Monday, September 30, 2013

Celtic Classic 10K

Did you ever have one of the days where everything felt spot on?!? Well, I did, and I am so happy to share it with you.  On Saturday, I ran the 23rd Annual Celtic Classic 10K. I hadn't planned on running any 10Ks, but my best friend Liz asked me to run her first 10K with her, so how could I pass it up. The money all went to The Special Olympics, so again, there was no way that I could turn it down. I woke up Sat morning and knew that I was going to wear my Saucony's without my orthotic because they didn't really help my foot at all. Other than that, I had no idea what to expect for the course, but I did remember reading in one of the emails that there may be some mud, so I assumed there would be some grassy areas involved.  We arrived at the race a little before 7 am and there wasn't too many people there yet (they were expecting 641) so check in was easy peasy. At 7:45 I took 2 Aleve and hoped for the best.  After talking with some of the other runners, I learned that this course was definitely different than the year before, but no one really "knew" the course. All I knew was that somehow we ended up at Illick's Mill and that we ended where we started. The atmosphere was awesome, the energy from the Kilts was awesome!! At 8:08 I crossed the start line and we were off. We started on road, and then went onto a toe path. It was absolutely beautiful out, and the scenery was awesome.  Somehow we ended up at Illick's Mill, and that is where I got chatting with a fellow runner and mentioned how this was my first time running this and he was like well, "you picked a bad year to start with all the hills." Not once in the race did I feel like I was struggling. I was and am very appreciative now of all of the training runs I have been doing with Aardvark, since almost every run has hills. I felt really strong going up the hills, and although my pace slowed down for them, I didn't really feel that I struggled. I just kept telling myself that I was ready for this, and no matter what, I can do it.  At Illick's Mill we went up and around and down and up and around (really, I felt like we just kept running in a circle) and then we started the return back. It was a closed course, like VIA, but I ran the entire race without music and just lost myself in the atmosphere. I actually enjoyed running without music. I just ran based on how I felt.  I pushed myself but made sure I saved some for the end. I crossed the finish line in 1:06:53, a 2 minute PR for me. I am so happy to see all my hard work paying off.  Premedicating with Aleve allowed me to run pain free for the first 6 miles, now, to see what other anti-inflammatory I can take for another 6 miles? Anyway, if you ask me again, I just might run this race again.
The only dislike I had was the difficulty in finding the race start. Even though I put the GPS coordinates it was still difficult in finding it. But, we did, with plenty of time to spare, and had a great time! What a way to celebrate my training, and my friend's first 10K.
Hope you had a great weekend!
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Sunday, September 8, 2013

VIA Half Marathon

So, today was the VIA marathon, half marathon and marathon relay. It also happened to be my friend Chris' first half marathon. I really had no intentions of running this half, why, I do not know, but I signed up to run it when Chris told me she was inspired by all I do and asked me to run it with her. How do I say no to that?  Let me first admit that I was a little undertrained for this half, but I also knew that I could do it. Today wasn't about me or PR's anyway, it was about getting my friend to cross the finish line and become a half marathoner. 
So, I got up at O-dark-thirty and headed to the start. I got there at 5 am!
Anyway, I waited and headed out to the start line by 5:15. I had no idea what to expect based on people and what not so I wanted to be early so I didn't have to rush. We were even there before the port a potties! Since this was Chris' first half, I tried to remove as many stressors as I could. Then we took a photo at the intersection of the start line Main St and W Walnut.
Then, we eased our way to the start line and then at 7:02 we started. Having not run this race before, I didn't know what to expect, BUT having run the canal path before I felt like I knew what to expect. It was a beautiful day for a run. There were very energetic volunteers at the water stations and their energy definitely helped today. They had adequate water and Gatorade which was huge for me and I was happy that they even had extra. The course was mainly flat with a few hills and it felt fast. I thought the mile markers were never coming, but was still excited to see them all. Let me just tell you how awesome the final stretch was. Having everyone there cheering and then a jumbotron and announcing your name as you crossed the finished line, THAT was awesome!! I really felt like I mattered even though I know I won't ever place.
I guess my only complaint is that there isn't live entertainment, but I don't exactly know where they would put it.  And, I don't think that marathon finishers should have to wait in line for a stretch, yes, I think they should have gotten their own tent.
We finished, 3 minutes under Chris' goal time. I am so proud of her! She worked so hard and even though she said I was a drill Sargent, I think she loved every minute of it.
Half number 5 is now in the books. Would I run this again, absolutely. Maybe next year this will be my full marathon?!??
Ok, now to rest. I have another half next month so I need to continue training for that! Hope you had a great weekend!