Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Time to get caught up.....even if it is out of order. Baltimore Half Marathon Recap.

I still have to write about Rock n Roll Philly and my Team Corey weekend but that post will be long and needs my undivided attention as it is very important.

Just 2 weeks after my first marathon  I was headed to Baltimore for a half marathon.  I did do a local 5k the week before but that was almost the only running I had done so I was pretty nervous.  It was the 2nd half of the Maryland Double and we all know I love bonus bling LOL.

I flew down Friday afternoon and was picked up at the airport by Jeff, Alicia and Aiden.  We headed directly to the expo.  The expo was nice and not super crowded so we got our stuff, wandered around and got all KT taped.

After the expo I checked into the hotel, left Jen's name at the desk so she and Danielle could get a key if they got there before I got back.  The Littwin's and I went to dinner and shopping at the sugar store.

After dinner they dropped me off at my hotel.  Jen and I didn't have to be up super early like Danielle but we all headed to bed early.  Well after we laid out our outfits of course.

In the morning we watched the marathon start from our window and just lazily got ready.  We were also watching the marathon on TV.  We were trying to find Danielle but we never saw her.  I got a text from Alicia once they got near the start so we headed down.  I wanted to get a picture with a FB friend Jerry but I couldn't get to where he was because my corral was further back and they wouldn't let me pass.  We all headed to the start.  I wanted to stop to pee but the porto potties were facing the street and the road was not closed so I was not about to get hit by a car.

I posted this on the Facebook page of the race and they seemed to be concerned and will address it for next year.

We got to the start which seemed a bit confusing as we had to cross the marathon course.  We took some pictures of course and then we were off.


The Littwins <3

Happy Anniversary!!!
Pretty soon we heard the boom and we were off.  I like a big race and there were quite a few people in this one.  But first.......selfies.

The course itself was OK.  We did not go through the best of areas but there were spectators the whole way which I love.  Boy O Boy Baltimore is hilly!!!  One complaint there was no water until after mile 3 where we merged in with the marathon.  Speaking of mile 3, that is where a man came running over to me and asked me how I knew Chris.  I told him that I knew his family.  He told me his name was Cpl Marty Barnes and thanked me as he shook my hand and ran off.  It never stops amazing me that people thank ME for running for Chris.  Chris is the one who did amazing things, not me.

Jen and I just kept running along, I wasn't taking pictures because I was feeling lazy LOL  She took some but she has not put them on Facebook for me to steal yet.  There are some good ones from along the course that I did buy.

Once we finished we saw Alicia, walked forever to get our medals and food and then I went to get my bonus bling.  Jen also had to take a pit stop at the medical tent because she rolled her ankle AFTER we crossed the finish line LOL  I was getting texts about Danielle's progress so we knew when she was about to cross.  Alicia and I headed over and got as close as we could to get a picture and cheer for her.

Danielle, Jen and I headed back to our hotel to shower super fast and head home.  Well they were driving to NJ for another race the next day.  I was getting dropped off at the airport by the Littwins :)

Bonus points if you know why I had to pose here.

Bonus bling.

Once I got to the airport I tried to get on an earlier flight home but was told that since I had a discounted fare I would have to pay $120 to go home just 1.5 hours thanks.  I will just hang at my favorite Maryland eatery.

I genuinely don't mind hanging out in the airport so I just waited for my flight and headed home.  Besides the flight from Baltimore to Long Island is less than an hour.

When I got home, after saying hi to Tom and the kitties I took a picture of all the bling from the Maryland Double.  Fredericks in May and Baltimore in October.  (There is a 3rd for the King Crab but I missed that one in June)  I also had a great suprise from my running bestie Kim AKA Barking Mad About Running  .  It was part birthday present and part marathon present and I couldn't love it more.

Still to come....Rock n Roll Philly and Marine Corps Marathon Weekend.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Wineglass Marathon

I know I never wrote about Team Corey/Rock and Roll Philly but I will.  I promise, I just want to put my marathon post out there. is going to be loooooooooonnnnnnnggggggg

For weeks before the race I was FREAKING THE F#$K OUT!!  The fact that my training was so lacking I was just terrified.  I posted in a few places on line, that was full of strangers, my concerns.  I knew all my friends were behind me and had full faith so I knew I wouldn't get anything but support from them and I needed complete honesty.  I got it and it was all very supportive and helpful.  I was shocked because I have been seeing a lot of horrible things recently in groups but everyone was awesome!  I started comparing it to my first half marathon which was exactly 2 years ago from my first full.  I was undertrained for that and I survived, right?  LOL

Yeah I survived.
So Tom and I headed up to Corning on Friday.  I didn't want to go up the day before to avoid extra stress.  We got up there easily and headed to the expo.  It was super well organized but it was tiny and cramped.  Plus Tom hates expos so we just got my stuff, I got a jacket since it is my only marathon and it was only $45!!  After that we headed to Hands on Glass to make pumpkins.  Tom made a classic one and I made a glow in the dark one.

After we had some BBQ for dinner and went back to the hotel.  Tom fell asleep pretty early but I couldn't sleep of course.  Saturday we got up and it was raining so we didn't rush to get ready but then headed to Bath to have breakfast/lunch.  We drove around a bit and saw some interesting things.

Seriously...this is where horror movies begin.

We then hung around for a bit and met up with Nicole, Colleen and Alana while waiting for Dave.  We all went to dinner and wandered around Corning looking for the finish line.  I was a bit dramatic once we found it.

We headed back to the hotel and got ready for the morning.  It was going to be much cooler than I had expected but I was prepared.  I was glad Kim told me to get her packet even though she had to miss the race because of her injury.  I wore her race shirt (SCANDAL) under my short sleeved shirt even with my arm warmers!!!

Sleeping was as expected not easy and I kept waking up.  I had to put my phone in airplane mode because I kept getting good luck texts even after 11pm...I love you all but do not text a runner past 9pm!!!!  LOL  Got out of bed just before 5:30 and checked the weather......BRRRRRRRR

I made Dave the coffee I promised him and had some tea while we got ready and headed out to the shuttle to the start.  I was happy that Jeff saw us and he gave me a good luck hug.  Of course he took a picture of us freezing LOL

We waited on line for the shuttle and then had the 1/2 hour ride to the start.  Once we got there we got right on the bathroom line.  There were not enough bathrooms so we waited for a long time in the cold.  I had to pee so bad my stomach hurt and I almost peed myself I won't lie.  After that Laurie, Chris, Dave and I headed into the overflowing barn to keep warm.

Bought this......didnt steal.
We headed to the bag check/start line to drop our extra stuff and meet up with Danielle, Jen and Kris. I was also looking for a girl I met online who was doing this as her first too.

The are started late by about 15 minutes but before we knew it we were off.  Holy Crap this was happening.

The first few miles went pretty fast.  We stuck together, kind of running our own and then meeting at each mile marker.  (Jen has those pictures) I was glad I kept my one sweatshirt because even running I was still cold.

Just after mile 8 I realized the stopping and waiting was starting to hurt so I just ran my own race going forward.  Dave and I had discussed the night before that if one of us felt good they could go ahead.  I also knew that Danielle would get it and she was helping Jen and Kris pace their first full too.  I just kept my run:walk to 1:1 and kept putting one foot in front of the other.  It was quiet on the course but I did chat with a few people along the way.  One girl was running her 46th full marathon and the day before was her 100th half!!!!  CRAZY!!

I hit the half way point just after the 3 hour point so I was both pleased and scared.  This was just a bit slower than my usual half marathon time and I still had to do it again!!

It was a chilly and grey day but I was glad, heat and sun suck the life out of me.  Once I hit the 14 mile mark I knew I was entering uncharted territory since my longest run ever was 14 miles.  The whole run I kept seeing fuzzy caterpillars trying to cross the street so I would pick them all up and put them on the side of the road.  I think I saved about 50 through the whole run.

The picture below is around the 18 mile area and this is where I actually started to get choked up.  I was still feeling pretty good and I was still doing my 1:1 run:walk and get through.  This is about where I realized I was going to finish a marathon and it was a strange feeling.  A great feeling.

When I got to mile 20 the course was crappy but I knew I only had a 10k to go.  I sent a text to Tom and to Alicia since I knew they were both waiting at the finish for me.  Around mile 23 we entered a park that was nice and I was still on my was crazy I was still moving.  I will say that last 3 miles were the longest part of the whole marathon.  I was so excited but I was wondering where the hell is the finish damn it!!!  I crossed the bridge back in to downtown corning and knew it was one more turn and there I would find the finish line, I made the turn and saw it.  I got a second wind and started running I heard my name being yelled.  It was Colleen, Tom, Alanna and Nicole....then again on the other side of the street and further up....wait what?!?!?  Everyone was there.  We had a huge group there running and they all waited.  I through my jacket to Tom and high fives some guy and crossed the finish line of a marathon.  It was AMAZING.  Alicia came to the finish area and gave me the biggest hug ever!!  There may have been a tear or two there.  I saw my friend Chris who was there trying to BQing.  He killed it!!  He needed 3:30 and crossed in 3:22!!!

We all cheered on the rest of the finishers.  Danielle, Jen & Kris crossed the finish line holding hands <3.  Then right after came Dave.  I was so excited and proud of him.  We all hung out near the finish line and took a ton of pictures of course.

We headed to lunch, I couldn't eat anything other than french fries but it was nice to chat about the half with Nicole, Alana and Colleen and to hear about Dave's experience with the full.  I decided to juts shower and head home with Tom instead of staying one more day.

I am so happy with how the experience turned out.  I felt good after, didn't hit the wall and finished faster than I expected by about an hour.  I expected it to take 7 hours.  I had a secret hope to finish in 6.5 hours and I finished in 6!!  (moving time was even under six!!!) PLUS my second half was faster than the first half!!!  WHAT?!?!

People keep asking if I will do it again and the answer WAS and is still NO.  One and Done.  Especially since it went well I want to end on a high note.