Tag Archives: Half Marathon

Made In America Half Marathon Race Recap

This race review is written from the back of the pack… no judgement on that at all just information… the experience is probably different for the people who were nearer the front. 

The Made In America Half, in Massilon Ohio was last weekend. I was torn as to whether (weather) or not to do the race.  I kept thinking that it was going to be 25 degrees Fahrenheit.  The race only cost me $35 to register.  Bear was feeling really really crappy and wasn’t going to be able to go even sit and wait for me (for three hours) in the car in a parking lot.  I was torn as to whether or not it was going to be worth going. 

I went.

I wanted desperately to come in at about 2:43 start to finish.

I didn’t.

I finished at 3:01:50.  Not awful.  Not time to turn in form corral placement for Disney, but not awful.  

I’m used to being at the back of the pack.  I’m not fast, but I am strong (~Baymax).  This race only had just under 300 people who started the race.  I didn’t finish last.  I didn’t not finish.  It was all okay.

It was a really hard race, though, in a lot of ways. 

The first four miles are hilly.  They don’t actually close the roads.  For a ways they close one lane.  For a ways they don’t close any of the lanes.  For a ways the route is sketchily market at best.  But it is a $35 race.   And you get a shirt and a medal.

The last 9 miles is on the Towpath.  The Towpath in Massilon isn’t as well kept up as the Towpath in Brecksville.  I think it might have been paved at some point in its life, at least parts of it, but now it isn’t.  It’s packed dirt.  So this can actually be said to be a combination road race and trail race.  They did (I think they did) salt the course so the ice that likely was there melted even where the tree cover was heavy.

For a while I was sort of traveling near people, but the herd soon thinned out considerably.  There were a couple people I could see (if the trail bent right) ahead of me (the yellow jacket helped), and there were a couple people who were behind me that I knew for sure were still back there (there the red jackets stood out) but I was kind of the half way point between people who were a half or 3/4 miles apart.  One woman passed me at about mile 9, I passed another woman at about mile 11.  For most of the race, though, I was alone.  I had entirely too long to think.

There wasn’t an issue with being in the way of anything after mile 4.  I passed a couple water stops, but for the most part it was flying alone.  There was a train track for a while, there was road for a while, there were even a few houses, but when you are all alone, you are pretty much all alone. 

It was a good race.  I would probably do it again.  The biggest thing that was a let down for me was, at the end, there were no bananas.  There was nothing even resembling healthy. There were cookies and chips and water.  I would have given anything for either chocolate milk or bananas or even an apple… but… it was not to be.

I did it.  I finished.  I enjoyed the scenery and I did use it as a training “run” but… it was a very hard morning in a lot of ways.  

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Fairytale challenge training… day 1

So, I’m following the Galloway training plan from the RunDisney site. 19 easy weeks to a 10K/half marathon.

Yeah okay

Easy peasy

I don’t usually get to do a mid week training run during the daylight. I typically run at about 4:30 am. It’s nice to see what I’m passing better.

It was in the 40s and bright and sunny.

It bodes well for the rest of training.

April

10/23/2018

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Reflections on the Presque Isle Half Marathon

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Monday morning.  Thunder rolls. Working from home ALL week because of the Republican National Convention (the craziness in town was already incredible the end of last week, and today the crazies all really descend).  Bright and early connected so I … Continue reading

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In the Quiet of the Morning

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Morning is my favorite time of the day… especially early morning when the world is quiet and I can sit with a whole cup of coffee and just be.  The only thing demanding my attention is my dog and all … Continue reading

Santa Hustle Cedar Point and Did Not Finish… coming to terms

568 So… today was the Cedar Point version of the Santa Hustle. I looked forward to this race for months. It is ON THE LAKE, how awesome is that. Okay, it isn’t quite the feeling of Disney, but hey, what is? I knew I was going to dress up for the race. I was determined to make it memorable.

It was memorable.

We got there 30 minutes before the race.  There was a HUGE line for the porta potties.  In retrospect, I should have been clued in, but hot off of the last race being the Disney half (almost a year ago now) I really didn’t think too much about it.

I should have.  I should have waited in the line and gone to the bathroom.  Turned out, the next porta potty I saw was between mile 4 and mile 5.  By then I was sick from having to so SO bad.  I puked twice and ended up finding my own place to go.  I’m not proud of that fact, but it is what it is.  NEXT year I will know better and plan better.

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It was neat. They split the starting herd in two for the half. The two sections were released about 3 minutes apart. It gave the elite a good head start and spread out the runners.

The first nearly three miles is in the park. It’s a neat experience being in the park when it is the off season. The rides are in various states of disassembly. Cars are off of the coasters. The train is shrink wrapped. The park is buttoned up for the winter. The only non-runners in the park are the photographers and the volunteers handing out M&Ms, cookies and water. I would not recommend M&Ms next year. Entirely too many of them ended up being left in the glasses all through the rest of the park

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I was very surprised to see that there weren’t many glovies or hats or any other clothes really littering the course. In Austin the first three miles had discarded clothes. People in Ohio realize the necessity of yummy warm clothes. I got three sets of arm warmers at the hustle store… they are amazing and I will wear them the rest of the whole winter to work.

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By the time I exited the park I had thrown up once, shed my turtle neck (that I left with bear when I found him at the gate taking pictures). It is not pretty to have to go that bad and not have ANYWHERE to go. I was on “my time” (I was keeping the pace that I usually find myself keeping) but I was very much not feeling the way I needed to be feeling to finish this race strong. I wasn’t feeling like I should to finish this race at all.

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I have to admit that I wasn’t thrilled when I saw bear taking this picture. This was probably my lowest. I called him from mile 6.25 in tears. I hit my wall. I was at the lowest I think I have ever been in a race. I was not feeling good. I was still holding my time. I was not quite last. I was keeping up with the people I was near. I passed a few. I was passed by more. I was not last. I was not in a good place. I realized at that point that I needed to not be stupid and hurt myself more just to finish. I realized I could cut SO many corners and cross the finish line and appear to have a personal best and get the bling. I realized that I could push on and try to finish (I was STILL… even after puking, going to the bathroom in a dumpster and falling completely apart… I was STILL right about on MY time). I realized that I didn’t need to do that.

Halves are my race.
I let myself down? Probably
Am I mortified by this race? Oh hell yeah
Am I going to do race again? DAMN Straight. I’m going to sign up (soon) for the Cleveland Towpath Half in April… or maybe the Cleveland half marathon. I will sign up with squirrel girl so she can ‘race’ with me (and I can watch her disappear into the distance with pride).
It was too soon after surgery. I wasn’t ready

DFL (Dead Freaking Last) is better than DNF (Did Not Finish)… except that sometimes it is better to listen to your body when it starts to shut down on you and suck it up. Sometimes Did Not Finish is what needs to be.

3 weeks to race day

The Santa Hustle is just three weeks away. I am way not as prepared for it as I should be.  My work project and my gall bladder issues kind of all got in the way of really really training.  But I am really pretty psyched about the race.  It’s way cool to have the course going through Cedar Point.  It’s even cooler in my humble opinion to have it be across the causeway and to ‘run’ beside the lake.

I’m weird, I know.

I’m kind of a lot bummed because I’m probably going to be going all alone.  Like when I started halves in Austin.  Up at o-dark-thirty… drive my own butt to Sandusky and make sure I’m there before 6:30 because I know I won’t be going to packet pick up on Saturday (duh) and they already warn you of the long lines.

Starting line… alone… but I will have my music all ready…

I have to maintain about a 15 minute mile…

There are not very many water/aid stations along the way… Only six.  There are usually stations every mile… That one worries me just a little.  BUT there are also cookie stations and candy stations… so… I’m thinking that will probably help.

The causeway is supposed to be windy.  I need to be sure I have enough batteries for my weather proof camera… and my ear muffies are on sufficiently tight…

I hope I cross in time… before the 12:30 close.  I already can envision being incredibly demoralized by about mile 8.  It’s not Disney… and I know I will be heading to a lonely finish line.  I’m worried that my head will be worse at this one than it was at my last Austin one.  At least at that one everyone was there and I knew I would find them somewhere even if I had to do it all alone.  (turned out that I didn’t have to do it all alone… DS was there to walk me in and cheer me on again)…

I’m a little worried.
I’m a lot worried about the drive home. I don’t know what the weather will be.  I don’t know how I will feel (I could be incredibly fine like I was for Disney… I could be incredibly horrible like I was for my first… and my last… Austin races).  I will have to be sure I start a week long series of prednisone about mid week that week… just to be on the safe side.

I’m excited… I’m nervous… I’m back to doing something I really enjoy a lot… I wish I were dreading it less than I am.

Santa Hustle Half Marathon: lunacy

Okay, so here I am, deciding that I must be crazy.  I must be.  There is no other explanation.

What am I doing?  I’m crocheting a Santa beard in August.  WHY am I working on a Santa beard in August?  Because I’ve fallen in love with a race that I intend to do in December.  The Santa Hustle at Cedar Point.  December… Cedar Point (part of the course is along the beach on Lake Erie)… I have to be crazy.  I should not be this excited about walking as fast as I can for four hours on what could be a lovely day or what could be a freaking cold day with a foot of snow (like last year).  I have to be crazy.

And yet, here I am, working on my beard, getting ridiculously excited about the race.

On the beach

At Lake Erie

in December

Yes, I’ll post pictures when I get more of the outfit completed.
Yes, I swear I will post updates on the training
Yes, I’m hoping that, maybe since school will be out in Texas… MAYBE… Adam almost volunteered already this morning… and he just might yet…

Am I crazy (as I listen to IZ cds and rub on the Tiger Balm in August), probably… but I need to keep proving to myself that I can… that I’m not too lame (literally) to walk a half.  Ever since I was diagnosed in 2009 (wow, I’m closing in on 5 years diagnosed… 7 or 8 with active RA) walking 13.1 miles has been my thing.  And I guess it is going to keep being my thing.

I close my eyes and see Adam walking me in to almost the finish line in Austin… handing me my medal and hugging me the year he had the flu… I see all of them cheering me on across the finish line at Disney… I still don’t understand why I am my kids’ hero, but I really do have to do this.  The compulsion is just there.  And I have to answer the call.

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On Taking Shortcuts

Okay, so, this week I did an interview about real life tips and tricks for living with RA for a magazine.  I also read an article in the Wall Street Journal about the Balloon Ladies that are part and parcel … Continue reading

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A Day to Smile

So, it was my Orencia infusion day.  It was the first one since training for the half started in earnest, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I didn’t run before I went for my infusion, I waited until lunch … Continue reading

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Taking Inventory

Sitting here, cold coffee (not iced, just cold) by my side, wishing the pumpkin creamer was thawing faster. I’m running through the joints in my body, taking node of what feels how. The smell of Tiger Balm hangs in the … Continue reading