Tag Archives: 3M Half Marathon

3M Half Marathon 2016

If you run a race and don’t blog about it, did it really happen?

I’ve been swamped with homework and general life happenings the past couple weeks, so this post is coming at cha a couple weeks late. Long story short: I ran the 3M Half Marathon at the last minute because YOLO. While I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I will YOLO more this year. And YOLO I did.

The week of the race started off with little food poisoning on Wednesday from (most likely) a mahi sandwich the day before. By Thursday, I was feeling 70% better, which left me 30% dumb enough to book a flight to Austin on Friday morning for the 3M Half Marathon on Sunday. Online registration closed on Wednesday, so I had to wait for registration to open back up at the Expo and hope it didn’t sell out by the time I got there. So I basically ran the most expensive half ever by paying double because I registered late and by booking a flight two days in advance. But it was worth it, cuz this girl.

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That was Friday night. My plane landed and I literally Ubered to a bar to meet Melissa and her co-workers. I also had the best Uber driver because he asked me if I wanted to plug my music into his stereo to “get the party started.” How did he KNOW?

Anyway, it took my stomach a few days to recover from the food poisoning. Any time I ate, I didn’t feel so hot afterwards.  Luckily that cleared up on Saturday, right in time for this.

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My race day eve burger from The Silo on 7th. Which might change to a race day eve white rice and saltine cracker because…race morning, I woke up feeling OK but it didn’t take long for my stomach to decide otherwise. I made it to the start but the tummy trouble made it impossible for me to eat OR DRINK during the race. Thankfully it was cool out that morning or I probably would have died trying to make it to a banana at the finish.

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Overall, the race OK. There were no emergency runs to the bathroom so I’ll call that a win any day. My stomach definitely affected my speed. The faster I ran, the worse I felt which was such a bummer because I kept thinking about how MAGICAL my race was last time I ran 3M. Still, I’ve felt and done worse so I’m ok with it.

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I finished and that’s what counts. My medal glows in the dark, which also counts for something.

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I finished in 2:17:25. Six minutes slower than my race the week before.

Post race consisted of a delightful brunch at Jack Allen’s (minus the woman who licked her fingers and then touched the serving spoon *shudder*), many mimosas and Deep Eddy peach/sweet tea drinks, and then sadness because I had to fly home. Because let’s face it, I was in Austin for the company more than anything else.

I have one more half this season coming up on March 5, which Melissa will also be running. I swear I have seen her more in the past 8 months than I have seen some friends that live in town. Not that I’m complaining!

Plan for the next race: I have no idea. I’m upping speed training and hoping it’s not to late for it to affect my race time for a race that’s in 3 weeks.

 

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What Went Right

I mentioned all the wrong things I did before my race, but somehow it still went well. It just goes to show that you can do everything right or everything wrong and it just comes down to the luck of the draw on race day. But, I thought that I must have done some things right in there somewhere. So, I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what those were and this is what I came up with:

1. I ate a LOT of carbs.

I normally try to eat low carb and I never carb load before a race. I’m a chicken breast, salad, and veggies kinda girl. That’s also what I’ll eat before a race because it’s normal for me. There have been times when I’ve eaten outside the norm and ended up in three port-o-potties, so I try to avoid it. This time it was a free-for-all of burgers, fries, and cookies – way more than I normally eat. I think this worked because I ate my big meal of the day for lunch instead of dinner. < — lots of time to digest

2. I drank a ton of water.

Alright, I’m going to give away my trade secret. I never have hangovers when I drink alcohol because I always drink one (big) glass of water for every drink I have. It always works. I tried to do that Friday night but the fun took over and it didn’t work out so well, so I knew I needed to make up for it on Saturday. Once I woke up, I started chugging water. I refilled my 16.9 oz bottle eight times and that doesn’t include the big water I had with lunch, a 32 oz unsweetened tea, and a can of sparkling water. So, I made sure I was hydrating all day.

3. I wore my Camelbak.

I know Camelbaks aren’t for everyone and some people like to hold water bottles instead, but this is what works for me because I hate running with anything in my hand and there are never enough water stops during a race. I stopped wearing my Camelbak over a year ago because I thought it was responsible for my shoulder pain. Turns out that I had an inflammation and it wasn’t the Camelbak afterall. So I filled it up with half water and half Powerade Zero and sipped on it throughout the race. Then I used the water stops as an additional reminder to drink more.

4. I did light workouts the week of the race.

Alright, this should be a no-brainer. But when I looked back at my Daily Mile for last week’s race, I had done six workouts. While I normally work out that often, that week included two hard Crossfit workouts and speedwork on Friday. So, no wonder I was ass-tired on Sunday during that race.

Before 3M, I worked out Monday (Crossfit), Tuesday (2 easy miles), and Thursday (5 easy miles). I even cancelled my Wednesday Crossfit workout just to make sure I wasn’t going to be sore in any way. The rest of the week was spent on the couch, including most of the day before the race.

5. The weather was perfect.

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My runs are always better in cold, overcast weather. I breathe better, sweat doesn’t drip into my eyes, and it puts me in a good mood. I would rather freeze my ass off in a race than be hot any day.

So there you have it. Some things actually did work in my favor and I’ll definitely try to repeat them next time around.

 

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Race Review: Austin 3M Half Marathon

So about that half marathon I ran on Sunday.

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If you read yesterday’s post, you know I did some kick ass preparation for this race. That preparation included no PRP (<— anyone remember that one?) the day before or the day of the race, so I was pretty sure I was doomed.

I woke up at 5:00am, had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast, stuffed another PB&J in my sports bra for the race (now dubbed “boob food” by Brad), and decided to bring my Camelbak out from its year and a half long hibernation (half water/half Powerade Zero).

Melissa, Brad, and I left for the race around 6:00pm, parked about a block from the race, and sat in the car with the heat on until the last minute. We made our way to the corral about 15 minutes before the start.

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I tried to get Melissa and Brad to snuggle with me for warmth but they insisted on dropping me off at my pace marker so they could get to their own. Rude. So, I stood and froze for about 10 minutes before the race started with no one to snuggle (it was about 40°F).

Oh, I also decided to bring my Garmin. I know I said I was going to leave it home but Melissa kinda talked me into bringing it. I figured if anything, I could use it to keep from starting out too fast.

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I decided to start the race conservatively and see how it went from there because I was not in the mood for another crap race like last week. (I don’t normally post my mile times, but I want to look back on this for the next potential PR race.)

  • Mile 1: 10:02
  • Mile 2: 9:39
  • Mile 3: 9:37
  • Mile 4: 9:20

I kicked on some music at mile 2 and was feeling pretty good (i.e. no stomach issues and I didn’t feel like poking my eyes out with a fork). I mean, the course wasn’t much to look at but the weather was perfect for running and sometimes that’s all you need.

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The course had some rolling hills but was mostly net downhill.

  • Mile 5: 9:14
  • Mile 6: 9:24
  • Mile 7: 9:06

At mile 7, I got a little misty because I was still feeling so good. I’ve never felt that good during a race before. Then I reminded myself how lame it is to cry at mile 7 and pulled it together like a champ. Around this time is where races usually start going downhill for me and where music starts getting annoying and I have to turn it off. So I was really appreciating it.

  • Mile 8: 9:12
  • Mile 9: 9:24
  • Mile 10: 9:09

Mile 10 went by and I still wasn’t tired. At all. So I tried to push the speed a little more because I really thought I had a chance at a sub-2 at this point.

I was a little worried about mile 8.9 – 10.4. According to the elevation chart, it was all uphill but I didn’t even notice it. It was mile 12 that was a real bitch.

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Once I saw mile 12 in person, I was not amused.

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(By the way, both those course pictures were taken while running with the new camera I got for Christmas. I think those are the first non-blurry race pics I’ve ever taken.)

I knew I had to speed up if I was going to sub-2 and I really tried to sprint that thing, but damn, it was steep. Somewhere during mile 12, I knew the sub-2 wasn’t happening so I changed my goal to a PR (anything below 2:02:41).

  • Mile 11: 8:56
  • Mile 12: 9:05
  • Mile 13: 8:54

I really tried. But it didn’t happen. Finish time: 2:03:20…40 seconds short. Man, so close.

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After the race, I collected my medal and a woman came up to me and thanked me for pacing her. (!)

Who? Me? A pacer? BAD ASS. <—- coolest moment of the race

I circled back past the finish and waited for Melissa and Brad to come in. I was freezing at this point so I was never so happy to see them run down the finish chute.

Brad got a 30 minute PR!

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So, this wasn’t a scenic race and I didn’t PR, but it was still the best half I’ve ever run. I ran it 15 minutes faster than my race last week, five minutes faster than my race last month, and it’s my second fastest half marathon.  My PR race was in March 2011, so I have been waiting a long time to come close to that again.

While I would have loved to sub-2 or PR and I keep thinking, “if I wasn’t so conservative at the beginning, I would have had it,” I’m not disappointed in my time because this is the only race where I felt amazing during every mile. I never got tired, I never walked or stopped at a water station, and I never fueled because I felt like I had so much energy the whole time. Awesome.

This was also a point-to-point race, which I’ve never done before, and they are now my absolute favorite.

After the race, we stopped at Kerby Lane Cafe for brunch. I had a chocolate coffee to fat warm up.

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We waited 45 minutes for a table, but it was worth it. This hot mess is an English muffin with scrambled eggs, bacon, tomato, avocado, and a vat of queso on top. Delicious.

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The three of us also shared three different flavors of pancakes (gingerbread, pumpkin, and peanut butter banana with Nutella) since I had to try them all. And really, it’s all about me.

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The pumpkin won the taste-off. Oh, and when I say we “shared” those pancakes, I mean I ate most of them because Melissa and Brad were too full.

Psh. Like too full is a thing.

I had an amazing trip. Thank you Melissa and Brad for being awesome hosts and to Melissa for letting me wear all her clothes, eat all her food, and use all her bathroom products because JetBlue decided my luggage was better off in Orlando.

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Worst Laid Plans?

Remember when I said that there were two exceptions to my non-drinking rule for the month of January? Yeah. So, one of those nights was Friday.

I seriously love Austin. It’s a town I would consider moving to. Plus, Texans are just so proud of where they live. That’s so cool. You never hear people say, “you know what’s awesome? Florida!”

Anyway, Friday afternoon I flew out to visit cutie pie Melissa. She picked me up from the airport and we went back to her place to chill for a little bit and collect her man, Brad, so we could grab some dinner. We went to The Park where I forgot to take pictures, but the food was amazing so you’ll just have to take my word for it. If you go there, get the green chili mac and the fried pickles. I don’t even like fried pickles all that well, but they were so good that I ate them all off Melissa and Brad’s plates. I knew Brad for about an hour at that point, so I’m sure he appreciated me putting my grubby fingers all over his food without asking.

After dinner, we headed to Lustre Pearl for drinks. Lustre Pearl sells moonshine, so of course we had to get a Lustre Lemonade (strawberry-infused moonshine) to go with our shots of Fireball.

Moonshine tastes like vodka. Or maybe the lemonade disguised the flavor? I don’t know. Just know, it was delicious.

After Lustre Pearl, we ended up going to four or five other places that night. It was fun. I’m not even going to talk about how many drinks I had, but whatever number is in your head right now, it’s probably more. It was one of those nights where you look back on the pictures the next morning and think you may have had too much fun.

So yeah, all that happened.

Saturday morning, we hit up the expo for our race packets. This is about the weirdest (and most useful) swag bag I’ve ever seen.

The swag was basically all stuff you would normally buy and had nothing to do with running. The race is sponsored by 3M, a company who manufactures all those products, so it’s nice to get something I will actually use instead of a mini-bottle of eye drops and a granola bar I’ll never eat.

After the expo, we headed over to Hopdoddy for lunch.

I continued my terrible eating from the night before with one of the top three best burgers I’ve had in my life. Plus, a ton of fries. No fry was left behind.

Then I washed that down with a red velvet whoopie pie.

Saturday night, Melissa made dinner for a small running blogger get together. I made a short-lived effort to be healthy by eating a black bean burger (minus the bun) and a small salad, but then I topped it with a ton of sweet potato fries and (literally) 13 Christmas cookies. I mean, I know 13 cookies is wrong. I do. But it’s like they were daring me.

Let’s not focus on that and instead focus on these awesome bloggers I got to meet. 🙂

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From the left, that’s Melissa, Moi, Courtney, and Chelsea. And I totally stole that picture from Chelsea. Also, Courtney’s husband Lucas was there too. He managed to evade the camera but it should be noted that he ran the half in 1:15! Crazy.

Anyway, what I’m saying here is, I did everything wrong for this race. Everything. But somehow it ended up being the best half I’ve ever run. I’m still a little surprised.

I’ll tell ya about it tomorrow. 🙂

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3M Race Plan

I’ve been keeping my fall 2012 race schedule pretty low-key after last year’s nine race burn-out. Currently, I’m registered for exactly two races: the Tower of Terror 10-miler at the end of this month and the Space Coast half at the end of November.

I don’t necessarily have a plan to register for more races, I’m just kind of playing things by ear. A couple weeks ago, this girl suggested I run the 3M Half Marathon with her.

After completely over-thinking it, I decided to register today. That means I’ll be heading back to Austin in January and running my first race in Texas. (I can cross another race state off my list!)

Anyone else running 3M?

I’m pretty happy about this decision mainly because the course is going to be an instant personal record.  I’ve already decided I’m going to pad myself in bubble wrap and roll down down to the finish.

I know what you’re thinking. There’s some uphill in that race too. Well, I also have a plan for that. Once the incline starts, I’m going to hop on my filly.

Thank goodness I don’t have to leave her at home this time. She hates that.

So that’s the plan.

I expect that I’ll have a good chance of placing in my age category.

 

 

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