Sunday, March 25, 2012

Frederick Rescue Mission 10 Miler - Why I love Hometown Races

Frederick Rescue Mission 10 Miler - Race for Recovery

This was a really great race.  From registration to packet pickup to timing chip pickup to the start, this race went off without a hitch!  For an Inaugural race, they had every detail worked out.  The volunteers at the water stops were wonderful (and stops were well placed).  The police support along the course was awesome, and they were out there cheering for us with a smile instead of a grumble (which I've unfortunately experienced before).  The spectators coming out to a small race is always nice.

The course - NOT flat LOL   But when I saw the course map posted, I knew the roads and knew what to expect, so I wasn't too worried about it, but hills at mile 8.5-9.5 are never welcome.  I approached this race as "just another training" run, since I was still feeling the Half I ran last weekend.  I should approach all my races like that because I ended up with a new PR for the 10 Miler (1:36:49).  

And why do I love hometown races ???   Because I thoroughly enjoyed running and chatting with people I knew, and meeting some new runners along the way, just enjoying the conversation and the beautiful afternoon hitting the pavement.  For me, I think I smiled most of this race.  It was so relaxed and enjoyable for me.  I loved high-fiving all my friends on the way back since this was an "out and back" course.  Made my day to see their smiling faces, especially since this was a "first" 10 mile race for most of them!  So proud to be apart of them reaching new goals and being there to cheer them into the finish!!  

And it's the support of this group where we don't leave when we finish, we wait for each other, we go and run group members back in if we think they might need a little more encouragement or motivation to take on that last hill or mile!  Those types of stories are what make running so enjoyable and inspirational to me!   It also made me a little late that afternoon (LOL), but I wouldn't have it any other way ;)

Here are the wonderful Run Mama Run Ladies!  So proud of every one of us :)

Love these ladies! :)
Crystal helping Jen bring in the last mile :)
LOVE the Finisher Medal.  I have a thing for lighthouses ;)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Suntrust Rock N Roll USA Half Marathon

This was an awesome race experience!  Very well organized!

So Friday rolled around, still had some nerves going, but we were finally headed to D.C. for the Expo and packet pick-up.  Except for the traffic and one lone miserable driver who honked at us, it was uneventful getting to the hotel, checked-in, to the Metro, then to the Expo.   Well organized from the minute we walked in, no line in getting my packet or my shirt picked up!  Once that was done, Crystal and I took off shopping the Expo.  Found cool race shirts, shoe bling, sweaty bands, and Crystal's favorite "Marathon" snickers bars LOL
My St. Patrick's Day shirt & race bib :)

Race morning went off very well.  The Metro was chaotic with the mass number of people riding it that morning, but we got to the race in time, got our gear checked quickly, our group picture done, and then off to our corrals for the Start! 

Metro crowds
The "Run Mama Run" Ladies at the Rock N Roll USA Half
I was in Corral 18, so I was waaaaayy back there.  My group didn't start until 27 minutes after the 1st runners!   But with the major number (20K) of runners there, I got off to a decent start and wasn't too crowded by other runners.  This was such a welcomed change from the Hot Chocolate disaster!   The course was good.  We ran by the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, and a few other monuments!  It wasn't a flat course, but it wasn't horrible either!  Not sure what it is about mile 6-7 for me, but they always seem to stick a hill there for me.  
My perspective from Corral # 18 :)
I was very happy with how this race went for me.  Not as good as when I run with my buddies.  I like to chat and run LOL   But I was able to focus, keep my pace where I wanted it for the whole 13.1 (13.29) miles.  Unfortunately, that little discrepancy in distance took my race time from 2:08 to 2:11:42.  But it was still a new PR for me by shaving almost 2 minutes off my Gettysburg Half last October.

So my take on this Race Series = AWESOME, well organized, supported, awesome spectators and volunteers, and the after party was fantastic.  The Headliner band was Switchfoot.  I had only heard one of their songs prior to the announcement that they were playing the RNR.  But they were a really great show, lots of energy, and a perfect Spring day for a race/party!   Too bad the guy in front of me (in green in the picture) was a very BIG Switchfoot fan because he kept jumping in front of me (literally), and then fist pumped right in time to block my face for the picture LOL  Oh well, I was there :)
Switchfoot Lead Singer - GREAT Headliner Band
Taken from the stage - Crystal tagged us.  I'm behind the fist pump guy in green!

After awhile at the show, and both mine and Crystal's phones at critical power levels, we took off to get our gear (which gear check was also super organized), grabbed my extra charger, then headed over to the Beer Garden.  That's seriously my type of garden.  No green thumb needed, just a Michelob Ultra!!
Me & Crystal enjoying our free beers!
We finally found Amy and  Jen again in the beer tent for one last RMR ladies photo opp :)   Great race, great friends, perfect weather....

Jen, Jenni, Crystal & Amy

Thursday, March 15, 2012

SunTrust Rock N Roll USA Half Marathon - Anxiety, anyone?

Only 2 more days to the Half Marathon!

Not sure why this one has me so ramped up with anxiety.  I've run 2 Halfs prior to this one and have covered the mileage and training all Winter!  Maybe it's the crowd size (20K) ??  Maybe it's the fiasco of the Hot Chocolate Race ingrained in my brain??  Maybe it's the sore calves ??

Well, whatever it is has 2 days to take a hike!  Because, here we come D.C.!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Marine Corps Marathon - Here I come!!!

We got in !!!!!!  Eeeeeek!! 

OK, so it was the fastest sellout of a Marathon in history.  2 hours and 41 minutes!!  So excited to be apart of it.  So scared to tackle it!!  Luckily I have great running buddies along for the ride!  Long Summer of long miles! 

Check back here to see our progress when we start training in late June !!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Welcome to March (6th) !!! Random Ramblings!

Wow, can't believe it's March, and this Winter took it easy on us (knock on wood)!!!

MCM - In 1 1/2 more days, I'll be sitting at the computer trying to get a registration for the Marine Corps Marathon.  That just makes my stomach tighten in a huge knot!  26.2 miles is a LONG way!  That's what cars are for, right??   But I already can get Half way, so what's another 13.1.....LOL  I'm trying to talk myself into believing I can do this!  But hopefully, I get in and have 2 friends by my side as well!  Running buddies are the best thing ever, even the ones who talk you into a marathon ;)

Break Away 5K - my 1st 5K race of the year is this Saturday.  It's a 5K in support of a great local charity, Heartly House.  Unfortunately, my love for the 5K race has dwindled as I've taken on distance running.  The thought of trying to even get close to my 5K personal record (PR) scares me.  I'm not sure I have that speed in me for this, so it may just be a "speed work" run in prep for the Half the following weekend!

Hard to believe that I signed up for the Suntrust Rock N Roll Half Marathon to keep me motivated to run all Winter, and now, we only have 12 days left !!!!!   Awesome and frightening!!  LOL

So I have a time goal for the RNR Half, and though I've practically maintained the mileage all Winter, I have slacked in the strength training area this time around.  Hope that doesn't bite me later.  But if it does, I'll make sure I don't repeat that mistake for the Frederick Half in May.!

Then I signed up for the Mission 10 Miler the weekend following the Half!   What was I thinking ???