Tag Archives: Made in America 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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Realizing how far you have come

I refuse to tell people that this is what to do… or this is what will work for everyone… because that is a bunch of hooey. Everyone knows that nothing works for everyone and what works for one person simply can not work for others.  It irritates me when other people do it.  I won’t.

That said… this is where I am this morning…

This morning I hit what my PCP suggests ought to be my goal weight. That means I’m about 15 pounds from my actual goal weight.  THAT means I, very soon, need to start going to the stupid Weight Watchers meetings so I can hit goal there and become lifetime.  I still resent the hell out of that little ploy, but it is what it is.  Yay Nestle…

In celebration I drank a cup of coffee with creamer as a morning treat.

Then I got ready for my run.

I started playing Pokemon Go as a way to see if I can do something distracting during my run.  Hatching eggs.  Unfortunately, the app calculates really badly… I can run 2.5 miles and not QUITE accumulate 1k distance in egg hatching.  But steps is steps and they eventually hatch.  I thought maybe that my fanny pack would count the distance better than my flip belt…  Turns out it didn’t… but… in the process… I had to put my fanny pack on.  This is the utility belt I had always used in races.  This is the utility belt I used before I started on my little weight loss adventure… and my little running adventure.  It fit.  The way the strap was… it fit… 6 months ago… it fit.

This morning when I put it on, this is what I found…. When I strapped around me and held the pack side… I could see my feet between my stomach and the bag.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When I let go of it this is what happened!!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have officially lost enough weight that my fanny pack needed to be VERY much tightened.  I was, suffice it to say, not only SHOCKED, but very pleasantly surprised.

Today, I adjusted my run/walk/run time so that I ran 30 seconds and walked 45 seconds… I did 2.37 miles this morning in just under 30 minutes.

It got me thinking…

When I first started running (2008… 2009… ish time frame) it was right before I was diagnosed with RA.  RIGHT before… I was doing pretty well… but I was no where near as quick or consistent as I am now.

My first several ‘runs’ I did in the middle of the darkness in the morning around our cul de sac.  I would leave our driveway, jog to the next driveway… make it to the end of the street… walk the rest of the way… and fall down into the yard.  I started adding a little distance.  I would go to the next driveway plus one sidewalk square.  Sometimes the next dandelion.  I worked my way using the First Day to 5K pod cast.

I eventually worked my way up to being able to finish about a mile and a half… run walk running… but I was doing it at about a 16 minute mile.

I finished my first half marathon two months after I was diagnosed with raging RA… 37 joints involved… inflammation everywhere…. My hips screamed the last mile.  I almost couldn’t make it into the house from the attached garage.

When I finished my first Disney half marathon 4 years later, I managed to stay ahead of the balloon ladies but not by much.  I half way trained.  My RA was kind of mostly controlled but I had just started on Orencia.  I was still on MTX.

I was determined to finish Disney…. and it was a personal best time for me.  It wasn’t a great time, but I finished it.

I was 218 pounds when we moved to Cleveland.

I refused to do the math on what that meant BMI wise.  I didn’t want to know.

That was 4 years ago.

February I started back walking very fast to train for Disney.

Then I read that for every 10 pounds weight loss you can shave off 20 seconds per minute off of your run time.  I was determined to get to a 14 minute mile so I could half way comfortably finish ahead of the balloon ladies and still get my picture taken coming out of Cinderella’s castle and maybe even with Goofy on the golf course.

So after my PCP told me that WW is the silver bullet and that I should only EVER eat 0 point foods, I got pissed and joined.  I was determined to make it work.

I needed to shave my time.

I needed to get healthier and stronger so I can help Bear as much as I can through everything that is to come. I need to be as strong as I can possibly be.  I need to be healthy enough to support him enough through everything.  It matters.

And here I am at 165 pounds… 15 pounds short of MY 150 pound goal…

The walmart leggings I started out running in stay MOSTLY up but slide down a few times during a 2 to 3 mile run.

People at work who haven’t seen me in a while have started to comment on how much weight I’ve lost.  I kind of look at that sort of in a hard way… I didn’t really think of how heavy I was.  I didn’t think about how I looked to other people.  I didn’t think… Now I think.

I’m down 4 pants sizes.  I’m running in between a medium and large pair of running leggings.

I don’t hurt as bad as I did before.  I don’t hurt as badly when I am nearly to infusion day.  My hands still ache some days and I still am stiff in the mornings but I feel less bad (does less badly equate to better?  I’m not sure).

And I’m starting to think of myself as a runner.

But it’s not all sunshine and roses in my own head.

Men have started to notice me… started to flirt with me.  There was a guy in Pittsburgh when Bear and I were waiting on the Gateway Clipper who bought pop corn and brought it over so I could help him feed the ducks.  It never dawned on me until Bear pointed it out later that he was flirting.  People rarely ever talk to me so flirting isn’t something that ever crosses my mind. My first thought was… I want very much to go back to being invisible and I should stop trying to lose weight.

But I like feeling better.  I like thinking that I might not need to be on some of the “you’re too heavy” drugs that I’ve been on for years.  High BP meds… cholesterol drugs…

So… yeah… it’s been very much a thinking kind of day… a day of how far I’ve come over the years.

Running isn’t for everyone with RA.  Knee damage, ankle damage, feet and toes… it seriously curtails what you can do with working out… but moving is a good thing and I’m convinced that weight watchers (much as I STILL hate trying to find the logic in stuff) and running have made an incredible difference and I know that I really really don’t want to go back to having a BMI of 36.  Goal for me is now a normal BMI… and making sure I’m around to help when Bear needs my help.

And… of course… doing races…

August … Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame 10k

October…. Towpath 10k
Pumpkin run in Akron

November… Made In America in Massillon Ohio half marathon

February…. Disney!!!

 

Love and Light

April

7/13/2018