Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Juli, Becki, Lori, Shannon, Dave, Me and Laura with Elastic Girl!

Me and Brenda before the race!
February 26, 2012.
Race weekend started on Thursday, when I drove up with Renee to set up the Fit2Run booth with other employees. Thursday involved lots of heaving lifting and then unpacking merchandise.It was a long day. We were back at the expo by 7:30 to set up a little more before the 9 a.m. opening. What a crazy day at the expo! I had a pretty good view of the Disney Merchandise booth. Those Dooney and Burke bags went fast! It was crazy! I was working the Skirt Sport booth both days. I kept pretty busy there, but did have time to wonder around the expo a few times to spend all my money. :) I got a new bracelet, silver ring, pink polka dot 26.2 and 13.1 bumper magnents, a princess tank and cup from the race merchandise area. I saw a few friends at the expo, which was great! I worked until 7:30 pm. Long day! My legs and feet were feeling sore. I still had another day of working! Saturday was a shorter day through. I got there at 8 and left at 3 pm. It was even busier and crazier at the expo that day! After work, Renee and I met up with Brenda at the hotel and then headed to downtown Disney. I picked up a special lego present for my son, before we headed to dinner at Wolfgang Puck's Cafe. We got back to the hotel and went to ask about a coffee pot. With a 3 am wakeup call, we knew we were going to need some coffee! They had no coffee pots and the restaurant wasn't going to be open that early. So, we made a quick trip to Wal Mart! We found a $8 coffee maker! Back in the hotel, we set up the coffee maker for the next day and got to bed a little after 9 pm.

I didn't sleep well that night, but I felt OK once I had a cup of coffee in me! We left the hotel a little after 3:30 am. Lots of traffic (much more than 2 years ago) heading into the parking area at Epcot. Once we parked, we had a pretty short walk to the first area for runners. We made a porta pottie break, took a photo then made our way to the corrals. Renee and I left Brenda at the porta potties on the other side of bag check. She was in corral B and we were in A, so we wouldn't have been able to hang out much longer anyway. Very hard to get to the corrals. So many people walking that way. I think it's about a mile to the corrals. Just before getting there, we made a pit stop at the potties and then made our way to the first corral. The group that I was trying to meet up with were near the stage, but it was part of the elite corral. We made our way towards the front of the corral and after a while, I was finally able to spot the group ahead. I figured once we got running, I could find them. We didn't have to wait to long in the corrals before the fireworks went off we were off and running!

Look at this crazy guy I found!
Renee was way ahead of me from the start. :) I quickly found the group I was looking for. I ran the race with Dave, Lori, Juli, Brandi and Shannon (Mrs. USA!). It took me a little while to get used to the pace. It was a little slower than my regular long run pace. Eventually I got behind them so that I wouldn't keep pulling so far ahead! I believe our first stop was with the pirates. A little past the pirates was a giant hot air balloon. After passing the balloon, we could see the Magic Kingdom sign up ahead. It was very dark in this section. All of a sudden, in my periferal vision, I see a woman fall to my right. Our group stops and goes back to check on the woman, who I later learn, is named Sherry. We ask her if she is OK and if she needs help getting up. She says she thinks she broke her shoulder and that she doesn't want to move. Shannon runs over to a security guard car that is just a little ways down the road. He takes a very long time to come over to us. Meanwhile half of us are standing in a semi circle around her to protect her from the on coming runners. Two doctors stop to check on the Sherry. One, Laura, stays with us. Finally two police cars show up and then a medical guy on a bike shows up. A bike! One of the police officers tells us to go ahead, they will look after Sherry. So we all take off again. Laura decides to join our group since she is way off of her normal race pace by now. We finally make it to the 5K timing mat. Time of 57:26! While waiting in line at the next photo spot, I text Brenda to see if she had passed by already. Then I checked my facebook page to see what my time was for the 5K. Saw that it was so slow, so I posted an update to let my friends know that I was OK. That's a 10K time for me!

Me, Juli, Brandi, Lori, Shannon,
Laura and Dave!
We made our way into Magic Kingdom, stopping for photos with all characters. Once we were in the park, there were even more stops! A couple of photos with the Castle behind us, Minnie Mouse, Princess Tiana, Jessie (Toy Story), Buzz Lightyear, Prince Charming, the cast of Sleeping Beauty and a few others. As we are leaving Magic Kingdom, we pass a medical tent with biofreeze and patrolium jelly. I get some of that patrollium jelly, go off to the side and put it on a couple of delicate spots at the top of my legs (under shorts) that feel like there might be chaffing! I quickly catch back up to the group. At the next porti pottie section, I notice there is no line, so I tell the group to go on, I'll catch up. I make a quick pit stop, then catch up to them again. It is getting harder and harder to run. By now, most of the people on the road are walkers. It's very hard to run around them. We are often off on the side of the road, running in the grass to pass them.

The last few miles are mostly running. Not as many character stops from mile 10 on. The slant on the couple of overpasses really irritates my IT Band, so I run up on the grass again, because it is flatter there! Soon it is raining on us, but thankfully, it doesn't last long. We make it into Epcot, so happy that we are getting close to the finish! We try a big "Dave Mari" jump in front of the big globe and then head towards the finish. We all link arms and run across the finish line together!

Time: 3:54:37! Almost 2 hours longer than my normal half marathon time!

We got a group photo taken with a few other half fanatics and then I said good bye. I sent a text to Brenda, who had waited over an hour for me. It started raining just before we meet up. We make it to the car and then have to wait in traffic for a bit before getting on the road.

I had a wonderful time running this race! Hope to make it to the finish a bit faster next weekend at Gasparilla half. :)

Sherry update: I found her on facebook! Her friend said she has a fractured humerus between shoulder and elbow. She said recovery will be 8 weeks. Good to hear she is doing fine!   

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rock n Roll St. Pete Half Marathon

February 12, 2012

Race morning started off super early and cold! I met up with Gina, Stephanie and Dawn at 4:45 am at the Starbucks by the interstate. Charlotte was supposed to be there too, but ended up over sleeping, so we went on without her.

We made it to St Pete in about half an hour and found a parking spot in the garage closer to the finish. No hassles with traffic at all! We stopped for a coffee at the Starbucks on the corner (the one we meet up with at earlier had been closed!) and then walked the 2 miles to the Tropicana Field. Once there, we met up with Brett and Ken and then huddled together to try and stay warm. Temps were in the low 40s. Wind chill made it feel like mid 30s. We are not used to these temps! I wore a tank top, with a short sleeved top on top. Arm warmers and then a toss away sweatshirt on top. Capri skirt and long compression socks kept my legs covered. I had gloves on my hands and a wide headband to cover my ears. I was ready! :) We headed towards the corrals at 7:15. I told them I would catch up with them. I had to use the porta potties one more time. The lines were very long. I waited and waited. I still had two people in front of me as the national anthem was playing. I decided to just wait it out. I was in corral 5, so I knew it would take a few minutes for my corral to get up to the start. Plus, I was planning on taking it easy this race. My congested nose and lungs were not going to let me run a fast race. And I wanted to test out how my knee would do. I finally got into the porta pottie and it was disgusting! Yuck! I did my business and was out of there fast. I made it to my corral as they were moving up to the front and about ready to start. I had enough time to get my garmin going and to turn on my music and then we were off!
Within minutes I was able to find my friends. Ken, Gina and Brett took off at a fast pace, so I ran with Dawn for a while. Within minutes we had turned two corners and were heading into the wind. That was brutal. I had various body parts that were frozen. I couldn't feel my bum at all! I kept feeling the back of my skirt to make sure it was down. It felt like nothing was back there! We kept up a pretty brisk pace for the first few miles, only stopping to walk through the first water stop. Just after mile 3, I knew I would need to get into a normal walk break schedule, so I told Dawn to just go on ahead. I then started walk breaks at about every half mile.

Miles 1 through 4: 8:58, 9:01, 9:09, 9:26.

Just after mile 4, I decided I was warm enough to toss of the sweatshirt. It was a little cold at first, but soon I was feeling fine with the temps. I kept the gloves on for another mile. When I did pull them off, I held on to them. I worried that I might get stronger wind later in the race. I wish I would have studied where the water stops were. I took my Peanut Butter Gu just after the 10K mark, thinking there would be water soon. Next water stop was after mile 7.I think it was this water stop that I noticed the big plastic garbage bin, with a liner, filled with water. The volunteers, who had plastic gloves on, were dipping cups in the water bin and placing them on the table. Gross. I had heard this was done, just never saw it before at a race!.

Once we hit the water, I was so happy to have my gloves. The wind was much stronger near the water. I was still getting in a longer walk break about every half mile, sometimes it was longer then a half mile. I was feeling pretty good through. Just feeling the congestion. Once we hit the pier, we could see runners to our left who were running in the opposite direction. I kept a look out for familiar faces. About halfway down the pier I saw Dawn running strong. I yelled out to her, cheering her on. I got to the end and walked the whole way around. Knee was feeling a little achy, but not bad. I just didn't want to push it. Once around the end loop, I started running again. Mile 10 was a longer mile. I took a much longer walking break here. It was hard passing the finish area. You couldn't see it. But I knew it was to our right and you could hear it.

Miles 5 through 10: 9:12, 9:56, 10:00, 10:06, 10:09, 11:10.

Once we got to the waterfront again, we had runners on our right that were heading to the finish. I think they were about half a mile away. I had a great time looking out for familar faces. I helped the last few miles go by fast. I saw Dr Jeff pass by and then just before the little bridge I saw Gina. I yelled out to her in my breaking voice (voice was almost gone). She was running strong. About a mile ahead of me! I kept a look out for Dawn, but must have just missed her as I made the loop around the park. Soon I hit mile 12 and was on my way back towards the finish! I yelled a hello to Anne and Claire as I saw them heading towards mile 11. I felt strong the last mile. I took one long break in the middle and then finished with a strong kick.

Miles 11 through finish: 10:35, 10:40, 10:48 and 1:58 for the last .22
Finish time: 2:11

Gina and Dawn were waiting just past the finish line. They had both PR'd! Gina got 2:00 and Dawn had 2:02! So proud of them. I hope to get close to those times at Gasparilla in a few weeks. Hopefully the congestion will be gone.

We hung out for a while watching Flo Rida. It was a fun concert, but it was cold, so we didn't stay for the whole thing.

Overall this was a fun race. I want to run it again next year. Hopefully I can give it my all! :)