Maniacs and Half  Fanatics.
And we're off!!
We start spreading out around Mile 1.
This course is hilly...I mean it's like you get off one hill and there's another. Hills really outnumbered the flats. I do not like hills. I hate hills. I started off at a 3:1 run/walk interval and was able to keep that until about mile 8. At that point (walking up the hills) I walked whenever I felt the need for about 100 yards and then ran again as long as I was still int he 3 minute running. There were a few times that I totally walked just because, but I tried to maintain as much as I could. By mile 9 I was afraid that my usual calf cramping would kick in, but it didn't. :D I was walking more and more now and the hills were still coming at me. When I hit the 10 mile mark I knew there was only the 5K (3.1 miles) to go but I have always sucked in that last 5K and I don't know why. That's something I need to work on this year. Anyway I kept running as much as I could, which wasn't much, and once I got in sight of the finish line I was relieved. I was able to run about 200 yards to cross the finish line without having to limp my way across like I have had to do in my more recent race. My final, official time was 3:13:41. Since I hadn't been running/training at all in the last 6 weeks, I'll take that without any reservation!

Thank you!! I can see the finish the top of a hill!! :-/
Still smiling post-race...after a massage!
Race bling...AKA the finisher's medal! :)

Race Day +1

So today is a travel day. I was going to take the free ride from my room mate which meant leaving at 6 or 7am for my flight at a little after 2pm, but since I didn't sleep well I figured that I'd just take a taxi and try to take a nap before checkout. After she left at a little after 6am (I had been awake several hours already and had been down in the business center writing most of this) I went back down to have breakfast so that it would hopefully help me fall asleep. Then it happened again...a ravenous appetite that just wouldn't stop. I had 2 ham and cheese omelets, 3 links of sausage, a yogurt parfait, fresh fruit, a bottle of milk, 2 glasses of OJ, some hot tea, plus whatever else I am forgetting. I don't usually eat like this after a race but for some reason this race had triggered some kind of eating monster in me! Maybe it was all the hills...Anyway, to make a long story short the breakfast, even as big as it was, didn't help me get tired. So I checked out and was waiting for my taxi outside, which never came, so I shared a ride with a father and son from Canada. This was the sons very first full (age 17) and the fathers first race in the US. We chit chatted about the race and I found out that the full was just like the half and non-stop hills. That guaranteed that I won't be running a full there no matter how big the bling is!! lol!

At the airport only a few minor things happened, nothing like my flight Friday. I managed to show up 2 hours early for the flight so that was good. Found an outlet near some seating because my stupid charging cable for my tablet is only 3' long (just ordered a 10' cable) and was about to listen to my Pitch Perfect playlist when I realized that I had put my earphones in the suitcase instead of in my carry on. So, I had to spend $24 on some ear buds that probably would have cost $15 in town. I also realized that I didn't have my car keys...I had a good idea of where they were in my suitcase but I couldn't be sure until I landed in Lubbock. I had to call the hubs to tell him to possibly expect a call from me to come pick me up if I couldn't find my keys. The flight itself  left on time and we hit Houston where I went to the USO and hung out playing on my tablet with the free wifi (much better signal than the public wifi in the terminal) and got some free snacks. I tell you, I totally love the USO!! They're a great place to spend a layover. I've been a supporter ever since my first Thanksgiving away from home while I was at basic training in San Antonio and the USO there prepared a dinner and dance/party for those of us in basic training and off base privileges at the time.

When it was time for my flight I went upstairs only to find that the flight was delayed for at least 30 minutes because the crew for the flight was on another flight coming from Florida and it was running late. Since everyone was already there it was a little difficult to find an outlet to plug my tablet into, but after some people vacated their seat at the computer table or whatever you call it, I was able to plug in to ensure a good charge for the rest of the trip. The crew eventually arrived and we boarded not too long after. The next stop was Dallas and unfortunately there were some loud young kids sitting a few rows in back of me...I was so happy to have bought those earbuds! The flight from Dallas to Lubbock was routine and luckily I found my keys in one of the outer pockets of my suitcase and was able to make the trip home without having to call the hubs to come pick me hour and a half away. So while there were a few hiccups during this weekend, all in all it turned out well and I got some nice bling out of it. Next stop, the 2nd TinkerBell Half Marathon at Disneyland in 2 weeks!!

What did I like about this race?
It was well organized and really had the best post race food that I've ever had. Pizza, sandwiches, tomato basil soup, red beans and rice and drinks. The only thing missing was chocolate milk...if they had that it would've been the perfect post race food ever!

What did not like about this race?
Easy. The hills. Seriously, they were non-stop you get to the top of one and you're hoping that you have some flat areas to run...but that very rarely happens. Other than that it was a pretty nice course. I heard that the full marathon went through some of the more affluent neighborhoods with huge estates and such.

Would I do this race again?
Probably not, simply for the fact of all the hills. It's not a bad race or anything but I just don't like the multitude of hills that this race has. I mean, really, when I asked a volunteer at about mile 8 if the hills ever stopped, her reply was "Sorry, but no." 'Nuf said.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

ZoomaWomen's Race Series Giveaway!

ZoomaWomen's Race Series will be giving away a single Handful sports bra on 1/9/13.

I've hear a lot about these bras lately and they're supposed to be really good. They have removeable pads, are better for smaller chested individuals, a pocket for gels/keys, it's an approved mastectomy bra, is perfect for layering and the model they are giving away is the adjustable bra.

Register here. You'll need to visit the Handful website and choose your color, let Zooma know what your 2013 goals are and reblog, post on Facebook and/or tweet on Twitter about the giveaway. Go get it!!

Handful nude bra.
Photo from Zooma Womens Race Series blog.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome to 2013!!

Wishing you and yours a 
Happy and Prosperous 2013!!

Great start to the new year with a last and first run all at the same time. Truly almost an orgasmic experience for me after not running for a month and a half. No pain, freezing cold but I was able to do a limited run/walk and if I wasn't being overly cautious would still be out there!! Yes, it did truly feel THAT good to run again!! 2013 look out because I'm comin' at you with a GUSTO!! :D Next stop the Mississippi Blues Half Marathon in Jackson, MS on Saturday! :D