Friday, September 30, 2016

100 Half Marathons!

I completed my first half marathon (the Indy Mini) in 1997 and if someone had told me afterward that one day I would cross the finish line of 99 more half marathons I wouldn’t have believed them. I thought people only did ONE a year. Plus back then there wasn’t a half marathon every weekend somewhere in every state to choose from either. AND after doing the Mini again in 1998 & 1999, I didn’t do another half marathon until 2008. 

Yet here I am having just done that on Saturday, September 17, 2016.
The breakdown is as follows: 
1997 = 1 
1998 = 1
1999 = 1
2008 = 1
2009 = 1
2010 = 4
2011 = 4
2012 = 9
2013 = 17
2014 = 31
2015 = 17
2016 = should end the year with 23
100 Half Marathons.
I'm very humbled that the Indy Women's people made such a big deal about me prior to this race. Ten days before the race, this was in the email newsletter:

Then this was on Facebook & Twitter race morning:

Although it rained the middle 6+ miles of my race, it was not raining those last three.

The finish line was made special by my brother driving 90 minutes to be there even though he had worked all night and he brought two other friends with him. My niece (his daughter) made this fabulous poster for me.

My friend Allison was off on her own running adventure but made this 100 medal and got it to my husband to present to me at the finish line.  I "tricked it out" (with her permission) then next day by adding some bling to it. Pictured here with the butterfly race medal.
Indy Women's even saved bib #100 for me.
And of course my husband was there to cheer me on as well. He had some streamer "poppers" (like you would use on New Year's Eve) and popped one as I ran past on to the finish line.
In the big ol circle of runners that I know, many of them have passed #100 a long time ago. They are in their 150s or even the 200s. They’ve done a half marathon (or even a full marathon) every weekend of the year. Several have done a half (or a full) every day for 5 consecutive days in 5 different states! I could go on and on about the different types of commitment and tenacity some of my running friends have that makes 100 half marathons seem like a drop in the bucket. But I am proud of this accomplishment. Although my running isn’t what it was 2 years ago, I’m still out there getting it done. Along the way I’ve made some great friendships and I’ve even been told that I’ve inspired a few people to step outside of what they thought might be possible and at least try.  And THOSE are the types of things I hope to be remembered for when my time is up - that I was an encourager, that I was kind, that I was a friend to many.
Professional race photo at the finish line

Thursday, July 7, 2016

(04-16-2016) Salt Lake City Half Marathon

SATURDAY, APRIL 16th:  I slept fairly well but that alarm always goes off too early!

A quick shower, some breakfast and then we were on the road headed back into Salt Lake City. There was some confusion about where to park but we eventually found a side road that was about 2 blocks from the finish line.

I really needed to go to the bathroom one more time and so we walked to a Dunkin Donuts that was close by. The sign on the door said you had to buy something to use the restroom so I stood in line.  And waited...and waited....and waited.  The people in front were taking FOREVER.  And the restroom was locked so you couldn't just go in.  Eventually I got the key from the girl working the counter and she let me in. I really did have every intention of getting back in line and buying a small coffee or water or donut but those yip-yaps were still placing their order so I just left. Sorry Dunkin!

We then walked to the Red Line area and took the train up the University of Utah. It was a quick trip via the train; maybe 10-15 minutes. I like listening to people chatting with one another prior to races; you hear all kinds of stories.

Funny side note: as we exited the train, my husband suddenly became "attached" to one of the light poles! The jacket he was wearing has magnets in it. That's how the sleeves attach so that you can easily and quickly turn it into a vest. Anyway, he was walking too close to one of the "metal" light poles and was momentarily stuck to it. It was like the scene from a cartoon.  It made us laugh.

It wasn't very light out yet but you could see the snow-topped mountains in the distance and the lights from the start line. I mean, I've had less attractive starting areas!
The temperature wasn't too bad although my husband kept saying that it felt like it was below freezing.  He's dramatic like that when it comes to the weather. He likes it HOT and HUMID.  This is one area in which I do not understand him!
The hubs and I did a few selfies and then wandered to the start line.
I had no time expectations for this race. I don't even remember if I looked at the course and/or elevation chart prior. Since I still had done basically ZERO running leading up to it (aside from a few races prior), the main goal was to finish.

We had a bit of an uphill initially within the campus but then it was mostly all downhill from after that.
I'm not sure what happened near the two mile marker but suddenly I felt horrible...and thought I was going to have a bathroom emergency. This was so bad that I started contemplating going up to the next person that was standing out on their porch and asking them if I could go in and use their bathroom. I was in pain! And I also felt like I was going to vomit. What the heck?!?! I slowed down to a snail's pace. I think I was maintaining about 18mph.  I finally felt like I could try running again after the 3 mile marker but I was mentally out of the game at that point.

And then in like so many races prior this phone died. I made it to about the 5 mile marker before it quit on me. I almost took my husband's phone but thought maybe it wasn't cold enough and the sun would be out so everything would be okay. WRONG!

Here are the few pictures I was able to get:
I truly believe this is a race someone could PR at because it is mostly downhill. Yet continuing with my theme for the past 1 1/4 years...I keep getting slower because I am not training.

I'm happy to report that my right calf didn't bother me during this race but there was no way I could make up for such a slow mile between 2 & 3.   But I did pass an older gentleman prior to the finish line. Sorry sir but I had just had to do that!

I finally found my husband who - according to him - had a horrible race as well. He went in wanting to take it slow since he has the Indy Mini coming up 3 weeks. And although he maintained the pace he wanted to for the first 10 miles, he said walked most of the last 5K. This is VERY unusual for him. He said that he hadn't been waiting that long for me.

We got in the food line because I was starving. I think he was ready to leave but I needed some food. I got an ice cream/yogurt bar that I thought was delightful; he didn't like his. And then we got in line to get a Kodiak Pancake. It was so good. I wish I could have gotten two and that I'd had some milk with it. I didn't necessarily care for the raspberry syrup but I was so hungry it didn't matter.

Since my phone was dead and he didn't go back to the car to get his, we couldn't take a finishers picture but I figured we could do one when we got back to Mike & Jo Ann's.
This was a good race. There's a part of me that would like to come back and try it again one of these days when I am better prepared.
This is Eagle Gate and it is part of the medal with the Capitol in the background. I tried to get the exact picture but it was tough to do because there was a lot of traffic on the road. You can read more about Eagle Gate - according to Wikipedia HERE.

FREE RACE PICTURES!  Why can't all races do that?

(04-15-2016) WELCOME TO UTAH ~ Salt Lake City Half Marathon Expo

Which came first: the chicken or the egg? That is also a good question about this race: did I find the race first or did my husband want to go visit his brother and sister-in-law since they recently moved there and suggested that I look for a race to do while we were there.

Doesn't matter.

I registered myself and my husband back on December 27, 2015. With taxes and fees the total cost was $59.71 each. We didn't need to worry about a hotel since we would be staying with family. We would also be making this a vacation for us and after the half we would drive to Zion National Park to spend a few day.  YAY!!

FRIDAY, APRIL 15th: We left Indianapolis around 7:10 AM, we had a brief layover in Minnesota and then arrived in Salt Lake City at approximately 10:50 AM. Utah is 2 hours behind us here in Indiana. We got our rental car and then headed to the Utah State Fairgrounds for packet pickup. But we had to make a stop at Wendy's for some food first; we were hungry!

It was a smallish expo and there weren't many people there when we were there. We looked around at some of the vendors and each tried a pancake from Kodiak Cakes. They were amazing! Have you ever had them? It was my first time having them. We resisted buying any apparel but did have to buy some GU and chews for the race.
On our way out of the Expo we took these fun pictures:
SKELLY - that's what they used to call him in college. :)
We didn't stay long but as we were walking out, I told my husband that I wanted to take some pictures so I suggested that he get the car and that I would meet him at the entrance.
We still had some time to kill before going to Mike and Little Jo's so we thought we'd check out downtown Salt Lake City.

First stop - because it was across the street from the Capitol - was the Visitor's Center. 
I was able to get my state pin and state magnet here and learned why Utah is the Beehive State. You can learn about that HERE as well as other state symbols meanings.

Then we went across the road to check out the Capitol. At first the hubs was resistant at going in but once he saw what all was in there...he was glad we did.  This was one of the most informational Capitols that I've been in.
If I remember correctly, these next two pictures were of the Gold Room and I think you weren't supposed to take pictures of it.  Oopsie!
He is so silly. I love it!
Next we went over to Temple Square.  The flowers were in full bloom and it was beautiful there.
We also stopped at the Family History Museum. Ancestry Bloodhound needed to check in!
One last stop before heading to see the family. It was a lot colder than I was expecting it to be so we popped into Macy's so that I could get some running tights! I bought the cheapest ones I could find. Granted it isn't like I will never use them again (hello...I live in Indiana) but still it was an unexpected expense.

Finally we made it to Mike and Jo Ann's house. She had a pot of pasta all ready for us along with garlic bread and salad. She is really one of the best sister-in-laws EVER! 

After dinner we ventured down to the local Walmart to get things for our stay at Zion National Park the next several day. Plus, I wanted to look for some gloves and potentially a throw-away because I didn't pack the one that I had set out to bring.

It was early to bed since I needed to get up at 4:30AM to shower and have a light breakfast before heading to the race. Although it was only 30 minutes away, we weren't sure where we needed to park and whatnot.