Wednesday, May 27, 2009

North Carolina Makes 15

Another state checked off my list. This past weekend I had the pleasure and the pain of completing the Skirtchaser 5k in Raleigh, North Carolina. My traveling partner-in-crime was Karen. She had the good (mis)fortune of experiencing the kind of heat and humidity that people from our neck of the woods rarely, if ever, feel. While waiting for the race to begin we sweated enough fluids to require another hydration attempt! We lunched at the Hibernian Pub before checking into our hotel. Arrived at the race with enough time to check in, change into the little racing skirts, ditch our stuff and line up in the corral. It was hotter than Hades! I had read somewhere that the body feels it's 10-15 degrees warmer than temps reflect once you're running. It was 85-87 at the start - you do the sweltering math! The first 2 miles were uphill (I was soooo wrong when I thought Raleigh was flat). There was no water stops on the course - just Gatorade at the 1.5 mark and only 2 volunteers so we waited for a drink. And wait I did! I had this horrible sinus infection/head cold and couldn't breathe through my nose, which left my mouth as dry as the sahara. We both finished with what we felt were respectable times, grabbed our free beer, a slice of watermelon, a 2" jimmy john sample size sub, then made our way to grab a quick dinner somewhere that didn't have a dress code. The best part of the evening was coming across Helios Cafe which had fantastic caps and lattes and dreamy red velvet cupcakes! Early to bed because I felt like crap from the head cold from hell, then back to Cleveland the next morning. Thanks, Karen, I look forward to our next adventure!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Good Week of Running

A simple post - I've had a good week of running. It started with a 2-mile run to CrossFit class on Monday. Two 4-mile lunchtime runs on Wednesday and Friday, then a nice, even-paced 10-miler on Sunday. Today's run was even more enjoyable than most of my regular 10 mile runs because I had the great pleasure of watching the Cleveland Marathon/Half Marathon racers at my halfway point. I can't help but become a little emotional when watching a race...something that's hard to explain unless you run, in which case you will totally understand. So here's to hoping for another good week of running with a great ending at the North Carolina race and possibly a new PR!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Race Photos

It's as if school pictures weren't enough to stress about growing up, but now I've entered a new dimension of hell...race photos. I got that dreaded link announcing that my recent half marathon race photos were available for viewing. You know, I secretly hope that this batch will be different. I realize race photogs can't make my photo 20 pounds lighter, but seriously is sitting on a curb really the most flattering angle for anyone???!!! I seem to have this bizarre stride that requires one side of my shorts to hike up high enough to be saying hello to my hip. And because I'm chronicling my races in all the states, I end up buying the least bad photo each time...for the bargain basement price of $15.95 for a 4x6. I almost think that those little black combs they used to pass out in the school pictures line should be included in the racer's goody bags...and maybe disposable (and biodegradable) lipstick. A girl can dream!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

This morning was my 3rd Mother's Day Run! The first run was 2007 when Bridget was 2 months old (and my body did NOT bounce back like Halle Berry!). When I registered my family for the 2nd race in 2008, they begged me to let them buy me something from Target or anywhere else. Nope, I love to run and I wanted to do a run with my family on mother's day. You can't buy "family time" from Target as you know. Each year we ask someone random person to take a picture of all of us. Meg and Bridget don't appreciate it yet, but they will as they get older and see how much they've grown and how beautiful they are! Oh yeah, we DEFINITELY don't run for a PR - just for the Caribou Coffee, bagels and "jo-jo's" (as Bridget calls them). Happy Mother's Day to everyone!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Flying Pig Half Marathon Report

The Flying Pig Half Marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio was yet another wonderful running experience. For this post, I will break my race experience into 3 parts: the expo, the race itself, and the post race experience. First, the expo - very well run and organized, not to mention one of the best goodie bags! I loved all the Pig photo ops as well as the Bob Ronker "modeling" of running apparel. The race was well marked, challenging yet interesting, and the town had more crowd support than the PF Chang's Marathon in Phoenix, which I didn't think was possible. My quads and hamstrings definitely knew I had been doing hill work! The finish "swine" was perfectly spaced. One of my biggest complaints about the Waddell & Reed half marathon is that runners were bunched up at the finish line and couldn't breathe let alone access post race water and food. Not the case with the Flying Pig. There was plenty of room to walk to get the mylar blanket, the cute medal (which my 2-year-old loved), water and snacks. You had the usual cast of suspects-apples, oranges & bananas-but this race also had the 'ito' family represented -- you know, doritos, cheetos & fritos! Plus, as a bonus to my younger daughter, they had Dora the Explorer animal crackers! This might be a race I do again! Race time: finished in 2:34. Not a personal best, but a 2009 PR.

Best of all, the Flying Pig serves as the kick off to a fun racing season. This weekend my family and I will all participate in the annual mother's day run. May 23 I will race in the Skirtchaser 5k in Raleigh, NC and hopefully break 30 minutes. Then the end of the month is the Zooma 10k in Annapolis. And let the sweating begin.