Sunday, September 22, 2013

2013 Air Force Half Marathon--Dayton, Ohio

On Friday, September 20th, Jason and I left for Dayton, Ohio at around 4:45 a.m.   It was dark and very cloudy out and had rained all night long.  Our drive to Dayton was great.  The weather was perfect, however bad weather was coming.  We picked up our packets, then checked out our hotel, then Jason had to have a last minute haircut, so we found a cheap place to go do that.  Then I got ready to go do the 5K and we went to go do that.  Bad weather started rolling in and it started raining super hard.  Lightening was in the area and after almost a 30 minute race delay the 5K race was cancelled.  People were bummed out.  I just prayed that if it had to rain that it wouldn't ruin the races the next day.

Jason and I went to Olive Garden to carb up before our race.  We had the best waitress we have ever had.  She was awesome.  We also got right in the restaurant with a 30 second wait, after being told it would be an hour wait because someone came out and said "Is there a Two Top out here?"  Jason said, we are a two top.  So they took us right in to be seated.

I didn't sleep much Friday night into Saturday morning.  I kept hearing rain and crickets outside our room.  I was super hydrated and must have gotten up at least 5 times in the night.

6 a.m. came, Jason and I dressed for the race.  We left by around 6:30 to get to the Air Force base by 7 a.m. ish.    It was raining pretty steady and I was worried that we would be running the entire race in pouring rain.  We finally got into the base at around 7:15 a.m. because the lines were so long and parked.  The rain stopped.  I couldn't believe it.  It stopped and stayed stopped.

The race started on the exact dot of 8:30 a.m.  Jason and I decided to run together.  I told him I was pretty sure I could keep up with him  for most of the race and I wanted to try because he is about a minute or more faster than me per mile and if I could just push a little then I could possibly get a personal record if I could just try super hard.  Jason said he'd stay with me the whole race.  We lined up between the 2 hour pacers and the 2:10 pacers.

In the first mile many things on my body hurt.  I was worried that this would be a rough race with pains already in mile one, but by mile 2 everything was fine.  Jason was complaining of knee pain so I was really worried about him.  We did our first 3 miles in just 27 minutes.  I knew if I could keep that pace up that things would go really well.  I did worry however that we had started too fast.  My hip flexor was hurting a little by mile 4.

We were keeping great time.  By mile 5 there was a timing mat.  I'm pretty sure we were at 48 minutes for the 5 mile time.  That felt awesome.  I slowed a little in the 6th mile and ate a little fuel stuff, but still managed to get a faster 10K time than I've ever had before.  It was right around 1 hour.  My best 10K was ran in 1:01:28.   Mile 8 was hard for me.  I was really struggling and kept looking at my watch for pacing.  Jason told me to quit looking at my watch and give it to him.  He wanted me to focus and I wasn't focusing.  So I took off my watch and dropped it.  So I had to stop and pick it up.  Thank goodness I didn't trip anyone or break the watch.  We started running again.  At mile 10 I realized I had just ran a faster 10 miles than I ever had before.  I was right at about 1 hour 39 minutes.  That was awesome since the last 10 mile race I did was in 1:45.  I knew if I could just keep up this pace we could finish in around 2:10 or less.

In the middle of mile 10 I kinda fell apart.  I just felt like I couldn't run so fast anymore.  Jason said he'd carry me if he had to and just to keep moving and keep trying.

Mile 11 went just fine, but by mile 12 my legs felt 3 times as big as they are, they felt hot and heavy and my head was hot.  I kept pouring water on myself to feel better.  I felt a little sick.  I kept going, but I'm sure mile 12 was the slowest mile of them all.  I saw my parents at mile 13 and only had .10 to run to the finish.

To my surprise I really did hit a personal record.  The printout said 2:16:30.  I couldn't believe it.  I knew I had a new personal record.  When I looked up my last PR it was 2:26:30 so I hit my new record by 10 minutes on the dot!  Sweet, what a great day.  I was sad that I couldn't give more and shave 7 more minutes off so that Jason could have had a personal record as well.  I seriously gave everything and ran as fast as I possibly could.   My new goal is to train really hard over the next couple months, lots of speed work and hopefully when Jason and I do our next half in November we will both PR again at something under 2:09.  I know I can do it, just need to keep believing and working hard.

Below are lots of pictures.  The results are here if you want to check them out.
On the way to the hotel after we picked up our packets,
we saw this road sign.  I thought it was funny.

My favorite number is 13 and so it was awesome that
our hotel number was this!

Both of my race bibs.  I had signed up for the 5k on Friday night
and the half marathon on Saturday morning.  However, the 5K
was cancelled due to a strong storm that came in right at race start
time and there was lightening.  I wish it would have only been
delayed since the lightening stopped after 45 minutes.

A stuffed New Balance shoe that I took a picture with
just before the 5k was about to start.

Jason and I posing for a picture an hour before the half marathon
was going to start.  It had just stopped raining as we pulled into
our parking spot.  For as gloomy as the skies looked they held
onto the rain.  The weather was low 60's and absolutely perfect.

Jason and I with our race shirts on and medals.

Front of shirt

Back of shirt.

Front of medal.

Back of medal.

Jason's race bib and finishing medal.

My race bib and finishing medal.
My Mom took this picture of me relaxing after the race.
I had been stretching on the ground on the silver blanket
they gave us in case we were cold.

Posing for pictures.  Thanks Mom for taking these.

Another cute picture.

I had to have a picture with the huge Air Force plane after the race.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Best 6 mile run ever

I just had a most awesome 6.11 mile run this morning and it felt awesome.  I just love 53 degree weather and how crisp the air felt and wonderful.  It's going to be a great day!  I hope you are able to get out and enjoy it.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Long bike ride with Scott

I mentioned that I was going on a long bike ride Saturday afternoon and wanted Jason to go with.  Jason didn't feel like biking, but Scott asked me if he could go with me on the ride. I planned out an awesome ride that would include going under the freeway twice through a tunnel, under the railroad tracks through another cool tunnel. Over the Iowa River, over by the dog park and through many awesome trails in Iowa City and Coralville.  Scott put on bike shorts and we set out.  Up to this point he has only biked maybe 10 miles total and that was broken up through the day.   I packed some treats, money in case we stopped somewhere and plenty of water.  Here are some pictures.  I asked him when we were at 9 miles if he wanted to turn for home since we were about 2 miles away and he said, "No I want to do at least 15."  I'm so proud of him for going on such a long ride.  There were many times he would say, "Mom you can go faster, I can keep up."  He also said during the ride that he would like to do triathlons, so in 2014 I will book one for him!
A picture before we left.

Here was our final mileage.  16.13 miles.
This shows our fastest pace of 26.5 m.p.h.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Park to Park 2013--September 7, 2013--Cedar Falls, Iowa

This is my 4th year doing the Park to Park half marathon. I love this race and think it is really well done. This year it was HOT out. Usually you get to September in Iowa and the early morning temperature is between 47 and 57, but not this year, the weather started at around 77-80 degrees with humidity. I think the only thing that saved us is that most of the 13.1 miles is in the shade.

Jason and I had a hotel, however about a week before the race our friends Lisa and Kyle offered their home for us to sleep at.  How awesome, so we took them up on it.  The beds were comfortable and we both got a few hours of sleep before race!  I was so over hydrated that I got up at least 3 times to pee in the night.  Better to be over hydrated then under when it's hot out.

I always make at least three goals for every race I'm in.  This time I made 4 goals:

1.  To finish
2.  To finish strong and feel awesome all the way to the finish line
3.  To beat 2 hours 30 minutes.
4.  To beat my PR (personal record) half marathon time of 2:26:30

This is my first half marathon race since my ankle injury last October.  I really thought I'd run a half marathon way before now, however I was slowly working up to running further and further and I found that every time I ran anything near 7 miles my left ankle would throb and then hurt for a week.  In May I ran a 10 mile race and that went well for the most part, but I did have significant pain during the race and then hurt after.  I hated running in pain and was tired of it.  I finally went back to the Sports Medicine doctor in August and asked them what was going on.  They told me that my Peroneal Tendinitis was still bad and it could take up to 2 years to have a full recovery.  Then they said, you can run, but just expect to be in pain.  You aren't hurting anything.  This bothered me greatly because I was sick of being in pain.  This pain was ruining my life.

I started asking around to people who have had injuries and what they have done to get through them.  I was told about an awesome place in North Liberty called Adair Chiropractic that besides chiropractic also does a method called A.R.T. or Active Release Technique.  I have had the A.R.T. method done after a race in July by a volunteer massage therapist and liked it, but didn't know anyone that did it close to home.  I was hesitant to go to yet another place to try and solve this stupid ankle injury that had now lingered almost 10 months, but was seriously willing to try anything.  The throbbing pain I was feeling daily was just getting to be too much plus in the last month was waking me up at night.

So I went and with just 2 treatments of this new A.R.T. method, the scar tissue in my ankle was being released.  I ran pain free for the first time the day after my 2nd treatment.  I was amazed.  Plus what amazed me even more is that the Dr. Karla Adair said I would only need about 4 treatments.  She wasn't trying to sell me anything, just heal me.

I ran the half marathon expecting to be hurting by mile 13.  I knew I could run 9 miles because that is the furthest I had trained to run.  I would have trained further, but as I have mentioned previously I couldn't run very far without pain up until August.

I had some weird pain in my right foot during mile 1, but by mile 3 I felt amazing everywhere.  I decided that by mile 10 if I felt great, that I would run the last 5K of the race fast.  To my surprise I was feeling great by mile 10.

Most of the race I ran with Lisa and her husband Kyle.  We did intervals of walking and running. That was fun and I want to run many more races with them because they are awesome runners.  Around mile 10 I ran alone to the finish.

I hit my first two goals, but not the last two. I missed the 2:30 mark by a couple minutes.  But I'm so incredibly happy to have been able to run at all and to be able to run pain free for so far that my finish time doesn't even matter at all.  However here are the RESULTS if you really want to see everyone's time.  Plus some pictures from the awesome day!
Jason and I before the hot race.

Kyle, Lisa, Me and Jason

Running in for a strong finish.  I'm almost there, only a 10th of a mile to go.
Jason snapped this picture of me.

Huge smile on my face.  I couldn't contain my happiness.  I was so happy I
cried at the finish line.

My race bib and finishing medal.

Jason's race bib and finishing medal.

After returning home, showering, untangling my hair that
was tied in knots and putting on the race shirt!  Jason
and I are so happy to have finished the half marathon.

We Run Glow Run--Saturday, August 31, 2013--North Liberty, Iowa

Scott asked me back in May if I would register him for a race with a finishing medal. I told him about this awesome race that WE RUN, see link here, an awesome running store in North Liberty was putting on the end of August. He agreed he wanted to do this race so I signed him up and started training him to run.

 As the days drew closer Scott was pretty sure he didn't want to run. I think he was just nervous.  A lot of my friends were also doing this race.  Jason and Alyssa were volunteering at the race so they didn't run this race.  Scott and I were supposed to run together, however when the race started Scott took off like a bullet.  I could see the top of his head, but then he disappeared.  Since this race is at night I totally lost him.  I hoped the whole time he would be okay and not get hurt.

 I ended up staying with Deb and her daughter Danielle to run the race since I couldn't find Scott.  Danielle and I were determined to help Deb PR her 5k time.  She did end up doing that in the end.  Scott did a fabulous job and now wants to do another race with the whole family.  I was so proud of him and can't wait to do another race with him. The pictures tell the rest of the story.

Scott at home all dressed and ready to do his first 5K.  It was
starting to get really dark out and my camera doesn't like to
take nice pictures when it's half dark, so the lighting is off.

Left to Right:  Deb, her daughter Danielle, Me and Scott before the race.  I don't have
my glow run shirt on because I always wait to wear the race shirts after I do the race.

Scott and I before the race.

Scott running in for a strong finish!

Danielle posing for a picture with her Mom, Deb.

Our friends Kyle, Lisa, their two children and one of their children's friends.

Scott and I after finishing the 5K!  Scott is a rock star and totally earned his first finishing medal!  Way to go Scott!