Posts Tagged With: race recap

Race Recap – Marine Corps Marathon

Okay, I’m finally ready to tell you all about this race.  I apologize for the SERIOUS delay in writing this recap.  I was busy for a while, then traveling, and then just lazy. 🙂

That being said, let’s begin.

FIRST: I am still counting my blessings that the effects of Hurricane Sandy did not factor into this race as much as it was originally anticipated to.  For the few days leading up to the race, weather reports said it was going to be a rainy and blustery day for us marathoners.  And honestly, I was VERY unhappy about it.  But, the rain held out, and it was about 50ish degrees at the start, perfect marathon weather for me!

For this race, I was determined to stay even and relaxed, and make sure I was properly hydrated and fueled.  So, I started my morning with some oatmeal and a bottle of water.  I had this around 6:30 as I was getting dressed.  This was the first race that I had more than a quarter of a bagel for breakfast, and I think it worked out for me.

I met up with my friend, and we took the obligatory pre-race omg-we’re-so-excited-this-is-going-to-be-awesome pictures.  We were so ready!

And we were off!

Mile 1-4 : Super crowded.  Spent most of these miles weaving in and out of people, trying to catch up with my friend (she like to get OUT for races).  It was so frustrating that at times, I was running on the curb, or the grass.  I was also trying really hard to stay calm about my calf.  It wasn’t feeling tight yet, so I was doing okay.

Miles 5-10: Finally just gave up trying to stay with my friend, and settled into my pace.  Tried to really enjoy my surroundings and the race, but unfortunately, my calf started to get reeeeally tight.  Stopped to stretch it around mile 7.

Miles 11-18: Found my friend again! Yay! But then lost her when I stopped for the bathrooms on Hains Point (I knew there would be real bathrooms here, so I took advantage of that J).  But then I found her again a few miles later! Woohoo! At that point, we decided to just split up and run our own races.  I was starting to get really smiley and happy and just really enjoying the race.  BUT, my calf was still bothering me, and I was unnecessarily worried that I was going to tear a muscle.  Yet, I continued on!

Miles 19-23: I tried to stop and stretch somewhere around mile 19, and some lady behind me was like “you can’t stop now! You’re doing so well and you’re getting me motivated!” So obviously, I had to keep going! And that one comment fueled me for a few miles! I passed mile 20 and was feeling super strong, and I couldn’t help but smile the biggest smile ever! And in Crystal City, I actually enjoyed the crowds this time!  It seemed like everyone was out cheering for the marathoners!

Miles 24-26.2: After leaving Crystal City, I just wanted to be done.  There weren’t many spectators around this time.  Just me, the other marathoners and the road.  I just kept telling myself, “you can run any pace for 20 minutes”.  I kept trucking along, just knowing that once I finish, I can relax.  I saw my friend, and she really inspired me to push strong until the very end.  And I charged up that monster hill before Iwo Jima and sprinted to the finish.  DONE!

4:22 – A 7 minute PR

I actually enjoyed this marathon, even though I was pretty off my goal of 4:15.  It was a great experience, I felt strong, and I’m actually sorta looking forward to another!

Categories: Fitness, Marathon | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

Race Recap: GW Parkway Classic

The day finally arrived.  Yesterday, I woke up to a drizzly DC morning to head to Alexandria, Virginia for the GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler.

The day before (Saturday) was a beautiful day, with rain starting in the early evening.  However, the rain slowly stopped, and my hopes for a dry race started to increase. I had known for days that it was supposed to rain on the morning of the race, but I still had to keep my fingers crossed for the better.

Kevin and I stopped at Vapiano’s to pick up some pre-race dinner.  So, in addition to no more rain, I had a yummy pasta dinner.  I was starting to feel excited for the race!

Pasta with spinach and tomato in a light basil-pesto cream sauce.

I stuffed my face while watching Happy Endings online.  I was full and happy, and ready for bed! Fingers (and toes) crossed for good weather!

I woke up bright and early, and immediately checked the weather.  I was super excited to see that it was only 20% chance of showers at the start! Yay! So I quickly got dressed and Kevin and I headed out.

Well, it had just started sprinkling when we walked out of my apt. 😦 But that’s okay, it wasn’t raining hard, and it was about 51 degrees, so it wasn’t terribly cold.

Kevin drove me to Alexandria, where I boarded the runner-bus to Mount Vernon.  For the entire bus ride, I just tried to stay relaxed, and excited for the race.  I had done it last year, so I more-or-less knew what to expect.  The problem was, I haven’t been able to accurately asses my fitness level as compared to last year.  But nonetheless, I was ready.  I hopped of the bus, visited the port-o-potties, checked my bag, and then hopped in the corrals.  Within 10 minutes, we were off!  I was ready to have a great race and make it to the finish line!

Miles 1-3

OMG it was so hard.  I felt like I was working so hard, but in reality, I think it was just me warming up.  I was literally waiting for each mile to pass.  I think these were also the hilliest miles, so that didn’t help.  Not having fun yet.  And it was still sprinkling.  Not too much rain, but enough to let you know that it was there.

Miles 4-6

Started falling into a rhythm and feeling good.  At this point, I thought to myself, “don’t get too comfy! This is a race!” Still sprinkling though.  Which, at this point, actually felt nice because I was starting to get warm.  I had a tank top on underneath my long sleeve, and I debated taking the tank top off.  Decided not to, because I thought it would be too much work.  Also, I didn’t want to have to fiddle with moving my bib.

Miles 7-9

The rain started to fall a little bit heavier, and the wind picked up at times, but it was okay because the course sort of flattened out a bit.  I decided to push the pace on these miles, because I figured, why not!  Plus, somehow, I convinced myself that I can run a challenging pace for 4 miles, no problem. Haha, riiiight.  To prevent myself from falling off, I latched on to a girl that I had seen around me a few times during the race.  It looked like she was picking up her pace a bit, so I thought it would be perfect.  And since I didn’t have a watch, it was super helpful to have something to keep me moving forward.  So a HUGE thank you to this fellow runner! I really would not have been able to finish as strong without it! (I was also strongly motivated by brunch!)

Mile 10

Last mile! I really upped the pace, and forced myself to keep it to the end.  We made the final turn, and I opened my stride because I thought we must be close.  I was wrong.  I def started on my last gear too early, and it hurt to keep it going.  But I did it and finished! So glad to cross the finish line!

rocking the new blue compression socks!

Finish time: 1:28:50.  Average pace of 8:53.  I’m okay with it, but certainly not happy.  For one, did not earn a new watch :(.  I needed to go under 1:27 to do that.  And second, for how I felt, I would have thought I was going faster.  There are a million excuses (weather, hills, illness, no watch, etc) I can make, but I think the only one that matters is that I didn’t train as hard as I could have and SHOULD have.  I really failed myself on that front, and hopefully I will be able to learn from it. I think I need to re-evaluate my training schedule and see what may not be working.

After I crossed the line, I grabbed some gatorade and high-tailed it to the bag check.  It was still rainy and 50 degrees out, so I knew that pretty soon I was going to get VERY cold.  I quickly found Kevin (thanks race photographer!) and also found Rachelle while waiting in line.  After I grabbed my stuff, we headed for cover so we could stretch it out, and quickly recap our races.

I promise one day I'll stop making these ridiculous faces

After a quick stretching session, we headed to meet some others for brunch.  Brunch is easily the best part of racing! 🙂

All in all, it was a good race.  It was well-organized, not over crowded and the scenery is really awesome.  I’m so glad I got out and ran.  It was a great experience, and it’s always nice to get out and race to see where your fitness really is.  Thanks to Pacers for putting on yet another great race! I’m sure I’ll be back next year (and much faster!)

How was your weekend?  Did you have good weather?  Or were you stuck with rain clouds like DC was?

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Race Recap: ING Miami Half Marathon

First, I gotta apologize for this race recap coming so late.  This week has been pretty busy.  We arrived back in DC on Tuesday afternoon/evening, and catching up with work these past few days has had me completely drained in the evenings.  But alas, I digress…

So when we all first signed up for the ING Miami Marathon, the plan was to get away from the cold DC winter and frolick and play in warm sunny Miami.  This plan was solid.

Amelia, me, Emily and Kevin in sunny Miami Beach!

Upon arrival the temps were in the upper 70s.  Beautiful.  Well, until you consider running 13 miles in that kind of warmth.  I immediately began to worry.  Forecasts said to expect temps of 66 at the start and mid-70s by noon.  Those sounds like great hanging out temps, but for someone that has been running in relatively cold winter temps (and performs terribly in the heat) it was no good.  And the only thing I could do was hydrate and hope for the best.

Water! Water! Water!


And hydrate I did.  Along with some carb-loading.  Well, I guess spaghetti bread would really be double-carb-loading. But it was some seriously good double-carb-loading.  Will def be making that again! Yum! Thanks to Amelia for finding that recipe!

Pre-race dinner: spaghetti rolled up inside bread = Spaghetti bread!

The next morning, we took a cab to the start, and as predicted it was already in the mid-60s. And a lot more humid than I was used to. Panic. More hydrating.

Amelia, Kevin, me, Rachelle and Emily before the start of the ING Miami Half Marathon

We got to the start, hopped in our corrals, and waited for the race to begin. The entire time, I was worried about my “race strategy”.  I found a knee strap at the expo the day before, but I didn’t know how it would actually hold up for me.  So I decided I would stop and stretch my IT band every 2 miles.  More hoping. *fingers crossed for a good race!*

Eventually we were off and running through the streets of Miami and over the bridge to Miami Beach.  As predicted the course was flat, so that was nice.  The only hills were the bridges we went over.  But it was certainly warmer than I was used to.  By mile 2, I was already a sweaty mess.

This is exactly how I felt


I managed to continue trucking along, stretching every 2 miles, and then later in the race, at every mile.  I remember getting to the 6 mile marker and feeling relief that I had no IT band pain.  I hadn’t run over 5 in more than a month! And there I was at 6, still ready to do more. 🙂  And when I finally got to the mile 12 marker, I was SUPER pumped.  But also SO over running.  Regardless, I decided to high-tail it for my last 1.1 miles.  When I felt like we were close, I upped the pace a bit more.  And then, we hit this turn that took us to the finish.  I started to really stride, and then got BOXED-IN! I couldn’t believe it! What happened to everyone trying to finish strong!  Eventually got around those idiots runners and sprinted to the finish.  DONE!

Overall, the race went well, and I think I would do it again.  The temps did climb a bit, but the water stops were great.  There was a water stop about every mile or so, so it was very easy to stay hydrated.  I will say that the water stops were a bit hard to run through (either bc the race was too crowded or bc the stops were too short), so I ended up walking through them (fine by me!).   And the volunteers at the water stops even started launching the bags of water (yes, they had bags of water) to race participants with outstretched arms!  It seemed like a great idea, until I had to start ducking out of the way of flying water pouches!

My IT band was fine until about mile 7 or 8, when I started to feel some pressure/tightness.  At that point, I stopped to stretch every mile to prevent it from getting worse.  Also because I was (and really, still am) terribly out of shape.  By mile 8, I was really wishing that I only had 2 more miles to go.  And also wishing I had been able to run anything over 5 miles for the past 2 months.  Actually training for a half-marathon is key.  But that is neither here nor there. It was great to be in Miami and enjoy a race with friends!

Kevin and I after we finished! Woohoo!

Huge shout-out to Kevin: he finished his first half-marathon! He did quite a bit of training leading up to it, and ended up racing a great race! He totally beat me (this time…).  I think this boy is totally hooked on running (and maybe the medals too!)  Now on to the full marathons, eh? 🙂

This race was not my best time ever, but I’ll take it.  2:15:37.  Considering that 2 weeks before the race, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to run it at all, running the 13.1 was a huge accomplishment.  But, next time, I’m going sub-2.  And that’s a PROMISE. (i’ll also make sure i train)

Do you like traveling south for winter racing?  What’s your favorite race/destination?

Happy Super Bowl Sunday to everyone! I hope you get to enjoy lots of delicious (and maybe healthy?) snack!


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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