Category Archives: Races

Rock and Roll VA Beach Half Marathon

I also like to think of this as the WORST race experience ever. My performance wasn’t terrible, all things considered,  but I know I could have squeaked out another sub-2 considering my training. Anyways…the RNR VA Beach race actually took place over Labor Day weekend (so yeah…in September…3 months ago), but I think it’s worth recapping, especially since it played a roll in my training for the full.

I was pumped about the race because it was my first RNR race, and I had always wanted to run one. I’ve heard mixed things about RNR, that they’re kind of cookie-cutter-big-box type races, but I LOVE a race with a big crowd and a lot of support just as much as I love a small-I-can-place-in-my-age-group race (and that has to be SMALL for that to happen). I was planning to run the race with one of my Marathon Training Team (MTT) buds, Katie, since she and I both hoped for sub-2s. And my good friend Meredith was also running, despite not having much training. Just a fun run for her.

Meredith and I went to the expo together on Saturday and had a grand ole time looking around. We got TONS of free samples of stuff (and about 50 fortune cookies, thanks to PF Chang’s being a sponsor). I also loved the Brooks area (they’re the presenting sponsor), especially since they had my beloved Pure Cadence shoes on a very deserving pedestal.

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Read to ROCK.

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Pure beauty. I actually ended up buying ANOTHER pair of Pure Cadence at the expo…the blue/green pair was on ridiculous sale in my size, and I couldn’t pass them up. I love those shoes.

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Perfect.

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Free PEAS! Yum. And yes, I think it’s fair to say I’m often motivated by wine.

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I wish I ran a 2:03…

So after the expo we went back to our hotel, which was actually quite far from the starting line. It was almost impossible to find a room in VA Beach that weekend that wasn’t insanely expensive (like $250+ per night for a CRAPPY little place) or that required a 3 night minimum (because of the holiday weekend). But we were lucky to find the VA Beach Hotel and Conference Center, which is actually on the sound side of the water (I think it’s a sound??). It was a nice place on the waterfront, reasonably priced, and only about 15 minutes from the main strip of VA Beach.

The next morning we got up bright and early and very quickly got the fear of God in our eyes when we saw this…

ImageThis pic was taken right after the race, but it was 97% humidity the entire race too.

The humidity was out of control. When we woke up it was somewhere close to 92% humidity already, and in the high 70s. I knew at that moment that I was probably in trouble, despite having trained in the VA humidity for several months already. Running in the humidity is the WORST…there are only so many layers you can reasonably take off. At least in the bitter cold you can bundle up.

Bri dropped us off near the start with enough time for us to run into McDonald’s for a last minute bathroom stop. Then Meredith and I split ways to find our respective corrals and I met up with Katie.

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Me and Meredith. Scared but smiling. And it looks like I have a massive sock bun in my hair, but that’s actually just a tree.

The race started pretty normally and uneventfully. Katie and I managed to stay together for the first 3-4 miles, and were pacing conservatively so we didn’t burn out at the end of the race. We got separated at a water stop, and I waved for her to go ahead. I knew by mile 4 that a sub-2 was NOT going to happen unless I planned to pass out or die along the way, so I told myself to just keep pushing through and play each mile by ear.

By mile 8 I was already completely soaking wet with sweat. I had no idea my body was capable of such levels of sweat. It was gross. And I made sure I stopped at EVERY water stop (just for a short moment) to grab a cup of water to dump on my head and a cup of water to drink. I also drank Gatorade at every other stop. I figured it was foolish to pass up water in conditions like this.

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The race actually had a relay portion, so also around mile 8 there were a whole bunch of people who got to STOP and a whole bunch of people who got to start on fresh legs and only had 5 miles to do. This was a major downer for me and I really resented those people. The finish seemed SO far away and I was already feeling horribly tired.

I honestly have no idea how I managed to run the majority of the race. According to my Garmin, my moving time was actually pretty decent, somewhere in the 9:20s. The stopping at water stops sucked my time down quite a bit,  but I don’t think I would have been able to finish without them.

Around mile 10 I started to get an INSANE pain in my left foot. Like excruciating. The arch of my foot was stabbing me with pain and I was limping when I walked through the water stops. It was scary and horrible. However, I told myself to just keep going, and my foot actually felt BETTER when I was running. It started flaring up again around mile 12, but by that point I was pushing myself with my mind more than my body.

The race finishes on the VA Beach board walk which is nice and flat, but also cruel. You can SEE the finish line arch from just about a mile away, and it seems SO CLOSE. But my Garmin told me that I still had a ways to go, so I just put my head down and moved forward. I did manage to snap a happy photo though. This is the biggest BS smile I’ve ever given. I was hating life at that point…

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I ended up finishing in 2:07:32, which I think is pretty good all things considered. I threw the sub-2 dreams out the door early, and just focused on finishing. I was still faster than my first half marathon, so I’ll take that.

After crossing the finish line I knew my foot was in trouble. I couldn’t walk and it was SO painful. It felt very plantar fasciitis-esque. I got a bag of ice from the medical tent and then attempted to find Bri. When I did find him he took all my post-race stuff and we found a place to hang out while we waited for Meredith. Unfortunately we had to wait on the beach and I didn’t want to sit down…beach+soaking wet = incredible amounts of sand sticking everywhere. I ended up standing for a solid hour while we waited for Meredith. Turns out she also had incredible pain in her calves and could barely move forward. Poor thing!! But she did it!

ImageMeredith in pain.

On our way back to the hotel I couldn’t walk without a limp, and I felt like puking. It was horrible. The heat drained me of all energy and I was seriously worried about the foot. We went out to eat later and I couldn’t put any weight on the foot.

ImageHappy to be done, and totally favoring the left foot. Also, no idea why the heck I decided to wear jeans?? It was sweltering. But the race shirts are awesome.

All in all, I’d say the race was a good experience. I NEVER want to run it again for fear of the same terrible conditions, but at least the course was flat. I thought it was well managed and would have been a great race if the weather wasn’t so awful. Now I kind of want to run the Shamrock Half, also in VA Beach, but in MARCH, so the weather may actually cooperate.

Half marathon #4, success!

Tobacco Road Half Marathon Recap

AKA, 2 hours or BUST.

It’s been two weeks since I finished this race. And I haven’t taken a SINGLE step in another run. My neck is still on the outs, and it could be another month before I can run again. Major bummer. My new goal is to be ready for the Marathon Training Team on June 2nd! Even if I can’t run a single step until that day, I want to be there bright and early and kick that run in the butt.

I digress. On to the best half marathon ever created…

Finish line. This photo sums up my race quite nicely.

I started race morning bright and early at 4:30am. Brian and I spent the night at my parents’ condo in Raleigh and didn’t arrive until late on Saturday evening (I had a work event all Friday and Saturday AM…needless to say I didn’t get much rest). There was a HUGE thunderstorm on Saturday night, and it ended up waking me up a few times. I actually ended up waking up before my alarm and started to prep.

I decided to go the neon/awesome/sparkle route in terms of race attire. It made me faster.

Love.

By 5:45 I had the rest of the family up and ready to rock and roll (sort of) and we made our way to the start. The race organizers had sent out COUNTLESS emails about pre-race transportation. Apparently in 2011 the transportation system was a major disaster and lots of people ended up missing the start of the race. I’m happy to report that we had NO problem with parking. My parents, brother and Brian dropped me off around 6:15am and I had 45 minutes to kill on my own. From there they made their way to a viewing location with no problem. I know some shuttle buses were running people back and forth to a remote lot, and it seemed to be going well.

After I was dropped off I moseyed around a little bit and then found a spot amongst the crowd in an attempt to stay warm. It wasn’t super chilly, but just enough to make we want to huddle up in a crowd of body heat. I ended up meeting a super nice girl who was also on her own. We chatted for a solid 30 minutes and she gave me piece of gum. I chewed it the entire race (it made me faster).

The gun went of promptly at 7:00am and we were off. My game plan was to PASS the 2hour pacer, and gain a nice lead on him for the first half of a race. Unfortunately I started about 1 minute BEHIND the pacer so I was instantly worried about my plan. The first half of the race had a nice overall downhill, with a few NICE downhill parts.

I literally had this elevation profile memorized. I knew that in order to break 2 hours I would need to maintain as close to a 9 minute pace as possible. Obviously that would be a whole lot easier between miles 3-5 and 7-9 than during the last 5k of the race. I actually PLANNED to start out fast and use the hills to my advantage, so I could comfortably coast up the hills.

I stuck to my plan and ended up passing the 2 hour pacer about 1 mile into the race. At the turn-around I knew I was about 1:30 ahead of them, but the worst was yet to come. I crossed the half way point just as the clock was hitting 1 hour (and I knew I was 1 minute behind the clock). 2 hours was within reach if I could hustle through the 2nd half. I knew I had about 2 minutes of wiggle room.

At mile 9, things got hard. I started to slow down a bit but was determined to push through. Thankfully the uphill was pretty gradual so I didn’t notice it much. However, at mile 11 I ended up semi hitting a wall. My legs felt like death. And the 2 hour pacer passed right by me. I knew I had a little wiggle room (thanks Garmin!) but I wasn’t totally sure how much.

The end of the race was torture for me. I hustled as hard as I could, but I never quite caught up with the pacer. It was killing me to see them in front of me. But those darn hills at the end felt so.much.worse than they actually were.

I gave it everything I had the last half mile. I knew I had to push it to reach my goal; according to my Garmin timer I had right around 5 minutes to complete the last half mile +.1. That .1 nugget was uphill and I busted my booty to make it up.

Sub 2 or BUST.

I crossed the finish line and stopped my Garmin at 1:59:32 but wasn’t exactly convinced that I had done it. For some reason I thought maybe I had over estimated how far behind I started from the 2 hour pacer, and how much time had passed between me starting my Garmin and the actual start time. All of these thoughts were crossing my mind and I could barely breathe. I vaguely remember getting my medal and silver blanket. Then I spotted my dad, brother and Brian (not sure where mom was?!) and immediately burst into tears and gasps of breath. It took a moment of convincing, but they were all sure I had achieved my goal. It was a REALLY freaking good feeling.

Eventually I composed myself, got some tasty bread and we hauled butt out of there! On the car ride home I checked my splits:

Exactly what I had planned. And it worked.

Later that afternoon I got my official results:

1:59:29

Epically happy with that. My first half marathon in 2010 was 2:20 something, so this is such an awesome accomplishment. I also really enjoyed this race. It’s well organized, the pre-event communications are top notch and the course is fun. It’s mostly along the American Tobacco Trail which is a nice change of pace from typical road races. I really liked running through the forest on the man-made trail. Two thumbs up!

Next up, getting healthy in order to do it all again!

Mission Accomplished.

The Best 8k of My Life. Probably Forever.

The Roanoke Canal 8k. My new favorite race. And possibly my new favorite distance.

Bri and I signed up to run this 8k two weeks ago completely on a whim. I needed to squeeze in another 5-6 miler before the half and we were on our way to NC for my mom’s birthday. The race was on our way and just happened to be the perfect distance.

We ended up leaving Richmond around 5:30am the morning of the race. The start was about a 1.5 hour drive and we weren’t sure how easy it would be to park, pick up packets, etc., so we wanted to allow plenty of time. We ended up making two pit stops…once at WaWa for gas and some pre-race fuel and once for a pre-race potty break for me (so utterly important). We ended up arriving at the start area with about an hour to spare before the race, and easily found parking and got our bibs.

The race really featured a half marathon and the 8k was kind of secondary. The halfers took off at 8 and we spent the next 20 minutes staying warm in the car. Around 8:20 we made our way to the start, which was in the middle of a forest. Basically the entire run was on trails! It was super cool.

Brian really hoped to place in his age group (or even place overall) during this race, so he started out in the front of the pack. I found a comfortable spot near the middle and told myself to think of it as a training run. But, of course, 3 steps into the thing I decided I wanted to race.

I didn’t know this at the beginning but the 8k only had 91 participants. Super small. I think I started out in a good place in the pack. I was cruising along but didn’t feel like I was pushing too hard, and no one was really passing me.

Mile 1  – 8:47

I ended up passing 1 girl about my age during mile 1. I was a little worried that I was pushing too hard, but this didn’t feel super hard. There was a nice downhill that probably helped (although it turned into a not-so-nice-uphill on the way back).

Mile 2 – 8:37

I was feeling pretty darn good. I wasn’t getting passed and I didn’t want the girl from earlier to pass me. As I approached the turn around I kept my eyes peeled for Brian and he looked to be in about 6th place overall. I didn’t really notice what sort of position I was in since I was so focused on trying to find Brian.

Mile 3 – 8:55

Starting to slow down. The rolling hills were starting to get to me and I ended up being passed by a lady, but she was definitely older than me. There was no way I was going to keep up with her.

Mile 4 – 9:09

Totally focused on NOT being passed by anyone else. I didn’t want to turn around to see how close the next runner might be, so I just told myself to push it. Again, rolling hills were so nice during the first two miles, but killer at this point.

Mile 5 – 9:17

The uphill of doom. It was all I had to make it up this hill. Thankfully everyone else was seriously struggling, and I actually ended up passing a guy. He was having a hard time and I tried to encourage him, but I could barely breathe. At the top of the hill I was sure no one else would pass me, so I hoofed it to the finish line.

Hill of Doom

I found Brian at the end of the race and he was confident that he placed in his age group so we decided to stick around for the awards. We grabbed some snacks and pretty much just sat on our butts for 45 minutes. I snapped a whopping two photos with my iPhone…

When they finally started announcing awards, they went by age group and gender. Youngest to oldest, and ladies first in each category. They got to my age group, 20-29, and announced the 3rd place runner and her time. And holy crap, her time was SLOWER THAN MINE. I about threw up. Then then announced 2nd place AND IT WAS ME. Little old me. I PLACED in my AGE GROUP!!! I won a pint glass!! I was so surprised and excited. I really didn’t expect it and am SO GLAD I pushed myself a little bit. Brian also got 2nd in his age group (see, I am just as good a runner as he is!). So now we have a pretty matching set of pint glasses.

So, not only did I PR, I also won an award for my age group. I highly doubt that will ever happen again, but man oh man was it awesome.

I’m seriously considering framing this:

So my time would not really be that impressive in a bigger race, but it is still super cool for me. I’m NOT fast but I still went out there and pushed myself and had a great time doing it. Now I’m totally on the hunt for super tiny races to run…they are so much fun and less stressful than those MASSIVE races I tend to do (ahem, Monument 10k).

We’ll be back next year!

Yup, Another Race

I’d MUCH rather run a race than have to plan out my own routes.

Call me lazy, but it’s just so much easier to show up and run, rather than worry about fueling, traffic, getting lost and fighting boredom. This weekend is the start of my taper week for the March 18th half. It’s also my mom’s birthday, so that means traveling will be happening. Should I squeeze in the 6 before hitting the road? Wait until I’m down there? Wait until I’m back home? Nah, I’ll just find a race. WIN.

Unfortunately there was not a single 10k that I could find anywhere remotely close to my home in VA or my parents’ place in NC. BUT I did manage to find an 8k that is happening along the route that we take to NC. Not quite 6 miles, but still totally fine for a taper.

Enter, the Roanoke Rapids Canal 8k.

It’s a super small race that actually features a half marathon. From what I’ve read, it looks like most people will be running the half and the 8k is just a bit of an after thought. Fine with me…I just need to get the miles in! I actually convinced Brian to run with me as well. Last year there were TWO people in his age group, so he thinks he might have a shot at an age group award.

The course looks really beautiful and I’m excited to support a small “local” race. I’m also pretty much guarunteed a PR, since I’ve only done 2 other 8ks ever (one was a mud/loose sand run..finished in 1:27:44 and the other was a race that I was not trained for AT ALL…finished in 56:38). I am confident I can CRUSH those times.

The only downside to this race is that we have to wake up at the buttcrack of dawn to be in Roanoke Rapids in time to pick up our bibs and start the race. At least I’ll get more practice waking up super early before a race. That will come in handy for the 3:30am wake-up call on March 18th…dun dun dun!!!

 

A New 5k PR!

Oh hey February.

Thanks to several working weekends I’ve had a hard time updating this baby. But I’m back and happy to report a brand spankin’ new 5k PR!!

I ran the Plunge 5k last Saturday and was determined to beat my Phillies 5k time of 26:36. The run takes place on the VA Beach boardwalk, so it’s utterly FLAT. I knew it’d be a great course for a PR, even if I was more tired than usual while running it. I was up late working the few nights leading up to the race, so I was a little nervous that a PR wouldn’t be in the cards for me. But when race morning rolled around, I was surprisingly relaxed and ready to make it happen. I’ve had a few speedy-for-me long runs in the past few weeks, so I thought maintaining an uncomfortable pace for 3 short miles would be relatively realistic.

This whole race was mental for me. I told myself that 3 miles was NOTHING and I could push it pretty hard. I definitely started out too fast, but still managed to maintain a healthy pace!

PR achieved! My official time was actually 26:02…so close to coming in under 26 minutes!

This was also a redemption race for me. Last year I had a horrible performance and didn’t even break 30 minutes. I was slow and groggy…my legs were like lead! I knew I had to truly take advantage of the FLATNESS and race. I’m super happy!!

PR HAPPY!!

Race Bummer and Race Win

I’ve been mentally planning to run a half marathon the weekend of March 17th for a long time now. I felt great after the half in November, and knew I needed a race to keep me motivated and running through the winter.

However, what I did NOT consider was the fact that races have this little thing call CAPACITY. And, lo and behold, the race I had my eye on is completely sold out. No Shamrock Half for me. Major bummer. When I first saw this on the race website I figured I could just run the Rock and Roll USA Half in DC instead, but it turns out that race is on the 17th – a Saturday – and I have a work event to attend. Major bummer number 2.

I’ve been training for a half on March 18th but wasn’t actually signed up for anything. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb!

What’s a girl to do?

Turn to Running In the USA and find a freaking race on March 18th!!!

And that’s just what I did. And boy did I find a good one (at least I hope so). In fact, I think this race might be BETTER for me than both the Shamrock and the USA race. Behold…

I'm doing the HALF.

I know absolutely nothing about this race except for the fact that it happens on March 18th in Cary, NC. And why is this race a better option for me than the other two? My parents just closed on a new condo in Raleigh, NC that is about 15 minutes from the start of this race. No hotel rooms to pay for and no outrageous Rock and Roll prices to pay for entry. And my family will get to cheer me on. Win. Win. Win.

I’m hoping this race is flat and interesting. I also hope the weather stays nice and cool…NC can be tricky sometimes. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this is my time to shine for a SUB 2 HOUR HALF!

I celebrated my race registration with a speedy (for me) 4 miler on this lovely 63 degree afternoon. Yes, it was 32 on Sunday and 63 today. Thanks Virginia.

I felt fantastic the entire run, I think because I have a real RACE to run towards now.

Negative splits…who am I?!

Thinking about crossing the finish line makes me a very happy lady.

A Tale of Two Halves

…also known as a whole?

Not so much.

Anyway…I thought it would be fun to compare my performances at both the 2010 and 2011 McDonald’s Half Marathon. The 2010 race was my VERY first half, and my very first time running anything over about 11 miles. My goal, simply, was to finish.

Loving every painful step.

I ended up crossing the finish line in 2:18:06 and was very happy. I came, I trained, I finished.

And then the running bug really hit me. I decided to declare my New Year’s Eve resolution to be “running 10 races in 2011”. And I FINALLY understood what it meant to actually train for something. Oh, and that training works. Duh.

Thus began my quest for speed (and by “speed” I mean anything faster than a 10:00/10:30 pace…you gotta start somewhere).

After completing the Williamsburg Half in 2:11:03, I decided to try the McDonald’s Half again, just for kicks. I opted to participate in the Training Team again to hold myself accountable to some sort of schedule and plan. Since I’m still a newbie to this whole “plan-and-train” thing, this was a good idea. And cramming 10 races into 1 year was decently tough for me (not to mention expensive) considering I work lots of weekends, so adding another race was a necessity.

When all was said and done, I SMOKED McDonald’s this time around (and yes, that sentence sounds weird and wrong). A 2:05ish finish felt pretty damn good (but now I want a sub-2…)

Thanks for the muscles BodyPump.

Now let’s compare the stats. Same race, same course, same training, BETTER RUNNER.

2011 on the left, 2010 on the right.

I wasn’t sure I could pull this kind of pace on race day, considering I didn’t stick to my training plan nearly as much as I’d hoped. I certainly didn’t think I’d manage sub-9:00s in the later miles! But I think adding in strength training – in the form of BodyPump – really made me stronger, and faster.

I feel like I’m THIS CLOSE to a sub 2 hour…and in 2012 it shall be mine (And I’ve got a spanking new training plan to prove it, so stay tuned)!

Race Bandit

I am a rule follower.

I get extreme anxiety even just THINKING about breaking the rules. I brush my teeth twice a day, I don’t speed, I don’t sneak into private places, I change my oil on time, I show up to work on time, I turn in my mileage reports to the tenth of a mile, and I wear my seat belt. Call me lame or unexciting, but I find that the anxiety I experience by breaking a rule or fibbing or causing mischief just isn’t worth the thrill.

I glow like an angel.

SO, I was SUPER BUMMED when I found out the race Brian and I hoped to run last weekend was SOLD OUT. I was excited to run it, especially since Brian has participated in the race every year since he was in middle school. It’s a tradition for him to run with his brothers and they haven’t missed a year. Brian wasn’t phased for a second about the race selling out. Last year he showed up (after a 5 hour drive from Richmond) a few minutes after the race had started, so he just jumped in at the back and ran through the course. So he didn’t think twice this year about running the race with no bib. Needless to say, he’s pretty passionate about this race.

I, on the other hand, started having extreme levels of anxiety. For the week leading up to the race (it sold out in May, and we didn’t try to register until about a week before) I scoured Craigslist for bib numbers and poured through message board on race websites. I couldn’t find a single bib. I know selling bibs is generally frowned upon, but I didn’t feel so bad since it’s just a small, hometown 5-Miler and I am not competitive by any means of the word (and I had no intention of wearing a chip timer). I just wanted a damn race bib so that I wouldn’t stand out like a sore thumb. For me, this race was more about getting in 5 miles and participating in a family tradition than it was about an official time, but for some reason the thought of not wearing a number was driving me bonkers.

In the end I decided to suck it up and run. I noticed that a LOT of people weren’t wearing bibs, so I didn’t feel so bad. Everyone acted like it was no big deal, so I forced myself to ease up on the anxiety. I did wear my hydration belt though, since I felt guilty drinking the water I didn’t pay for! I’m pretty sure the adrenaline from my anxiety made me go faster than I normally would have on this course. There were several steep hills and it was hot (it started at 7pm). I guess I can be thankful for that…

The long rolling downhills really made up for the evil steep parts.

I was especially paranoid because the race was 2 loops and I thought they’d remember not seeing a bib on me the first time around, so they’d kick me off the course the second time. I have issues.

In the end the race was a success for me. I only have my Garmin time to go by, but I’m happy.

If you chop off that weird 11 seconds at the end, my time for 5 miles was 46:18. However, I’m not counting this as a PR or as one of my races in 2011, because I’m too much of a rule follower for that.

I do have one race photo to share, although it was taken from my future MIL’s phone. My hands got a little crazy…I guess that happens when I’m having a panic attack.

I majorly chicked that dude.

In the end I’m happy I ran the race. I still feel a little guilty about it, but I think I need to learn to lighten up a bit. Next year I’m registering at the first moment I can…

Growing Pains and Terrible Race Photos

I’ll get to the Corporate 4 Miler race recap in a moment…if you’re here for that and don’t want to soak in my woes, please scroll down.

Lately I’ve been feeling rather blah.

This is my blah face.

The most frustrating part is that I can’t really pinpoint why. I love my job but lately I’ve been wanting a new challenge. A new adventure. A new routine. It’s not that I necessarily want to do something new professionally, but I’m lusting for SOMETHING. At one moment I’m eager to apply to graduate or PhD programs and the next moment I’m paroozing the web for interesting sounding jobs. The whole “blah” thing kicks in because I don’t exactly know what I want. I don’t know what that “next step” is in my life. It’s not that I’m unhappy – in fact I have a pretty kick ass life at the moment – I’m just itching to learn/experience/take a risk/develop personally and professionally/travel/soak it all in. Perhaps this is a legit quarter-life crisis. How can I satisfy this urge?? I shall keep you posted…

In other news the Corporate 4 Miler was a success!

I seriously had my doubts about the race in the hours leading up to it. Gun time was 7pm, but the temperature on Thursday hovered in the high 90s pretty consistently. Oh and that Virginia humidity was bound to make things interesting. Not to mention the fact that my attempt at a measly 3 miler on Monday in the heat was down right embarrassing (that whole “I need to drink out of a puddle and walk every mile” thing).

But I was damned if I didn’t run that race. Brian and Tristan were both considering not running…but I literally forced them into the car. When we arrived at the race location we were greeted by large vats of water (water monsters??) and plenty of shade. We milled around for about 30 minutes before taking our places at the un-corralled starting line. The boys started up at the front and I found a place sort of in the middle.

Before I go any further, let me explain that I am NOT a sweater. I get really red, but wet stuff doesn’t usually come out of my skin except on LONG runs or in out-of-control humidity. I don’t know why I have this issue, but it’s just become normal for me. Perhaps I am not drinking enough water to sweat? Or my pores are ridiculously small? Whatever it is, whatevs.

Sweat beads are brain cells leaving the body.

So anyways by the time I jaunted over to the start my in-between-boob-area was already dripping with sweat. Yuck. The gun went off precisely at 7pm and we were off. Despite the heat I felt surprising stellar the first 2 miles. My body was excreting an absurd amount of sweat, so that felt a little weird, but overall I was feeling pretty hardcore. By mile 2 the sun was setting a bit and the temps dipped down to the low 90s and some folks came out with hoses so the heat wasn’t killer. But then mile 2.5 hit and I suddenly felt the urge to chug a bathtub full of water. I probably consumed 6-8 bottles of water and 2 powerades earlier in the day, but clearly my body had already sweated it all out.

I trudged through the next mile and a half and managed to swing out a decent overall pace. I would have been happy with anything sub-40 minutes, so I’m proud of my time.

Talk about NON negative splits (positive splits?). Apparently the more I sweat, the slower I get. Such is life. Also, since the race was super tiny (they didn’t even have chip timing) the “official” photographs are less than stellar. In fact, I am pretty sure this is the worst race photo EVER taken of me. And that includes the poopy gems that came out of the Monument 10k. Like this one:

My hands have a mind of their own.

And the worst photo ever…

I'm nothing but a blur.

This is obviously me and it obviously sucks. I was hoping for a better photo – I even tried to “pose” – but apparently I don’t understand how camera lenses work. There were only about 100 photos up on the race website, so I guess I should be thankful that I’m in any of them. Ha.

I have officially completed SEVEN of my 10 New Year’s Resolution Races. I’m thinking I might round up a make it 11 races in 2011. And if I want to be super cool and snazzy, I’ll vow to run 12 races in 2012, 13 in 2013, and on and on until I’m running 80 races in 2080 at the age of 96. Again, I’ll keep you posted…

Another Race!

And this one is just two days away!

On a whim I decided to sign up for the Corporate 4 Miler taking place on Thursday evening. I work closely with several groups involved in the event, and they convinced me to register. The best part about the whole thing? I got Brian AND Tristan to register as well. I had to bribe Brian with promises of beer at the end, but I secretly think he’s excited to see how well he can do. He’s been running 4 miles pretty much every morning for the past month.

The weatherman is calling for a high of 99 on Thursday, so things might get interesting. The gun doesn’t go off until 7pm though, so hopefully it won’t be too sweltering. I plan to chug water as much as possible over the next two days. My goal is to maintain a 9 min/mile pace and finish in at least 36 minutes! If it’s ridiculously hot I’ll adjust my expectations a little and aim for a sub 40 minute race.

I’ll be back this evening with my “sleeping on the floor” update and a recap of my 6am bootcamp class. Happy Tuesday!