Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Annapolis Half Marathon

I wanted to do one more half marathon in 2013 but I didn't want it to be too cold so I found one in Maryland at the end of November.  It also had a 10k so I knew I could get Gabby to run at least part with me.  I posted I was doing it and found out Susan, Danielle and Dawn were doing it too!!  BONUS.  I flew out after work on Friday and Gabby grabbed me at the airport.  We went straight to Annapolis and checked in.  We grabbed food and the girls met us back at the hotel.  Susan thankfully got our packets.  We all laid out our outfits and got to bed early.  We had to be up super early!!

I knew it was going to be cold but I needed to have my Dr Who shirt.

We were up early and it was FREEEEEEZZZZIIINNNNGGGG.  We got to the race location pretty quick and it was nice and small.  The start was right in the parking lot.  We hit the porto potties which were DISGUSTING.  The smell could knock you down and there was no toilet paper.  We went back to the car for a bit then headed to the start.  It was a nice and small race so we were across the start in about 5 minutes max.  

Gabby and I were going to be able to stick together for the first 5 miles.  The first mile or so was around the area where the race started but then it headed across  bridge to the cute part of Annapolis.

This is the woman who sang the national anthem for the race and she was having the best time smiling and taking pictures.

Not too long after this was the first water stop HOWEVER...they were out of water.  Luckily it was not hot out but the cold and wind made it very dry.  We ran through the main area of Annapolis and there were maybe 5 spectators total....what the hell is up with that.

At the end of this area there was finally a water stop ....with water imagine that.  The course did a few little loops and parts when you run down a road to a cone and come back....strange but one part about this that I like is you see the other runners.  We saw that woman from the bridge and I found this picture on her Flickr.

Photo Credit Flickr set of WebSphinx
We headed back over the first bridge and it was time for Gabby and I to split up.  She got to go left and finish and I went right to go to all the hills.

Photo Credit Flickr set of WebSphinx

 I put my headphones in and decided to try and make up some time but not go crazy and burn myself out.  There were quite a few surprises.  I am not sure why I never thought about hills but there were a bunch.  I walked up them usually but took advantage of the downhills!

Miles 7-9 were down and back on a side street.  It was pretty and I got to pass Danielle and Susan.  

Photo Credit Flickr set of WebSphinx

Photo Credit Flickr set of WebSphinx

I was feeling pretty good until mile 12, that last up and back on a street and then through the parking lot killed me.  I crossed the finish line and got my medal and space blanket but NO WATER again.  I had to go to the tents to get way underripe bananas and water.  I grabbed my race shirt and socks and sat down in a bus stop enclosure.  I checked my splits and was pleased to see how much time I was actually able to make up.

Gabby got pictures of Susan and I crossing the finish line.

The half way mat was at mile 7 not at the half way mark but still send half was 20 min faster!

No mad at the fact if I didn't stop for pictures I would have been closer to 2:45

I told you there were hills in that second half!!!

Happy I got the average back under 13!!!

The professional pictures were posted today and I actually liked them.  I ordered some so I am OK with posting these screen caps of them.

I loved doing this race with my friends but there was a lot about this race I didn't like.  The course was silly with all the turn arounds, it was over ¼ a mile long and apparatnly as posted on their Facebook page cones in one of the turn arounds were wrong.  Running out of water is never acceptable especially at the the finish line.  The medals and shirts were the same for both races (not a huge deal but still) and more/cleaner porto potties WITH toilet paper. 

After we got back to the hotel and showered Gabby and I headed back to Rockville where she lives.  We got some Silver Diner and then went back to her place to hang out and watch a bunch of episodes of Psych and it may be my new favorite show.

The next morning we got up, hit Starbucks and I headed home.  I was through the airport and home in 3 hours total.  Southwest and LIMA are better than any other!!!  This was the last long race and race to travel for until Phoenix in January.  I am looking forward to the local 5ks I just wish it was going to be more than 27 degrees LOL.

Richmond Half Marathon

I am not sure when I registered for the Richmond Half Marathon but I am sure it was probably while looking at the Half Fanatics site and thinking about mooning up.  Originally I was going to stay with some friends when I went down but they went and got pregnant on me and were due to have a baby the week of the race. 
On 11/12/13 they went and had a beautiful baby girl so I guess I can forgive them LMAO.

I flew down on Friday and Gabby drove down from Maryland to get me from the airport.  We checked into the hotel and headed to Carytown.  There is an AMAZEBALLZ candy store there that I had to go to.
If there is a candy you think you might want it is here.
We grabbed food, went shopping at some fun stores and grabbed some Fro Yo before heading back to the hotel.  The stores in Carytown are so fun but there was one problem......

I laid out my clothes for the race and we watched some TV and I tried to fall asleep early.

I got up while it was still dark out and looked out the window.  It was pouring.  I kept looking at the weather on my phone and it kept saying it should be stopping...outside said a different story.  I missed yet another Half Fanatic photo but went down to the lobby of the hotel to wait for the start which was only a couple blocks from my hotel.

I waited until the last possible second before heading out to the rain to get to my corral.  It was chilly but not freezing because I had a sweatshirt on.  Gabby came with me took some pics and grabbed my sweatshirt from me.

It took me about 15-20 minutes to get across the start line and I was off.  

I decided early on I was going to try as hard as I could to stick to the 4:1 run/walk ratio.  I did run the first mile as per usual to not start walking until it thinned out a bit.  Man it was POURING.  Not too long after we started the marathon started so we go to see the fastest runners pass us before we hit the 2 or 3 mile mark where we turned right and they turned left.  By this point the rain slowed to a drizzle.  Temp wise it was pretty perfect, not too warm and not too cool.  After 4 or so miles on main roads we turned into a neighborhood.  There was NOT ONE person out in their yard to cheer us on.  As a matter of fact I had yet to see any spectators since we left the start area.  At the turn around there were a couple of people but then no more.  We came out of the neighborhood and just kept going to a really pretty park. It started getting a but hilly but I was doing pretty good at sticking to my 4:1.  I did walk up any hills but other than that I was doing well and felt pretty good.  I hit the 10k mark at 1:13 and this is faster than my recent 10k times.  I had to go to the bathroom since the beginning but every porto potty had looooooong lines but just after mile 8 there was finally one with only 2 people.

It was good I stopped, Gabby and Chad had walked up there from the hotel and caught site of me coming out.  I said Hi, posed for a pic and took off.  Chad ran a short bit with me and I told them I would meet them at the finish line.

I was right behind this family most of the race they were so cute.
I was actually feeling pretty good from miles 8 on.  The rain stopped and I actually started seeing spectators.  I was walking a little bit more than 1 minute at a clip but I was still keeping a good pace.  Just before mile 10 were were told to keep to the right.  The first marathoners we catching up to us.  I finally took my camera out (I hadn't been taking pictures because of the rain)

This guy was so cute and he smiled and waived after I took the picture.
I put my camera away and just finished out the race.  I wish I took it out as I headed down the hill to the finish but I was just enjoying the fact that I was finishing at the same time as the 2nd female finisher.  Just after the finish I got my medal and blanket and a big hug from one of my Team Tough Chik teammates who was waiting for a friend (we both kicked ourselves after when we realized we didn't get a picture)  I grabbed a water and a banana and headed back to the hotel....UP HILL the whole way LOL.  Gabby and Chad just got back to the hotel so I met them there.

The medal is beautiful.  The water is blue.

Chad and Gabby left me alone for a bit so I could take a shower and call Tom.  I relaxed for a bit and posted to Facebook of course.  We then headed back to Carytown to eat and shop more.  Chad dropped us back off at the hotel and we went to relax for awhile.  I checked my splits an was pleasantly surprised with them.  With the exception of when I went to the bathroom and saw Gabby and Chad and mile 12 which was only 2 seconds over, I was under 13min miles and a few were even under 12 for an average pace of 12:33!!!!!

And Done!

I can say I think this was good race, it is called the friendliest race and on a good weather day I am sure it is.  I have some friends who are thinking of doing it again next year and I think I might koi them.  

I was going to discuss the issues with getting home but really it was weather and hanging out in the airport for 6 hours....on and off the plane...what can you do?