Posts tagged marathon

White River Half Marathon

My plans for a no-stress race went out the window about 9:30 p.m. Friday when my sister called to say she was not running. She was legitimately sick, so I don’t blame her at all . . . even though I may take back her Christmas present.

I had a slight breakdown, decided to quit the race, sucked it up and began searching for songs to make a race playlist all in about 15 seconds time.

After my panic attack I’ll be honest, I had a moment where I thought “maybe this isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe this will be my chance to PR.”

Spoiler alert: Not even close!

I headed to bed about 10:30 p.m. and my super over-prepared husband set the alarm for 3 a.m. I threatened his life if he woke me up before 3:45 a.m.

I did not sleep, at all! It’s like I forgot how to fall asleep. Anyone ever experience that problem? Apparently at some point I did drift off but went the alarm went off at 3 a.m., I got up with it. We left the house about 4:20 and picked up a few friends who were riding with us.

The race started at 7 a.m. but packet pick up was 5 to 6:15 a.m. We arrived a little before 6 a.m. and spent the next hour psyching ourselves up fighting the nerves.

There was still a vendor there at the “expo” so I bought a few Shot Blocks, which I have taken in the past and had good luck with, and a new headband/ear warmer. The weather was great for this race and I didn’t need them, but I can’t pass up a bargain.

The course in this race is a straight, flat stretch along the river, out and back. The marathon is an out and back twice. The race’s claim to fame is that it’s a great place to qualify for Boston because it is so flat. I think around 30 percent of runners qualified last year.

Last year, the start and finish were in the same spot but this year, they changed it up a bit and the start began at the school where the expo/packet pick up was held. It gave you a nice downhill to the river to start with.

Problem with this was, the start was not timed, something that they didn’t announce until about 30 seconds before the race started. Enter about 50 runners looking to qualify for Boston who start flipping out. Add to that, there was no real clear marking as to where the start line was and you have a whole lotta crazy.

The gun went off and everyone started immediately running.

The first mile was a straight down hill, which was nice but I was a little nervous about wiping out on some of the gravel that had made it onto the road so I didn’t take full advantage of perk. Also, the 5K started at the same time so there were a lot of runners and walkers to dodge.

The course leveled out eventually and the 5kers turned around toward the finish line.

The aid stations were great and well spaced at about every mile. I stopped at 2 miles for a very short walk and a drink of water.

At about 3 miles I noticed my Garmin was right on with the mile markers. It was loosing signal occasionally but seemed to be catching back up.

I felt really good and was keeping my pace around 10:30 and only taking short walks at aid stations.

I hit mile five at around 55 minutes and was feeling good about my PR chances. Not too long after that I saw my friends and husband who were coming back. From then, it seemed to take forever to get to the turn around which was close to seven miles. I hit the half-way point at about 1:10 and decided to make my goal to finish in 2:20.

I hit mile eight and felt great. The river view was beautiful.


I decided I could totally pick up my pace and finish the last five miles strong.

And, then I hit mile nine and realized I had made a mistake. I hit a wall that was made worse when I saw the mile markers and my Garmin were not lining up at all. I started struggling a bit, but was still only walking through aid stations. I hit mile 10 on my Garmin but was on down the road more than a quarter mile before I saw the mile marker.

By 12 miles, I felt defeated. I was still maintaining an ok time but I realized I was not going to PR and to be honest with you, threw in the towel a bit. My stomach was starting to cramp up and I was getting nauseous. It was the Bass Pro half-marathon all over again. Somewhere around 12.5 miles I decided I was no longer running, ever again. I am a Great sport, let me tell you.

I made myself run the last half-mile. My official finish time was 2:32:11. Today, I’m kicking myself because I think had I not been so discouraged the last mile I could have brought it in at under 2:30.

My Garmin measured 13.45 miles though, so that at least made me feel a little better.

Forgot to hit pause for a couple of minutes

More stomach pains followed the race and I couldn’t stomach food, water or standing for about 2 hours after the race. I blamed the jelly beans last time so I don’t know what it is now but I’m definitely going to try to figure it out before Vegas. Otherwise, I’m walking the 13 miles with a yard-long margarita in hand.

Sunday, instead of resting, I spent the day cooking and prepping for Thansgiving and in general, destroying the kitchen.


Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!




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Cutest thing ever

This weekend was my final run before my half-marathon coming up on Sunday.

It was also my first run in the freezing cold! Ok, I think it was technically above freezing (around 37 degrees) when I started my run, but never-the-less, I was chilly and there was frost on the ground. I blame the cold for my slowness.

I will say that I did not pause the Garmin for any water, hill, or “OMG I’m going to die” breaks (by the way, I spelled breaks “brakes” three times before realizing I have no brain today). I figure this 11-minute pace may be close to what I will actually run in a race right now.

This is my first time for the Bass Pro Half Marathon. I’m excited and a bit nervous since I haven’t run a half-marathon since March. This is also my first of three races in the next five weeks. We were planning on sitting this one out, even though it’s nearby, but a friend talked us into running.

My previous half-marathon PR is around 2:25. I’m pretty ok with that but one day, I have hopes of getting down to about 2:15.

Since my second half, the White River Half-Marathon, is just two weeks away and on a much flatter course, I think it’s a better chance for a new personal best.  Besides, I have vowed revenge against the walker in jeans and I need to pace myself so that I can claim victory.

I’m also looking forward to writing my first official race recap! I’m going to do my best to actually take some pictures during the race, in between trying to breathe and stay ahead of the walkers.

In other news:

J-Roll Halloween Fun

Cutest. Thing. Ever.

I think so.

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Today, I bit the big bullet and am now officially registered for my very first full marathon!

My plan was to register for the race in early December. I wanted to see how my first couple of halves for the year went before I made the commitment and forked over the money. Then yesterday, the Little Rock Marathon posted this on Facebook:

I think this running thing is catching on. With the LRM planning to have a booth at the Chicago Marathon this weekend, I didn’t want to chance that it would sell out even earlier.

So, why the Little Rock Marathon?

It’s kind of like home:

My husband and I both graduated from the University of Central Arkansas, about 25 miles from Little Rock.

Since UCA is in a dry county, we spent a lot of time in Little Rock, you know, at the museums and stuff. I always thought Little Rock was a great little big city.

It’s less expensive:
The hubs’ mom lives in a town just outside Little Rock so we will stay with her. Plus, it’s only a few hours away so we can also save on gas and/or airfare and we won’t have to take time off work (although a recovery day may be in order).

Family support:
We get to combine the race with a trip to see my husband’s family and J-roll will be able to go with us and see his “nana.” Also, since it’s not too far away and this is my first full, I expect my entire family, including third cousins and maybe even my first grade teacher, to be there . . . wearing matching shirts.

See? I support others, now it’s their turn. I’ll lone them my sweatshirt.

It’s a great race

Last year, I ran the half while my husband ran the full. There are enough participants to have that big-race feel and crowd support but not so many that you feel like you’re running over people (or in my case, that people are running over me). The crowds are the best I’ve seen. The race is on Sunday morning and so lots of the churches make an event out of it and come outside and cheer on the racers. There’s even a “Methodist Mile.” I love southern hospitality!

The giant medal!

I’ll admit the number 1 reason I’m running this race is the giant medal. It’s the race’s big claim to fame.

This year’s medal hasn’t been released yet. But, with this being the logo this year’s logo:

How can it not be a giant disco ball?

I want it. I want it. I want it.

And, by George, I’ll run 26.2 miles to get it.

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Running in the Dark

I managed to only hit snooze twice this morning, which still left a little time to get in a run and officially kick-off training. Roughly 4.25 miles in 50 minutes. I don’t use a Garmin or other monitoring device so I just guess at it. It makes races interesting though when I tell my family I will be crossing the half marathon finish line sometime between two and four hours. Just look for the speed walkers, I’ll be somewhere back there.

Anyone else finding that these shorter days are making running much more challenging?
With a toddler and a full-time job, mornings are my best option for running but I’m not comfortable with or coordinated enough for running in the dark. I usually head to a 1.5 mile walking track that is lit…kind of.

At least there is a pretty regular crowd there. There are the two older gentlemen who must arrive sometime before 5:30 a.m., which is about the earliest I ever make it there, and leave precisely at 5:45. Another two older gentlemen arrive at 6 a.m. I want to tell them about each other so that they can meet in the middle and all be friends.

Today was also a monumental day in the life of my two-year-old, who received his first haircut. I was sad to do it because he has these awesome blonde curls, but it was starting to get a little out of control. The barber, who also cuts my husband’s hair, was very tolerant of my crazy photo taking and hysterical sobbing. J-roll took it all pretty well and we celebrated the occasion with milkshakes after dinner.

If anyone is reading this (and I greatly appreciate it if you are!) I will try to post some pictures and get the blog looking a little better as the week goes on. This is new to me so just hang with me.
Also, I changed the name from slowmotherunner to toughmotherrunner after noticing the previous name was already being used when I bothered to do a Google search (see, I told you I was new at this!) Don’t worry, I’m still slow . . . just tough too.
Plus, I already have a shirt that says tough mother runner so double win really.
Happy running!


Goodbye sweet curls.

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