Soaring Wings 1/2 Marathon Race Report

We did it, we finished our half marathon!  Lots of folks PR’d, including me, Kim and Brenda.  It was a good course for the most part and well organized.  Tammy our newest member in our running family completed her first 1/2 marathon and we are super proud!  She hung in there even though the most she has run is 10 miles.  Here is a great picture of Tammy and Kim before the race – Tammy on the left, Kim on the right.

Tammy and Kim - Before the Race

Tammy and Kim - Before the Race

Kim finished in 1:53:XX, me 2:04:57 and Tammy 2:04:58, yep she hung in there every step of the way, i thought she was going to give it up and start walking when we were about 1 mile away, but I reminded her she would get a medal and she kept going 🙂

We picked up Tammy at Target at 6:15 am and headed to Conway, it was very chilly outside, I never checked the temp before I left, guessing low 40’s.  It was a guessing game as to what to wear, but I ended up with capri running pants, tank, tech top, gloves and headband, it was fine.  We arrived in Conway around 7:00 and started looking for parking, we ended up at a church and then walking several blocks to the McGee Center, picked up our packets and timing chip when we found out how to get in the back way to the McGee Center, the front entrance was blocked.  We walked those chilly blocks back to Kim’s car, and then parked much closer to the Start/Finish Line, put on our bibs/chips, took some pictures, used the bathroom, talked to lots of Cabot girls – Andrea, Annette, Jane, Jackie, Michele, Lisa and Tala, I don’t know where Tala lives…

We headed back to Kim’s car to get our fuel belts when we heard the announcement to start heading to the Start line, oh boy, I didn’t want to take my jacket off, I was nice and warm.  We headed to the Start Line and got right up front, even though it was chip timing there was no start mat, so when the gun went off that was the start time.  We ran into Marda who also runs with the Little Rock Marathon Group, she is super fast and finished at 1:45, or 1:42.  She stood up front with us until the gun went off, and off went Kim and Marda, we never saw them again!

The course had a few hills, and some nice flat areas, you know how races are everyone takes off like crazy and then you start passing people.  Love it!  Tammy and I kept our pace, we were a tad bit fast in the beginning, but my goal was to be somewhere between 2:00 – 2:15, so I had it in my head that I could slow down if I needed to after the half way point, but we only slowed a bit, we were pretty consistent.

We both took some fuel around mile 5, Tammy had GU and I had some Honey Stinger Chews, I had half my bag and was good to go.  Once we got halfway I knew we could finish and we weren’t slowing much, the hills at around mile 7 were quite large, but it then leveled out in some ritzy neighborhood.  Since I had my fuel belt I never had to stop for water, I really prefer to take my own anyway, I can drink when I want and as I need it.  They had quite a bit of crowd support considering it was the Inaugural race, everyone very friendly, great traffic control too.

At mile 10 I could feel myself getting tired, going up the hills was really making my breathing difficult to get under control.  Normally I can get up the hill and then recover on the downhill, toward the end that was not happening, it was taking a lot longer for me to recovery, the downhills just weren’t enough, I couldn’t stop though.  I really could have used a bathroom stop around that time too, but I was afraid to stop, afraid I wouldn’t be able to get moving again, I had only semi-walked one time and I was trying to clip my gloves on my fuel belt, I wasted about 15 seconds early in the race.

Thank goodness for Tammy, we kept each other on pace, which really helped me, I know I might have taken a little walk break or two if she hadn’t been there.  I can’t believe she had such a good time for her first 1/2 marathon.  I hope she enjoyed it!

Once we were less than a mile out from the finish, Jane passed us, she was moving today!!  I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch her, and really, I didn’t want to.  She had a great finish time, I don’t know if it was a PR for her or not, as you are running toward the McGee Center you can hear the announcer and see the runners running to the finish, I could see both Jane and Tala, I think they both were about 2:02 or 2:03.  When we made that turn toward the finish we could see the clock, I said to Tammy “COME ON – WE CAN BEAT 2:05” and we did!!  Just barely, but we did!!

She seemed very happy, shoot I was very happy, my last 1/2 marathon was St. Jude’s in December of last year 2:28:55, so 24 minutes faster!!  I don’t know where it came from or how I got any faster, but apparently I did.  I now have my own record to break, I don’t know if that will happen this year when I run St. Jude’s again, right now I’m just enjoying today’s victory!

Here are our splits –

  1. 9:26
  2. 9:26
  3. 9:20
  4. 9:26
  5. 9:34
  6. 9:38
  7. 9:43
  8. 9:29
  9. 9:25
  10. 9:22
  11. 9:28
  12. 9:36
  13. 9:30
Me and Tammy - After the Race

Me and Tammy - After the Race

Tammy at the Finish Line

Tammy at the Finish Line

Me and Kim Pre-Race

Me and Kim Pre-Race

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Friday – Finally

Finally Friday and the Soaring Wings 1/2 Marathon is tomorrow, am I ready?  Not so much.  Too late now, I’ll drag my booty to the start and give it my best shot, hopefully the stars will be aligned, the wind will be calm and no one will trip me!

This mornings run was chilly, 46 degrees, and windy, I was anxious to begin running just so I could get warmed up.  Kim couldn’t run with me this morning, her and hubby Ben were heading to Lead Hill to pick up a truck or something like that.  It was a lonely dark run without her!

I was feeling pretty good this morning, except for my face freezing, I think I dressed just right for once, only one slight problem, my running pants kept slipping down, I bought them last year, I’ve lost a couple of pounds since then,  they were very bothersome, I also had on a tank, long sleeve tech top, gloves, headband.  I never took off any of it, didn’t even push my sleeves up.  This was a good test for tomorrow, except I won’t be wearing these Nike pants 😦 .

Twice during my run I almost sprained my ankle, left and right, once on a crack in the pavement, just too dark, and then pulling my pants up and trying to run and just rolled my “bad” right ankle, that scared me, it rolled right under, and I thought, OH NO, I’ve done it now!!  I just kept running for about a 1/10 of a mile, no pain, I did stop to see if there was any swelling, nope, YIPPEE!!  I had not done any damage.  Somewhere in the back of my mind I was thinking, is my subconscious trying to sabotage me so I don’t have to run that 1/2 marathon tomorrow?  could be.

I just couldn’t wait to get home, I pushed it just a little, I was only running 5 miles, but couldn’t wait to get out of the cold, yes I know 46 is not that cold, but to me it was cold, I was thinking, I can’t wait for summer!  Shorts and a tank, that’s all you need in the summer, none of this headband, gloves, layers of clothing, pants falling down, and it only gets worse as winter rolls in, oh yeah, it’s not even winter yet.

Today’s run – 5 miles – 48:43 – avg pace – 9:45, pretty respectable, if I can do that for the 1/2 marathon tomorrow, I’ll be happy.  Right now I’m hoping for 10:00 mile average, that will give me between a 2:11 and 2:15 finish time, depending on how accurate the course is, meaning is it actually 13.1 miles or 13.4 miles? Anyway, that’s my goal, around 2:15.  Wish me luck!  We’ll have a good time regardless, new girl Tammy is running her first half and she is all pumped up, or she will be after the ride over with me and Kim!!  Race report tomorrow!

Winter Weight

Today on the Runners Lounge the topic is Running and Weight, how to maintain, weight loss tips, etc.

Well, I have lost weight by running, not a lot, but I never needed to lose a lot of weight.  I do have a tendency to put on some winter weight, some insulation if you will, it’s difficult for me to do a lot of running in the winter, because I hate winter, I hate the cold, I’d rather find some comfort food, or hot chocolate and a blanket and curl up on the couch.

How can I keep those winter pounds from piling on, SOUP, low-sodium, or homemade, turkey chili, chicken noodle, vegetable, anything really, I do stay away from cream based soups, too fattening, it’s a staple for me in the winter.  Also, a spring Marathon, since I’ll have to train through the winter, if I have a schedule I’ll stick to it, if I don’t have a goal I’m more likely to find excuses not to run.

I lose about 100 calories per mile I run, the way I figure it, I run 5-6 miles a day and a semi-long run on the weekend, I still can’t eat anything I want, people think I can, but I can’t.  I can throw in some chocolate every once in a while, or go out and eat an order of french fries, it just doesn’t happen very often.  I’d love to be able to buy a bag of Pepperidge Farms Milano cookies and eat them all in one sitting, not happening.

Breakfast – I eat a bowl of oatmeal or a Fiber One bar, I have pretzels for a mid-morning snack.

Lunch – most of the time it’s a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread, low-fat swiss, mustard, Baked Lays and 60 calorie pudding cup.  I always need an afternoon snack, usually 1/2 a peanut butter sandwich or fruit, depends on what I have on hand.

Dinner – I have been on a fish kick, throw a piece of fish on the George foreman and frozen veggies in the microwave plus a salad.  Takes all of 5 minutes!  If I don’t have fish available I’ll do chicken with veggies, lately no salad, cause the quality has been horrible.  Sometimes for dinner or lunch I’ll substitute a Lean Cuisine Pannini and then winter comes and I introduce soup back into the mix.

Not a huge variety, but it’s what keeps my weight about the same year round, it also keeps my stomach under control, I’ve been known to have bouts of uh ohs and those are absolutely no fun while running.

Oh, and for sweets – Skinny Cows – every night after dinner.  Oh, and cookies after a race, I wish every race would have cookies for a post race snack, I don’t know what it is after a race or long run that makes a cookie so yummy, I don’t want pizza, I want cookies!

After I read this over the second/third time, I realize I’m not getting near enough fruits and veggies, so I’m going to add some sort of fruit at lunch.

Running Rut?

Kim and I ran this morning, it was warmer, 57 degrees, we were a contradiction in dress, I had on long shorts and a tech t-shirt, she had on capri’s and a long sleeve tech top.  I was chilly at first but warmed up quickly.  My heart rate was too high today and I couldn’t get it together, I struggled throughout our entire 6 miles, but especially the end.  How am I going to run 13.1 miles on Saturday?  I think I’m in a running rut.  I’ve noticed my speed going down, my endurance too.  I just don’t want to do it.  Maybe because I don’t have a goal right now, I guess I need to set some sort of goal and that might help get me out of this running rut I’m steadily running in.

I ran 6 miles, average pace 10:16, average heartrate 161, way too high, hard to work harder when your heart is about to bust!  Kim had 9 miles on her schedule for today so she continued to run after I turned off at the alley.  We enjoyed coffee and my antics about getting scared last night, Charlie’s Angels style.

I have a new favorite show on the tube – Fringe – it’s on Fox Tuesday nights at 8pm CST.  LOVE IT.  I usually Tivo it and watch the next day during lunch, as I did today.  They have limited length commercials and actually tell you “Fringe will return in 60 seconds”.  It’s just my kind of Suspense Thriller I love, if you haven’t watched it, you should check it out.  There is a different story each week so you don’t have to know what happened last week to start watching.  The characters are good, unknowns to me.  It’s all Bio-Terroism, Science, Medical Mystery, Girl Kick Ass FBI agent kind of stuff.  If you ever watched 24 on Fox and like it, you’ll love this, even though it’s not the same, just that sort of edge of your seat stuff.

Cold front moving through tonight, yippee, can you hear the excitement in my voice, yeah right.  I hate winter, hate. it.  I think I’ll try and run tomorrow after work around the lake, change of pace, HA!!

Day of Rest

I may not be putting in a ton of miles each week, but after running 7 days in a row I was ready for today, a day of rest from running.  Kim and I ran yesterday morning, we both wanted to run 6 miles, what were we thinking??  We were both tired and it was only Monday.  Mondays are always bad run days, don’t know why, maybe because we push ourselves a little too much on the weekend?  I ran hard on Saturday, but not so much on Sunday, even though I did run.  I guess the hub-bub of life always puts a toll on our bodies as well.

My legs are happy today, no running, even though I’ll probably get out and rake leaves after work.  Speaking of, this raking all the time is a big pain in the butt.  Since I’ve moved into this older neighborhood, lots of trees, I wasn’t used to that at my old house, it was a new area so they cleared out most of the trees.  Seems like I’m raking leaves all the time.  Also, I’m thinking the 3 hoodlums that stopped by my house on Friday prior to my house being broken into asking to rake leaves may have had something to do with the break in.  I told them to come back in a couple of weeks.  Haven’t seen them since and I had never seen them before.

This Saturday is the Soaring Wings 1/2 Marathon in Conway, it will be cold, Friday night’s low temperature, 41 degrees, BRRRR, I hate running when it’s that cold, why couldn’t it be 50?  It will be okay, when it’s over.  Lots of people I know will be running, Kim, Annette, Brenda and new running buddy Tammy.  This will be Tammy’s first 1/2 Marathon, she hasn’t been training for it, but she will do great.  Me?  Who knows, I’m hoping for 2:20, if it’s not too hilly.  If it’s less than 2:30 it’ll be a PR, so there.

A little good news, I turned my heat on and it didn’t blow up, YIPPEE, I let it take the chill off in the house and turned it back off, save that money!

Back to work.

Oh, one more rant, put collars on your dogs, even if they are inside dogs, I was once again faced with two strays on Sunday, fat little things, but no collars.  They were obviously well fed, but not well taken care of, one looked like it had a horrible skin condition that had gone untreated for some time.  I knocked on a strangers door and asked if they would call someone to pick them up before they got run over, I didn’t see them the next day, hopefully they are back home or at least safe.

I have a lot to say

But I don’t feel like saying it, everything SUCKS!!

  • Flushed my toilet and the washing machine gurgled
  • Ran 8 miles with the Little Rock Marathon Group on Saturday, tried to find Tammy, no luck
  • Shopped for Sis’s Birthday present
  • Cleaned House
  • Washed Clothes and my bathtub backed up with water
  • Cold running this morning by myself – 45 degrees – wanted to run about 10 miles, ran 5.25, I SUCK!
  • Used the bathroom at the Old Mill so I won’t back up any more water in the house
  • Going to my Sister’s today to drop off Birthday gift
  • Gotta call a Plumber – $$$$$$$$$$$
  • Running the Soaring Wings 1/2 Marathon next weekend, don’t even know if I can run 13.1 miles, may crash and burn around 10, it will be about a month since the 20K, we shall see
  • Scared to turn on the heat in my house, it’ll probably blow up, or not come on at all

That’s it, I’m a whiner today, I hate everything, can you say P for PITY PARTY?  I’m having one.

Which way to Run?

Okay, here’s the thing, when I’m running on the streets I run toward traffic, not with my back to the traffic, they could plow me over and I’d never see it coming.  So, which way should I be running?  I say toward traffic and that’s what all my running buddies do too.  But, last night I decided to run around the Lake and through the ‘hood’, well decided is not a good word, I had to make myself run, literally make myself put on running clothes.

Anyway, more than a couple of times I’m running in the left hand lane toward traffic and here comes this runner dude, right at me, so he’s running on the wrong side, in my opinion, who moves?  Well I did, I moved toward the center and he kept running, slight hand wave.  I thought you idiot, you’re going to get run over.

Next encounter I’m down on Lakeshore Drive right by the lake, it’s a skinny street, no sidewalks, I’m running on the left as usual and I see this couple up ahead running side by side on the right hand side, with traffic.  I’m catching up with them and here comes this huge Dodge truck, so he has to dodge both of us, he almost plows me over and I’m sure he’s thinking I’m in the wrong, the couple didn’t even go single file, they stayed side by side.  I wanted to scream “hey you almost got me killed”, but no I just kept going.

Once I got up past the Old Mill and on my way home another swing and a miss, people running on the wronog side or am I running on the wrong side?  I’m not changing.  I want to be able to see who is about to plow me down!  I can’t stand that feeling of hearing a car, but not knowing how close they are to me.  Scary.

This morning was the coldest morning of the Fall, 46 degrees, Brrrr… Kim had a Memorial service to attend and couldn’t run, I made arrangements to meet LeAnn at the Lake at 6:30 for our 5 mile loop, I haven’t run with her in ages, we used to run with each other all the time, we trained and  ran our first 1/2 Marathon together, the memories, the struggles!!  I remember the first time we ran to 4 miles, we hugged, I think I even teared up, we were so excited to get to that 4 miles, I remember the exact spot on the River Trail and ever time I pass that spot I mention it to whoever I’m with.  I hope we can run more together, it’s just our schedules are so different now….

The run started off cold, but we warmed up pretty quickly, I dressed just right for once, capri pants, tank and long sleeve tech top, gloves and a head band.  The gloves never came off, the head band came down cause it was bugging the crap out of me, but by that time I was warm.  I did push my sleeves up, but they came back down when we got close to home, the wind had picked back up and I felt chilled.  Our run was really nice, it was like we had been running together all along.  Lots of catching up to do, so lots of talking, the run went by really quick.  We ended up with a little over 5 miles at an average pace of 10:28, it was not slow, which LeAnn said it would be, it was just fine.  I’ve never been a speedy runner, I just need the miles to keep off the winter fat!

Not sure what the weekend holds, tomorrow the Little Rock Marathon Training group will be meeting at the River Market, which means the River Trail, but it also means the Farmer’s Market, I think they are still open.  We shall see.