Space Coast Marathon 2014

I ran the Space Coast Marathon on Sunday.

If you like abridged versions: I didn’t love it and I wouldn’t run it again. For those that like unabridged versions, read on.

The Space Coast Marathon takes place in Cocoa, about 50 minutes from Orlando. Michelle and I registered for this race almost nine months ago, back when we thought we wanted to run it. But the closer we got to the race, the more it sounded like a terrible idea, particularly around the holidays and after another marathon that took every last bit of running energy we had in us. So let’s just say we didn’t go into this race with a positive attitude.

Since there was no packet pick up on race day (lame), Michelle drove out to Cocoa to get our packets on Saturday. On Sunday morning, I woke up at 2:30 (kill me), got ready, and picked up Michelle and Tyler by 3:30. The race didn’t start until 6:30 but according to our pre-race emails, parking fills up early and we wanted to park close to the start to avoid taking the shuttle from the farther parking lots. Our plan worked out because we got rock star parking and the lot we were in filled up about 10 minutes later.

We waited in the car for awhile to keep warm and Michelle and I pumped Tyler up by singing Paula Abdul songs to him. Tyler was begging for us to sing to him more but we told him, no. We have a race to run. So we stood out on the curb for awhile while Tyler put on his shoes and bib and did other things we didn’t understand why he couldn’t do them in the car. Tyler is a secret race diva.

We still had plenty of time to kill, which was fine. I’d rather be early than late. We did the usual before a race – ate breakfast, used the porta potty, walked around aimlessly, and took pictures.

During our aimlessness, I randomly ran into Matt.

This was my first time meeting Matt in person. A couple years ago, we both ran the Disney Tower of Terror 10-miler. He was standing in front of me so of course I photo-bombed his selfie. A couple days later, he found my blog and commented. I checked out his blog in return only to find myself in the background of one of his pictures. Small world for sure. The rest is history as they say.

We watched the half marathoners start and finally it was time for us to line up.

Tyler was super nervous since it was his first marathon. This is him freaking out.

He’s single as a Pringle, ladies. Smile

The National Anthem played and the sound of the shuttle lifting off was our signal to start. The course is two different out-and-backs on a road with houses you could never afford on one side and the Indian River on the other side. It was very scenic and pretty, except for all the rolling hills. Those weren’t pretty.

Usually I don’t mind out-and-backs, but for a marathon it’s not the best motivator. I was feeling pretty good for the first half of the race.The first seven miles were very crowded on a narrow two-lane road. There were a few times times when I was stuck behind slower runners because my lane and the oncoming lane were so crowded that there was no way to pass.

The 4:30 pacer passed me pretty early on but I decided to concentrate on my music and the view more than anything. Around mile 6, I caught up to him, which I didn’t expect. Then I passed him (probably not the best idea) and stayed ahead of him for the next eight miles. Everything started going downhill around mile 14. The shade was few and far between and it was getting hot. The 4:30 pacer passed me at 14.5 and I shouted a big “ah shit” as he passed because I really thought I had a decent PR in me for awhile there.

At mile 18, I stopped at the port-a-potty and from then on, I walked every water station and then some. By mile 20, I was still lined up for a PR but the the last six miles were so miserable, I couldn’t keep running. I walked half of the last six. It was so hot (74*F by the time I finished) and I was wiped out. I used the same running nutrition as I did in Chicago but it wasn’t enough for this race. I kept telling myself over and over, “no more fucking marathons!”

When I had three miles to go, I texted hubs a sad face.

The last part of the race is called the lunar walk, where you run through a brick walkway. Michelle was there waiting and cheering for me which was awesome! The crowd in that whole area was awesome. I kicked up the speed and passed everyone in front of me, which was fun. I even heard someone shout, “That’s right! You lap them!” Passing people at the end is my total fave. I finished in 4:43:19, six minutes slower than Chicago. Super disappointing.

After the race, I found Michelle, Tyler, and Victoria. Or I should say they found me because I was a bit spaced out. (Ha! Get it? Spaced out.)

Tyler and Victoria both ran sub-4:00s like a boss and Michelle ran a 4:20 with a bad foot.

The race had a really great after party with beer and pizza and all sorts of other goodies. We all hung around for a bit and chatted until we were ready to walk back to the car.

Oh and ladies, Tyler will hold all your babies.

#single

I think if I did just one thing differently during this race, I would have stayed behind the 4:30 pacer instead of passing him. In retrospect, that wasn’t a bright idea. (I totally blame the song Bounce from Iggy Azalea. That song makes me run-dance, which is basically just punching the air while lip-syncing.)

While there were some great things about this race (like lots of awesome volunteers), overall I didn’t care for it. I might consider the half but there’s no way I’d run the full again. The course is pretty but the two out-and-backs suck. There were also all sorts of random bikers and cars weaving through the runners. Runners in the oncoming lane were shouting “car back!” to warn us. I was literally running next to a truck for a quarter mile. I don’t even know how they were allowed on the course. Once you pass the finish line, there were so many random non-runners loitering around and making it hard to get through the area. The last thing I want after I just ran 26.2 miles is to be stuck in a non-moving crowd when my heart rate is through the roof because I just sprinted the last quarter mile. That whole area should be blocked off to spectators.

If anything, this race really showed me that I could run a 4:30 marathon. If I was only six minutes off Chicago with a stop at the port-o-potty and a ton of walking (which I didn’t do in Chicago), I know I have it in me. I’m not sure if I’ll have the chance to try again or not. I told myself this would be my last marathon, so we’ll see. I’m already forgetting how miserable this race was and I’m replacing those memories with things I liked about it. Race amnesia is a real thing, ya’ll.

 

Inaugural Lake Nona Half Marathon

I ran a half marathon today.

I registered for this race maybe six months ago and was going to use it as my first training run after Chicago. Seemed like a pretty good idea at the time, only I don’t really use races as training runs – I run them faster – and who knows how I was going to feel after Chicago. So in retrospect, not my best laid plan.

A lot of friends were running this race too and I love running with friends, so it wasn’t all bad.

Next to Michelle is one of our friends/co-workers, Keith, and to the right of him is Tyler. Tyler picked Michelle up at Best Damn Race and they’ve been running soul mates ever since.

The race took place in Lake Nona, which is about a half hour South of Orlando. Lake Nona is a cute little town and I’m sure there’s got to be a lake in it somewhere, but I didn’t see it. The race took place on a pretty, long, out and back road. It wasn’t scenic but it gets pretty points for having well maintained shrubbery in the median.

The race started at 6:00am. I don’t think I’ve ever run a race that started that early but I liked it because the first six or seven miles were in the dark. Plus, the weather was a perfect 61 degrees. This is the time of year when I don’t want to kick Florida in the junk. I will not miss you summer.

The race went a lot like Chicago: my legs felt great; I didn’t feel the need to walk; my shoulder started to hurt at mile 2; and the top of my left foot hurt. That foot thing I didn’t mention in the Chicago recap because I noticed it after the race, but it’s still hanging around. Maybe my shoes were laced too tight? I also had to poop from mile 6 on. (Didn’t think you’d get away from poop talk, did you?) I thought about stopping at a port-o-potty but then just decided to power through it. I got my first negative split ever because of it!

Poop makes you run faster. My colon just keeps on giving.

Those aren’t the prettiest of negative splits, but it’s the closest I’ll ever come to them. My Garmin crapped out in the first mile and I didn’t notice it until almost a mile in, so that’s why the mileage is off. My goal was to finish the race in under 2:15 (my Chicago half time) and I came in with 2:08:36, so I’m really happy with that.

After the race, we all hung out for a few hours and chatted and waited for Keith’s wife to finish.

Tyler got third in his age group with a PR, Keith PRed, and Katy hasn’t run more than 4 miles since August and still ran a sub-2:00. Let’s hate her together.

Overall, I had a great time. The race was well done and my only complaint is that there was no toilet paper in the port-o-potties after the race. I know, because I checked them all. Some nice lady gave me two of her Kleenex. I shall forever be grateful to the Kleenex lady.

I really enjoyed the race. It’s a great course for a PR, so I might be back to run this one again next year.

 

Chicago Marathon 2014

Chicago is one of best, or even the best, race I’ve run. Everyone who gushes about its amazingness is telling the truth. I’ve never been around so much constant energy. It’s definitely infectious. If you have a race bucket list, Chicago should be on it.

Expo

I don’t really talk about expos anymore because they are all the same to me. I just want to get in, get my race packet, and get out.  But for how giant this race was, it was unusually easy to catch the free shuttle to the expo and to pick up my race packet. Over 40k people ran the race and I stood in a line for about two minutes to get my bib. Super easy.

There was also a lot of great picture taking opportunities at the expo as well. They had big Chicago Marathon signs, a fake start line with a count down clock, and a cool, 3-D, light up course map. This picture was one of my favorites with my girls, Michelle and Melissa, the day before the race.

Pre-race

I have a pre-race ritual that didn’t go exactly as planned. That plan: drink all the booze two nights before a race (I’m serious) because the water/salt retention from it two days later really seems to help out my hydration. Yes, I could also eat a bag of chips, but where’s the fun in that? My pre-race lunch is always a cheeseburger (lots of carbs/protein) and then a light dinner the night before as to not upset the bowel gods. I ate the cheeseburger (Mmm, Portillos) but ended up eating pizza  for dinner (meh, Ginos) which had me a little worried because it was heavy and I need more time to digest that kind of stuff. I never drank on Friday night, not because I’m turning over a new healthy leaf, but because I drank on Thursday night and I’m way too old to drink two nights in a row.

The Night Before

If you’ve been reading for a while and you’ve missed the pooptacular posts of days past, you’re in for a real poopy treat. The day before the race, I was getting pretty worried that the magic hadn’t happened for a good 4-5 days. I was traveling, I didn’t run all week (my normal poop inducer), and I was eating all sorts of delicious food that I usually don’t eat. Not exactly the ingredients for my daily poop cocktail.

Michelle, Melissa, and hubs were giving me expert pooping advice, but I was hoping nature would take its course naturally. With everything that I had been eating, I knew the race would be a disaster if something didn’t happen soon. So, I started with hub’s first suggestion: run two miles on the treadmill at the hotel. Not what I wanted to do the night before a marathon, but that usually gets things going for me. I ran the two miles and of course, it didn’t help. Then, hubs made a trip to Walgreens to “see what he could find.” He came back with this:

Have you guys ever taken this before? I think it’s what they use to clean you out before a colonoscopy, let’s just put that out there. The label said it should work within 30 min – 6 hours. I had nine hours before I had to leave for the race, so I threw caution to the wind and drank that bad boy.

The Morning of the Race

After I drank the magnesium citrate, it was like I couldn’t stop watching the clock. Thirty minutes. Nothing. Two hours. Nothing. I woke up during the night at least four times to pee but nothing beyond that. Finally, seven hours later, I pooped. It was a nice poop. I was happy with it. An hour after that, another poop. A bonus poop, if you will. I was feeling pretty good about that one too. But that stuff lulls you into a false sense of poopy security because an hour after that, all hell broke loose. This was 45 minutes before I had to leave for the race. It came in waves. I thought I was fine, but then I wasn’t.

When I was feeling ok, I would jump up and down and do sit-ups to get things moving faster. I was so worried I wouldn’t make it to the race on time. Eventually, I just had to leave and chance it. I left the hotel 40 minutes late and hightailed it a mile to the corral and hoped for the best.

I got to my gate, walked to the wrong corral, and had to double back with at least 10 other people. There were so many people and even though Michelle and I were texting each other our exact locations, it was hard to find each other. So you can imagine how happy I was to finally find her after the ridiculous morning I had.

Cautiously optimistic about my colon.

After 30  minutes or so, I  gingerly sipped my water/Powerade Zero. I was so thirsty but also worried about upsetting my stomach. So I started the race very thirsty and very dehydrated. Not ideal but my stomach was finally feeling ok and that’s what mattered most at the time.

On a side note, you probably already know I was running for the American Heart Association (more on my thoughts about that later). The team shirt they sent was really uncomfortable so I cut it up and pinned it to my Camelbak so I could represent them.

My Camelbak was filled with water and Hammer Perpetuem (not an affiliate link) and I also carried a water bottle with half water/half Powerade Zero. I swapped back and forth sipping them through the race. I’m probably the only person in the history of racing to carry a water bottle while wearing a Camelbak. I’m a genius.

The Race

The race was so fun and exciting and hard and taxing. There was never a point in which I wasn’t surrounded by thousands of runners and spectators. The cheering was often so loud that I couldn’t tell what song was playing on my iPod. My legs felt unusually good. In fact, I only walked once through the mile 22 water stop. At mile 20, I remember thinking, “holy shit I haven’t walked yet!” I never imagined I could run that far without stopping. If it wasn’t for finishing my water bottle and needing water, I probably would have kept going.

Unfortunately, my shoulder started hurting pretty early in the race. This is the same shoulder pain that I had during my first marathon that turned out to be inflammation from overuse. Ever since then, it comes and goes. I’ve had it on a few training runs over the summer but nothing too bad. It was definitely the worst I’ve ever experience during the race. As the miles went on, the pain got worse. And worse. I ran most of the last half the race looking like Quasimodo with my left arm down at my side because having it in a regular running position was excruciating. So, I kept to the middle of the road, ignored the crowds, talked to my dad in my head, and concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. I was so pissed because despite my morning, everything else felt great.

Once I saw the 400 meter sign, I booked it. I passed around 10 people and felt like a bad ass doing it. Even in pain, it was the best finish to a race. Plus, I was so freakin’ happy to not be running anymore that my six minute PR was secondary. While I started the hobble through the finisher’s shoot, I got a text from hubs that he was waiting for me just outside of it.

Time: 4:37:50
Pace: 10:36

My Garmin disagrees.

My shoulder was in such bad shape after the race that I couldn’t raise my arm more than three inches off my body, which was concerning. The original plan was to meet up with Michelle and Melissa after the race, but I just wasn’t feeling well enough. So hubs and I sat in the grass for 10 minutes while I ate a protein bar and then we walked back to the room where I stood in a hot shower for a long time. The water helped me get a little bit of mobility back in my arm, enough to be able to reach my hair to wash it.

I’m bummed I didn’t get the post-race medal picture with my girls. I did get to meet up with them for dinner and drinks later that night when we were all showered and feeling better. We tried to make up for it then.

Overall, I loved the Chicago Marathon. I want to run it again right this second I loved it so much. I got to run with some of my favorite ladies and raise money for a good cause. Plus, Chicago is one of my favorite cities and they definitely do racing right.

Best Damn Race Orlando and a PR!

I really wanted to PR this race. Ok, I want to PR every race but I’ve resigned myself to thinking it will never happen because trying over and over for three years and 14 half marathons can do that to you.

This race was a little different. I actually had a pretty good feeling going into it (that never happens) mainly because my speed training (mostly tempo runs on the treadmill) have gone surprisingly well. Also, race morning my body gave me the greatest pre-race gift it could: I pooped.

Michelle, and her friend Tracey, picked me up per the usual, we found close (free!) parking easily, and walked over near the race start where we found, like, one billion bloggers.

Pretty sure I stole that picture from Meghann, but one can’t be sure. It was a nice boost to see a bunch of friends (and even more unpictured) before the race and I was oddly excited to meet this little cutie since I’ve been stalking her on social media forever.

After some socializing, we lined up at the start. There was an acapella National Anthem, which I really liked, and we were off.

This is the first race I’ve run where I didn’t have to dodge other runners for the first several miles. So either everyone was lined up where they were supposed to be or they capped the race at the perfect amount of runners. Either way, it was nice.

The course was a nice change from the Orlando Half that starts in the same area. They did a good job of avoiding most of the brick around downtown, which sucks to run on since it’s like an obstacle course with all the dips and raised bricks. I also loved the last minute course addition of running around Lake Underhill that was added two weeks before the race. That’s where I do most of my training runs so it was nice to be in familiar territory. There were three or four turnarounds that I wasn’t a big fan of but other than that, it was a good course.

So now about that whole running thing. From mile one, I felt like I was putting in maximum effort. I wasn’t miserable out there but I wasn’t exactly feeling great either. I walked four times which I don’t think I could have avoided because I felt like my heartbeat was too high. After the first walk around mile five, mentally I was out as far as a PR was concerned. I wasn’t feeling well enough that I thought I could do it. (Yep. I’m easily discouraged.) So I just used the walk breaks as opportunities to eat some peanut butter pretzels. (Not loving those during a race by the way. Probably going back to PB&J.) I would kill for a sugar free vanilla or chocolate Gu to exist. Can anyone make that happen for me?

Anyway, around mile 11, I realized had a good chance of PRing. That surprised the shit out of me, I gotta tell you. So I picked up the speed as much as my body was allowing for a 27 second PR (and a 7 minute improvement from the Celebration half last month).

Finish time: 2:02:14

It’s not the sub-2:00 I’ve been trying to get forever or even a sub-2:02, but at least I know I’m finally improving. Running 14 races and never besting my time (while everyone else around me does) has taken a real shit on my mentality. So at least I know I’m capable now. And you better believe I had some sexy-time with that PR bell.

It’s nice to end my last half of the race season this way. I’ve been waiting a long time for this. Next up is a 10 miler at the end of the month.

 

 

 

You Never Know What Kind of Runner You’ll Be

I ran the OUC Orlando Half Marathon yesterday. It was my third time running the race and my 20th half.

I got enough sleep.

I ate my normal breakfast.

Everything felt fine before the race.

My legs felt heavy from the start.

It was hot.

I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

I thought about DNFing. A lot.

I walked. A lot.

My feet were hurting. (I need new shoes. Again. Sigh.)

My left shoulder pain was back.

I hated every moment.

Somehow I finished.

I was a minute and some change away from a PW. (2:28:11)

I felt nauseated afterwards.

I questioned why I even run in the first place.

I want to forget about it.

I’m glad I had my girls, Michelle and Katy, there to cheer me up.

You never know what kind of runner you’ll be at a race. They’re all different and when they suck, all you can do is try again.

***

(If you like happier race reviews, check out this one from Michelle.)

That Time I Drank a lot and then Ran a Race

Yesterday I ran the Baldwin Park Half Marathon – my 19th half and the longest distance I’ve run since February. A lot of poor decision making (on my part) went into this race, including but not limited to a three-mile run on Friday that I should have skipped, spending all day Saturday on my feet at EDC, drinking more drinks than can be counted on one hand, and skipping dinner.

But I’m a trooper, ya’ll. So when I got home Saturday night, I drank as much water as humanly possible, got a better-than-expected six hours of sleep, and ran a damn half marathon.

Michelle picked me up at 6:15 – right on time, I might add. *so proud* The girl is always at least a little late.

The race is only 15 minutes from my house. We even scored some major rock star parking by the start/finish line when Michelle went through a “road blocked” sign that was guarded by a police car. No fear, that one.

Once we parked, I realized I left my Garmin at home. I was also too busy sleeping in and forgot to make my standard PB&J, so I grabbed my next bad decision.

Cola flavor. Totally disgusting.

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know I can’t eat anything with sugar (even natural) during a race. I ate one of those chews at mile 8, 9, and 10. Three is my limit. My stomach started churning after that.

I ran this race three years ago. It’s the same this year as it was then – small with a pretty course that is extremely familiar since it’s where I did a lot of my marathon training. I heard a few people complain that there wasn’t enough water on course, especially in the beginning miles, but I wore my new Camelbak so it wasn’t an issue for me.

Now for the race. Let’s just say that considering the night I had beforehand, it could have been a lot worse. So I am super grateful for the race I had. There was no timing on course, so I had  no idea what pace I was running and I didn’t see a mile marker until mile seven, which was annoying. Michelle and I leap-frogged each other for those seven miles, but as we know, the only time I ever beat her in a race is when she’s pregnant or has bruised ribs. We high-fived at the turn-around and that’s when I lost her. I ended up walking a good 20 minutes throughout (or more, I stopped counting after a while) because I was completely pooped, my left leg felt super fatigued while my right leg was fine (??) and the shoulder pain that started during my first marathon came back. (< — read that race review if you enjoy pity parties)

Things that didn’t happen include me pooping, barfing, or dying. So I consider this a major win. I came in at 2:21:54, not even a personal worst so I’ll take it.

Epic Sports Marketing puts on this race and I notice they keep getting better and more organized each time. They even had a really good spread of fruit, bagel thins, rolls, peanut butter and Nutella at the end.

Nutella!

I can definitely feel that I haven’t run that distance in some time. My legs are tired. Squatting to clean out the bunny’s litter box definitely takes more effort. But I’m glad I ran this one because I needed to get the miles in and they aren’t going to run themselves.

Next up is the OUC Orlando Half Marathon on 12/7. I’m using that race as a training run as well and then maybe I’ll get more serious about my races in January and March. I mean, at the least I’ll try not to be drunk for them.

Race Review: Armageddon Ambush

Armageddon Ambush is a 5k mud and color run. My friend, Daryl, had an extra registration and asked me to run it a few weeks ago. Until then, I had never heard of the race but it sounded fun from the Web site and I’m a sucker for races.

This one took place in Clermont, about an hour away from Orlando.

*Documenting that we were clean.*

This race is expensive – $80 untimed or $100 timed. (Some cities are cheaper.) Daryl bought the registrations for $30 or $40 on Living Social. Not bad. There was $10 fee to transfer the registration to my name – also not bad, but the registration wasn’t in my name when we picked up our bibs. Bib pick up was still no problem, but Daryl had changed it a week prior. You’d think for $10 bucks it would be in my name.

We just missed our noon wave, so we hopped in the 12:30 wave with no problem. I think there were about 12 obstacles. We ran though a lot of thick mud and muddy water, jumped over the littlest fire wall in the land, climbed walls and cargo net, ran through tires, made our way across swinging rings (kinda like monkey bars, but not), and ran through one lone color station. < — IMO, you can’t call yourself a mud AND color race and have only one color station

The obstacles were harder than Warrior Dash (< — that’s my race review). I had to skip four of them which hurt my Crossfit soul a little bit. I skipped the rope climb (because my forearms are not strong enough to lift this crazy body), two walls that were too high for me to jump without looking like a complete idiot to those waiting behind me, and a repelling wall at the end that I got half way up but was too tired from trying the other three failed obstacles.

This was the second to last obstacle.

It was by far the most awesome obstacle. You climb a cargo net in the back to get up and then slide down into a pool of muddy water. Only four people can climb up at once so there was a major back up. We waited 20 minutes to get on it which totally sucked. We came really close to skipping it but it just looked so fun we stuck it out. See the people standing behind it? They are all still waiting.

After the slide, there’s a mud crawl and a run through the finish line. By the time we got to the mud crawl, it looked like this.

All the ropes you crawl under were pushed into the mud. So we just walked through it. Again, this obstacle was right by all the volunteers and the main action. You think someone would fix it instead of leaving it like that. But what do I know?

There were two water stops on the course. By the time we got to the second one, the water was gone. It was only 1:00 pm at that point and waves were running until 5:30, so no one got water after us. For $80 or even $40, there should be water.

Once we crossed the finish, we received a t-shirt and a race medal, which I thought was pretty cool.

I definitely didn’t expect a medal.

I would advise against paying for a timed registration with the backup at that last obstacle (and several others). They do have specific timed waves, but I can’t see the backup not happening. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong.

There is only food and drink for purchase afterwards, so keep that in mind if you’re the hungry or thirsty type. The food looked really good, I’ll give them that, but for such an expensive race you would think you’d at least get a granola bar or a bottle of water.

I liked the race and the more challenging obstacles but it just suffered from…a lack of volunteers? I’m not sure. It wasn’t bad by any means but this race has a lot of room for improvement.

Either way, I still had fun getting dirty with a friend. :-)

Fredericksburg Wildflower 10k and then some

The Fredericksburg Wildflower 10k is a small race in (wait for it) Fredericksburg, TX. My co-worker, Marisa, found this race when we learned we’d be on work travel for three weeks and it took her all of two seconds to convince me to do it. I’m a sucker for an out-of-town race.

Fredericksburg is a two hour and 15 minute drive from Killeen so Marisa and I left around 5:15am to get there for the 8:30am race. We got there with no problem. The entire route might have been three left turns total and we parked so close to the start that I was worried we were in the wrong place. Like, it was too easy. We picked up our bibs and t-shirts (Neither of us got that jelly by the way. Sad day.) and dropped our t-shirts off at the car. Then we had about 45 minutes to kill, so we walked around and posed with things.

We really wanted to pretend we were smoking that peace pipe but a ton of people were walking around the area and we didn’t want to look like total a-holes. Next time.

I informed Marisa that running a race with me is equivalent to agreeing to be on my blog, so I told her to assume the position and start posing.

Such a good sport.

About 15 minutes before the race, a full-on Jane Fonda-like choreographed warm-up happened.

That was a first. It was mesmerizing. I mean, it’s a cute idea. But also hilarious to watch.

I love that runners understand the need for mass quantities of pictures. Whenever I’m taking a selfie, someone always offers to take the picture for me. Don’t mind if I do…

The race started with a few announcements: no bathrooms on course, runners in the front, walkers in the back, and there would be clearly marked with signs for the 5k and 10k. Famous last words.

Within the first mile, a bunch of runners turned around shouting that everyone for the 5k was going the wrong way. If you wanna hear the potty mouths of runners, just make them run the wrong direction in a race. For the love of my tender, virgin ears.

About 1/4 of the runners turned around and the rest kept going straight. I kept straight because the guy mentioned the 5k was going the wrong way and I was running the 10. But then we got to the end of the road and converged with a bunch of other runners so I knew it was the wrong way for the 10k too. By the time I passed the one mile marker, my Garmin was at 1.3 miles. EEEFFF.

I heard runners bitching about going an extra quarter mile the rest of the race. Here’s a picture of us all going the wrong way.

Yeah. There was a dog running the race. He kept whining and trying to jump up on his owner. He would only stop whining when the owner started walking. Basically just like I act during a race.

Anyway, after the wrong turn, any ideas I had to PR were gone. I was annoyed even though I didn’t think I would PR, but there’s always that little chance in the back of your mind that this will race be the one. So, I got over it and tried to enjoy the scenery.

I guess I had higher expectations for the course. It wasn’t particularly pretty for being in wine country, except for this part.

It was called the “wildflower” 10k and I saw two patches of wildflowers total.

The course may have not had a lot of wildflowers but they are all over TX right now, so we saw a ton of them on the ride home. So pretty.

We also got stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way home because of the Marble Falls triathlon. It’s all fun and games until you’re the one stuck in traffic.

Ok, back to the race. There were two water stops which was way too few for a hot race in Texas. I missed the first one at the 5k/10k split, I think around mile three. I saw the cups on the ground but no water table so maybe I just didn’t pay enough attention. The other one was somewhere around mile five. I’m so glad I carried a water bottle because I would have straight up died out there.

I finished in 1:03:53 with 6.5 miles. A solid minute PR if the course wasn’t jacked.

How do you get a race picture that looks like your running instead of walking because I have no clue.

Thanks to Marisa for waiting for me at the finish line to take pictures. In the 25 or so races that I’ve done, this is only the second time I’ve had someone wait to take pictures. Super cool of her too because I forgot to ask if she would mind being my photographer.

After the race, we hung around for a bit to see the awards but they couldn’t get the finish times printed, or on their Website fast enough, so they cancelled it and told everyone they would just mail the awards. There were lots of disappointed/pissed off people.

Overall, the race was ok. The course SNAFU really sucked but it only cost $20 to run and it was still fun to see a new place. Fredericksburg was smaller and less exciting that I thought it would be, but it’s a cute town so I’m glad I visited.

I still had a good time, had a great lunch, and was able to eat my weight in cake and cookies afterwards.

The Color Me Rad that Almost Wasn’t

This morning, hubs and I ran Color Me Rad.

But let’s back up for a second.

Neither of us really wanted to do the race, but one of our friends from our old martial arts fitness class asked us to do it. We hadn’t seen her in so long that we said yes just so we could hang out with her for a bit.

Yesterday, she told us that her doctor recommended she not participate (she’s 6 months pregnant) so we were pretty bummed. We weren’t even sure we wanted to do the race anymore but since other people from our class were still going to be there, we sucked it up.

Just follow the white ass legs. You’ll find me.

The race took place at the Central Florida Fairgrounds – about 20 minutes from our house. The Color Me Rad Website said that parking was available onsite from 7:00 – 8:00am and after that to park at either Valencia Community College or First Baptist Church to catch a shuttle. Since we didn’t leave the house until after 8:00am, we picked the closer parking at Valencia. We had no problem parking, but this was the line for the shuttle.

The Website also said the shuttles would be by every 10 minutes. Those two shuttles way up there were the only ones we saw in the 30 minutes we stood in line.

Just before 9:00am, someone from our group texted me that he parked onsite at the fairgrounds with no problem.

Oh? Those fairgrounds where the parking is supposed to be closed at 8:00am?

So hubs and I stood in line for the shuttle until we got more and more irritated that we made the executive decision to leave and try to park at the race site. We decided if parking was full by the time we got there, we would just go home because that shuttle line wasn’t worth it.

We got to the fairgrounds in about five minutes and parked with no problem. Our parking just happened to be next to some real bathrooms that were completely empty. Major score for a race with 5k runners. Plus we were happy that we wouldn’t have to deal with the shuttle after the race was over.

We found our friends and just made it to the start for our 9:30 wave time.

Ok, so according to the Website (again), there were four waves: 9:00, 9:15, 9:30, and 9:45. Only there weren’t four waves. There were like four million waves. About 200 runners were released at a time, every 5 minutes. So basically our wave time meant nothing. We didn’t actually cross the start until after 10:00.

I guess that’s fine though because I don’t usually have a personal photographer with me, so I took advantage of that.

Plus, there were fun things to look at while we were waiting.

I really thought we’d be walking most of the race with a pregnant lady in tow, but since she couldn’t participate, the group ended up running the whole thing. Hubs LOVED that. He loves running. Just loves it. And by loves, I mean hates with every fiber of his being.

My new favorite picture.

Poor baby ran 3 miles and got pelted with color.

The race was mostly on grass on a curvy path around the fairgrounds. There were four color stations – two of them were cornstarch powder and two of them were liquid (did not expect that). Plus there was one right at the finish shoot where they were handing out color bombs (plastic pouches of powdered color). There was such a haze of powder at the end, that I didn’t even notice the photographer until I almost ran him over. But I finished and now I can say I did a color run.

So while I loved seeing old friends, I think the race is a lot of hype. I much prefer obstacle races. I probably wouldn’t do another color run but I know others that thought it was the best time of their lives. Maybe this is just the grumpy, old woman in me talking. Next thing you know, I’ll be telling some teenager to pull up their pants.

I do have a few suggestions if you’re thinking of doing one:

1)  Know you’re running for fun. This is not a serious race. I would say half the people were walking. There are also a lot of people with strollers and little kids. So just be aware of that.

2)  The color stains. My stomach is still pink after a shower and hub’s neck is still purple.

3)  Bring a Ziploc bag for your phone/camera if you’re going to carry one.

4)  Run it with a bunch of friends. The more the better. I think I would have hated this race if I wasn’t running with a bigger group like I was. The friends make the race.

That’s cutie pie, Sara, from my group. She let me steal this from her Instagram.

I came. I saw. Now I’ll go back to half marathons. Smile

Meh

I ran the Winter Park Road Race 10k on Saturday. I ran it last year too which makes this is my second 10k. Seems weird with all the races I do to have only run two.

I was so not there mentally for this race. I actually forgot I needed a race bib until I was walking to the start and saw someone with one on. Thank goodness they had packet pickup there because it never crossed my mind that I needed one. I didn’t even take any pictures – except one – of trees that look like carrots.

So there you go. My photographic evidence. Perfect.

The race just bummed me out. The last time I remember being bummed about a race was for my first marathon. It poured rain for 30 minutes beforehand, so I was soaked, never felt good, and spent the entire time dodging puddles and being annoyed that the course took us over every freakin’ rolling hill in Winter Park. After I crossed the finish line, I picked up my “medal” and walked my pouty ass straight to the car.

I haven’t been running much since my half a month ago – about 2 or 3 miles a week. On top of that, I’m still sick and probably shouldn’t have run anyway. With that said, I PRed by close to two minutes (1:02:10) but I didn’t feel good doing it, so I don’t really care. Running and I are going on a break until it loves me again. /PoutFest

The day got exponentially better after I got some highlights.

That mop has been neglected for a year.

The day got even better later that night when I got to see my BFF4E’s new house and have a couple beers. Probably not the best idea while taking antibiotics, but I’m a crazy rule breaker like that.