Monday, May 20, 2013

Race Recap: 2013 Hope & Healing Place Amarillo Half Marathon

Race Date: Sunday, May 12, 2013 (Mother's Day)
Race Location: Amarillo, Texas

Well, since this was a repeat race for me I won't quite be following my normal recap format. I really hadn't planned to run this race but at the last minute, literally about 4 days prior, I decided to run it with the husband because he is using it to qualify for Half Fanatic membership and I wanted to be sure that he finished. I took up the role of just being around to keep him moving just like I did at the Oklahoma City Half Marathon. 

Race Day -1: Travel Day

We took the trip up to Amarillo on Saturday morning so that we could stop and pick up our packets early as well as to stop at the local running store to look around for some possible new shoes for me (Mother's Day present). At packet pickup I was wearing my Tough Mudder In Training t-shirt and one of the volunteers was a chick who had done several Spartan Races and 2 Tough Mudders. We sat (I stood) there talking about the races and how to get over the fear of different obstacles for over 20 minutes before the husband and I finally left. At Get Fit, the local running specialty store, I did end up getting some Saucony Pro Grid Ride 5's and my first pair of Zensah compression calf sleeves (I usually wear ProCompression knee high socks).

Since we were staying overnight, we would usually go watch a movie but we had just seen Iron Man 3D in IMAX a couple of days before and there were no movies that tickled my fancy. Instead, we just picked up our packets, did some carb loading at Fazoli's (Italian fast food) and hung out in the hotel room until I realized that they had a hot tub and I had of course forgotten my swimsuit. We headed next door to Burlington Coat Factory to see if we could find a suit for each of us with no luck. My back was aching pretty bad so instead I had to settle for a hot soak in the bathtub.

By the time dinner time arrived, we both still were not hungry and I ended up continuing my (not so smart) carb loading by eating a couple of the cupcakes that we had picked up at The Ruffled Cup earlier in the day to finally satisfy a several week craving for cupcakes. I also took the time to get my gear ready for the race the next morning.

I had the vanilla and chocolate ones.
Flatrunner Beth.

Race Day:

We woke up early so that we could hit up IHOP for a light breakfast. Evidently, the husband has a different idea of "light" than I do. Whereas I ordered 2 English muffins and a side of bacon with OJ he ended up ordering a full order of Eggs Benedict. All I could do was warn him that I thought it would be too heavy of a meal to run on and just hope for the best. 

We headed over to the starting point and I was surprised to see that the field of participants seemed smaller than when I had run it last year. I was figuring that there was just over 130 participants and after the race I found out that there were just over 150 total. As I was jogging around to warm up, doing some stretches the husband was hoovering behind the port-a-pots trying to keep warm. I told him that he had to start moving to warm up and all he did was pace back and forth behind a couple of the units. I finally gave up and we went to sit in the car for a few minutes. 

When the start was close (only about 5 minutes later) we took our places at the back of the pack because we are slow and it was very easy to see that most of the people in the race were faster runners. At the start I began a slow jog so that he could warm up a little bit. I don't think we got more than a couple of blocks before he was already walking. At this point I knew we were going to finish at the back of the pack for sure. 

Throughout the first 1/3 of the race I kept running ahead of him by about a block or two and ended up waiting for him to catch up. During these little waiting breaks I'd listen to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' Thrift Shop or Can't Stop Us while bouncing or dancing around. At one point during the race I was dancing around so much to Can't Stop Us that my phone jumped out of my skirt pocket (I listen to music on my MotoACTV) and fell apart! lol! I finally just started to take longer walk breaks so that he could get about a block or two ahead of me so that I could just get some longer run intervals in. 

This race is mostly flat with just the exception of about 3-4 small/moderate hills. The first section of the race is through older neighborhoods with established yards, parks and a lot of shade. At 2 points we run under I-40. As we go past the golf course, which last year was being redone and is now totally green, we headed over towards (but not into) the MediPark area we ran on the beltway/greenway into the neighborhood that had all the hills. We kept to our walk up and run down/flat as usual and at the top of the last hill I saw the chick I had been talking to at packet pickup and stopped to chat with her for a few minutes while I let the hubs run/walk ahead. It was at this point that the hubs breakfast started to disagree with him. The next area is not a so well maintained area of Amarillo which eventually landed us on Historic Route 66 in old town Amarillo. 

By mile 10 my chronic calf cramps began even though I had taped up, was wearing my compression sleeves and had been taking Endurolyte since the night before (2 before bed, 2 at breakfast, 2 before the start and 1 every hour during the race) as well as trying to hydrate. The old man had been having some knee issues so we ended up walking the last 5K or so. We got back into the downtown area to finish up the race with about 6 people behind us. 

We headed back to the hotel so I could do a quick cold soak for my back/calves and shower before heading home for the 1¾ hour drive home. A quick stop for gas and some lunch at Popeye's and we were on the road home (I slept almost all the way!).

Official Time: 3:14:25 (both of us)

What do I like about this race?

Mostly flat course, nice views for the most part considering the urban setting.

What did I not like about this race? 

Nothing really, but I wish there were a bit more participants.

Would I do this race again?

Yes, but maybe not so close together. Maybe once every few years just because it's so close to home.

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