Saturday, September 10, 2011

2011 Park to Park 5K, 10K and Half Marathon. Cedar Falls, Iowa

Last year I did the Park to Park Half Marathon in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and had such a fabulous experience that I talked several of my friends into doing this race this year.  Tracy my friend from Williamsburg who I met 1 year ago next week did the Half Marathon with me.  Stephany and Amber from North Liberty who I both met because they attend my Body Sculpt class both did the 5K.  Allison Haack who I met from North Dodge Athletic Club did her first 5K race today.  Allison's husband Ryan did the Half Marathon and I managed to stay running his pace for the first 5 1/2 miles. Jason (my husband) and Brenden (my son) both did the 5K race as well. 

Most of us stayed in the same hotel that was connected to the Convention center so we could be right by the race in the morning since we had to be at the Park where the race was at by 6:30a.m. to get decent parking.

We got up at 5:30a.m. and dressed for our races.  By 6:10a.m. we were off to the Park.  6:30 on the dot we pulled into a parking space.  There was a ton of excitement going on and I decided to take a lot of pictures which you will see later on.  At 7:20a.m.  Tracy and I started lining up for our Half Marathon race.  The National Anthem was sung.  The girl who sang it had a FABULOUS voice.  I didn't like her arrangement, but her voice rocked.  I was choked up at the end of the song.  At 7:30a.m. our race began.  At around the end of mile one I looked next to me and there was Ryan (Allison's husband).  I was able to keep with his pace for the next 4 miles but then after stopping to stretch I never did catch him again.

At 7:50a.m. the 5K race began.  Allison, Stephany, Amber, Jason and Brenden all ran that race.  There was a bit of a problem at the turn around for the 5K because the volunteer was missing, so both Stephany and Brenden ran a little further than they should have.  However even with running a little further than they should have Brenden placed 2nd in his age group of 13-19.  Also Jason did so fabulous and not only did he place 2nd in his age group of 40-44 but he got a personal record time of 25:18 which beats his last time by over a minute.  This was Allison's first 5K ever and Amber's 3rd 5K.  Amber beat her personal best and met her goal of 35 minutes! 

By the time their 5K race was ending, I was on about mile 6 on my race.  This was just about the time I started to hurt badly.  My IT band was tightening again and that made it difficult to run.  I walked for about 1/4 mile in mile 6 then decided that it hurt as much to walk that it did to run and I might as well just run so I could finish faster and get food!  I talked to myself and told myself that I would run from mile 7-10 and only then I would walk some.  When I arrived at mile 10 I felt okay and decided to just keep running till mile 11.  It was then I did some walking and then continued on.  By mile 12 I was in serious pain, not as bad as the Columbus Half Marathon in May, but bad enough that I wanted this race to be over.  About 3 tenths of a mile before the race was over Jason was there to run in with me.  I was having a hard time running and felt he had too much energy for me so I sent him away.  He took some pictures of me.  Then right at the very end of the race, the last tenth was Stephany and Amber.  They ran to the finish with me then held me up so I wouldn't pass out.  I was close to passing out and my left leg hurt so badly.

After a cold ice towel on my neck and a finishing medal around my neck I was officially done and could eat as much food as I wanted!  I'm so glad I finished.

Tracy Schmidt, myself, and Amber Burgus on our way to the Park to Park race.  I asked Jason to drive so us girls could talk and be in the back seat together.  Brenden sat up front with Jason.

Jason was driving and the speed limit was 70m.p.h.  He came up upon a slow car.  The slow car was going 65m.p.h. and Jason followed the car for a little bit, then pulled out and around the car.  That car was a police car and after Jason pulled out and around him, the policeman put his hat on, put his speed radar gun in the window and flipped the lights on to pull Jason over.  This picture is of the policeman walking away after he issued a warning.

We all arrived in Cedar Falls, checked into our hotel and then went to the Packet pickup area at the Convention center.  We met up with Allison Haack and her husband Ryan.

To get our carbs in before the race we went to a local restaurant named Doughy Joey's.  Jason and Brenden had mini pizzas. Amber, Tracy and I had spaghetti.

These two goofballs were trying to give eachother bunny ears.

Tracy, Amber and me outside of the restaurant.

The convention center advertizing the race.

My race number and it adds up to my lucky number 13.  1 plus 4 plus 8 =13!

Saturday morning around 7a.m.  Brenden standing under his race pace sign.

Tracy and I standing under our DREAM race pace sign.

Left to Right:  Amber, Stephany, Jason, Brenden, me and Tracy.

Tracy and me

Stephany and me

Amber and me

Jason and Brenden after their race at the awards ceremony with their 2nd place medals on.

Me running in for the finish.  I was at mile 12.8 in this picture.  I was smiling the best I could to have a great picture, but was in severe pain.

Stephany and Amber running with me to the finish.  I had .1 to go and could see the finish line. Stephany was pointing it out for me.  You can tell how much I'm hurting by the look on my face.

Tracy running in for the finish.

The Half Marathon finishing medal!
The race packet bag that we were given with our race shirt and timing chip.
This is my 2nd favorite part of a race.  First is finishing.  2nd is food and lots of it.  This is only part of what I received.  There was also chocolate milk, bottled water and a vitamin enhanced water called vidration.  Then there were pulled pork sandwiches from the local HyVee grocery store.  At the very end of the race I was over at the food table getting some chocolate milk and the race volunteer loaded up my son's bag and my bag with extra chips and other things to eat on the way home.  The pizza was AMAZING.  It was from "The Other Place" pizza restaurant and they made pizza right at the race.  Everyone in my group LOVED the pizza.  The sandwiches from HyVee were great as well and I'm glad that the race director cared enough to have lots of food for all the race participants.

I won socks through one of the race drawings.

At last, home with my park to park shirt and finishing medal!


Marcia's Marvels said...

Michelle, you look great in your "action" shots running in for the finish!!! You did so well!! Thanks for encouraging me to start running some races, too! --Allison P.S--it was fun to meet your friends Amber and Stephany, too!

Mike Kiss said...

My wife and I are working to run a half marathon in every state in under 100 total hours (i.e. <2 hour pace) and we absolutely loved your recap. In fact we liked it so much that I think we are going to do it next year!


Massive Delta said...

I've read through several of your blog entries ove the last couple months as they are local. Then I get to this one and see Allie Haacks name(she's my cousin) :) I might do this race this year.