Friday, March 8, 2013

Fun For Friday - Half Marathon Thoughts

Happy Friday! It's been a long one and I even took Monday off after the Little Rock Half Marathon to recoup. The crazy thing is, other than my foot problem, I felt absolutely fine. No real muscle soreness in my legs. In fact, had my foot not been hurting, you better believe I would have been out running on Monday.

Unfortunately, I pushed too hard and am sidelined again. Apparently I don't learn. I've tried really hard not to get down about not running this week. The first few days were ok. I got to try out more of Cathe's XTrain series and spent time on my bike trainer. However, the weather was rapidly improving -sunshine, warming temps, no gusting crazy winds.

I think it was even harder because I was still riding that post-race high. You know - thinking about running, looking at more races to enter (why doesn't AR have more races by the way), missing that long weekend run. Gotta love runner's amnesia for helping us all forget the hellish parts of a run sometimes. I suppose most of us would give up if we always remembered huh?

So, rather than whine and complain about not running, I thought I would reflect on and share some things from the race. I sure wish I could have taken pictures during the race. The Little Rock Marathon route always has amazing support, even when it's 25 degrees out!

For Fun for Friday - I thought I'd just share some tidbits that I remember from the race:

Photo taken by a friend - this would be around mile 1
  • The weather channel always lies about the wind speeds. 3mph was really more like 13.
  • I didn't get to go to the bathroom again right before the race. Maybe that's part of why I went so much faster - having to pee for 13.1 miles makes you desperate and port-a-potties start to look like an oasis in the desert.
  • I hate the traffic jam feeling when a race first starts and you can't get around people. So claustrophobic. 
  • So fun seeing live bands playing along the route - from heavy metal to gospel and even someone sitting on their front porch serenading us.
  • When there wasn't live music, people were often playing music on radios, or a DJ spinning tunes (mile 6), or even the random boom box tied up to a lamp post (mile 2).
  • When someone calls your name out, it's like you've won something special. 
  • I still can't drink at aid stations.
  • I love some of the random signs like "Did you just run a fartlek" and another one that was something along the lines of "Great Job Random Stranger" (totally paraphrasing except for the random stranger part) and "This is the worst parade ever!" being held by a child.
  • I almost wanted the cup of beer that one guy was handing out just shy of mile 8 - he's there every year. Carbs anyone?
  • Just before the beer guy, one group was celebrating (probably the fact that they weren't running) with mimosas in their front yard. I really wanted the mimosa by the way. OJ is healthy right?
  • Passing by your own house at 9.5 miles into a race is almost heartbreaking. Luckily, I didn't have a key with me or I may have stopped. Ok, not really, but it sure sounded like a fantastic idea.
  • Cold gels are really hard to take. I ran with mine in my hand for a solid mile trying to get it to warm up.
  • Hills suck, but long gradual, 1+ mile long hills suck even more. How do they find the route with as many mile-long inclines as possible?
  • The last half a mile might be the hardest - you see the end, you hear the end, but you just can't seem to get there and everyone is telling you how close you are!
  • Crossing that finish line makes it all worth it!