Monday, February 29, 2016

(02-13-2016) Run For Love 5K

Normally I wouldn't sign up to do a 5K unless it was to support a cause that I am passionate about but some friends from work wanted me to do this with them. It would be K.K.'s first 5K so I wanted to be there for her.

For me a "draw back" to this race was that it was going to take place in Fishers, IN. That is NOT close to were I live. Since I drive an hour each way to work every day I try not to go up there on the weekend. Oh, the things we do for friends.

Packet pickup took place at Endurance House. I decided to take a late lunch and sneak away to drive over there and get my stuff. It wasn't as close as I thought it was going to be so it took longer than anticipated. And MapQuest indicated that it was on the opposite side of the road. Luckily, K.K. answered my distress text and I found it.  I was in and out in no time and headed back to work.
Up to this point, Indiana had been having some "warmish" weather but the winds of change had begun to blow the week of this race and it was COLD Saturday morning! Eleven degrees but it "felt like" ZERO! Thankfully the sun was out so that helped and I was properly dressed for these conditions.

The race started at Billericay Park and then meandered through some neighborhoods before finishing back at the park. It was nice that we could wait inside and there were restrooms inside as well.
Because we registered early, we were able to personalize our bibs.  It is true...I do love Bling!
Group photo prior to the start and then one of just us girls that work together.
I took my selfie stick but as you can see in the last photo, I still struggle with that darn thing! And I think because it was so cold, my phone stopped working. It did the same thing to me at the race last weekend when it was cold as well. It basically powers off and I can't get it to power back on until I get in my car and plug it back in to the charger. K.K. had to take the rest of the pictures for me.

We were walking this race and we all stayed together except for D's friend M. He took off not long after the start.

Aside from finishing, a goal of this race was to stop at the TWO MILE MARKER so that we could take our "Deuces!" photo. I don't even really remember how this whole deuces thing started but at (almost) every half marathon I do, I will take a picture of the TWO MILE MARKER sign and text it to them.  Typically they are all still in bed!
K.S., our buddy from work didn't make it and we missed him. But as luck would have it as we stopped for our Deuces photo, a kid rode up on his bike and started talking to us. His name was also.....K. It was like K.S. was with us after all. If it wouldn't have been super creepy we would have taken a picture with that kid.

Post race they had beers but I'm not a beer drinker. I was more interested in the brownies and hot chocolate they were offering. Sadly by the time we finished, they were out of hot chocolate. The brownies were just okay - in my opinion - but the icing that was on them was fantastic! We hung around for a little bit but I needed to head downtown to get my packet for tomorrow's race.
(race photo - which was FREE!)

Now I'm not going to pretend that I wasn't also persuaded to do this race because they were handing out this super cute medal. This girl has her priorities!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

02-07-2016 Groundhog 7

The Groundhog 7 took place on Sunday, February 7th in Zionsville, IN. This year it was a total coincidence that it actually took place ON the 7th as well as being a 7 mile run. This was the 44th year for it and it is a "free" race in that you are asked to bring canned good donations which are then given to the Zionsville Food Pantry. This event is hosted by Indy Runners.

Technically, I've registered for this event two other times but the weather has been crappy in years past so....I didn't do. But it was going to be a good February day weather-wise in Indiana this year.

Back it up a week earlier - when I was watching the forecast and decided to register - I contracted my friend J.K. to knit a groundhog hat for me. I'd seen her wearing one and thought it would be most appropriate for this race. I then coordinated with her to pick it up on Saturday at her house. Such a super cute hat; she is really talented.

Now back to Sunday, Feb 7th.  The event wouldn't start until 1:00PM so I was a little concerned about what to do with my eating. I hoped that if I got up early and had my "regular" breakfast and coffee and was done by 8:30, I would still be full and not need anything until closer to race time.  Then I would have a GU. NOTE: this is why I prefer races first thing in the morning. I know that my system is mostly clean from overnight and I know exactly what I can and can't eat just before a race.  All went according to the plan above but around 10:30 I started feeling a little light-headed and then kind of sick to my stomach. I had a couple of Popsicles hoping that it was just a low blood sugar issue. I felt a little better before I left the house but certainly not 100%

I wasn't completely sure where I was going or what parking would be like so I thought I'd better give myself an hour to get there. 
I arrived at Zionville High School without incident and actually got really good parking. The canned good collection table & truck were just before you entered so I dropped off my donation and then went in to get my bib. For an extra $16 you could have purchased a shirt but I did not. Plus I think I registered too late to do so.  The last thing I need is another race shirt but then I always have "non-buyers remorse" when I see them!

The entrance to the school was crowded with lots of people standing around socializing and stretching. I got my bib and looked around for people that I might know but didn't see anyone at first.  I decided to find the rest room.  As is typical, there was a line but while we were standing there some other girls walked by and mentioned there was another rest room further inside the school. I was surprised that we had so much access to get around but it was nice to find a restroom with a shorter line.
I decided to head back out to my car for a bit and but my bib on and just get situated. I eventually wandered back into the high school but then it was time to go outside and get ready for the start.  Thankfully I found J.K. and we were able to get a pre-race photo of us in our super cute hats that she made!
It was an unseasonably warm day for the 7th of February!  I was a little worried that my hat may cause me to get overheated.  Only time would tell.

The gun goes off and it is time to go!  
When you see a race photographer - make sure they see YOU too!  
The course starts right in front of the high school and then past the football field before heading on to the Zionsville Rail Trail.   
After about a mile, we came to a set of stairs which I was NOT expecting. This congested everything for just a bit. I would have been interested to see what was just a little further south on this path; it would have been better - in my opinion - to eliminate the stairs and just make the turnaround further down.  But maybe that isn't possible.
It was shortly after this point that my stomach was in a bit of turmoil and I began eyeballing the landscape in case I needed to find a "natural" bathroom location.  I took a very long walking break at this point hoping that things would settle down.  Runner friend M.H. walked with me for a bit to make sure that I was okay.  Finally just past the 2 mile marker I felt a little better and started running again.

I should have paid attention to the website because THIS would have been good to know before hand:

Course Details:

The race will begin at Zionsville High School and continue along the scenic Zionsville Rail Trail. Runners will pass through several Zionsville neighborhoods and finish back at the high school. (Course Map) There will be one water stop. However, there are no restrooms on the course, so please plan accordingly.
It was a factor of not training prior (hello broken record!) and the tummy trouble but I did not have a strong run.  I forgot my Garmin which makes me disappointed because I would have been interested to see what my mile splits were with that walking break thrown in.

Also had I paid attention to the website, I would have taken some water with me knowing that there was only one water stop and this was a somewhat warm day.  Although I had just a thin "paper" jacket on, there were times where I was hot and took it off but then we'd be back running into the wind and I was cold.  Off / on / off / on with the jacket the last half of this race.

Anywhoooo....I finished and at least past some people toward the end.

I went into the high school to see what was going on and saw there was a line for the snacks so I when ahead and jumped in line.  There were pretzels and granola bars and stuff to make hot chocolate WITH marshmallows!  However there weren't any stir sticks but I re-purposed a pretzel rod and got the job done.

I socialized with J.K. and T.R and M.H. for a little bit but was ready to get home, shower and relax before the Super Bowl kicked off.

I'm glad I did this race finally and now that I know what to expect, I might do it depending, of course!

Monday, February 22, 2016

02-06-2016 Miler Series - 3 mile training run

To help get people geared up and trained for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon in May, the 500 Festival offers 3 training runs. This is known as the Miler Series.

From their websiteThe 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy, are three running and walking events offered at three unique distances, a 3-Miler, 6-Miler, and 10-Miler. The series coincides with typical training programs geared toward a spring race. The 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy is the perfect, low-pressure opportunity for participants to gauge their progression in preparation for the 2016 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon or a spring distance race of their choice. Not training for a race? These events also provide an opportunity to get moving and accomplish your 2016 fitness goals.
Tackle all three Miler Races during your training and become a Podium Finisher. All Podium Finishers will receive a gender specific technical t-shirt and the official Podium Finisher medal, in addition to bragging rights for perfect attendance! Participants must register for the option of all three races at time of registration to receive shirt.

This training program has been going on for several years now but this is the first time that I've participated. And I'll admit that - aside from being an Ambassador this year - the fact that you get a medal for completing all three runs helped me decided to sign up!.

The first training run - 3 miles - took place on Saturday, February 6th. Start time wasn't until 9:00AM. My husband and I left the house around 7:45AM. We ended up downtown earlier than we needed to be but that was okay. He was to meet his blind athlete at 8:15ish and I had the Ambassadors photo at 8:40.

The weekend before, I suggested on the Ambassador Facebook page that those of us that would be there on Saturday should gather for a group photo. We had a pretty good turnout. I especially like the "back of our shirts" photo.
Packet pickup was inside the NCAA Hall of Champions which was nice because everyone was able to be inside and stay warm until closer to the start. If you signed up in advance to do all three distances, you had to go to a different area to get your shirt. It was pretty easy and the line wasn't very long. To get your packet, you were routed through the Hall and back to (what I will call) an auxiliary room. This area was very open and spacious and I believe that you could do onsite registration at this time as well.
After we got our packets and our shirts, I took the shirts back to the car so that my husband could wait on Chris. I finally found both of them after our Ambassador picture was able to get a picture of them. Sadly I didn't get a picture of me and my husband. Chris had his Miler Series shirt, a coffee mug and his cane that we weren't sure what to do with so I offered to run them back to our car for safe keeping. All this running back to the car, I may have gotten in an extra half mile or so!
By the time I got back to the Hall it was 8:50. I needed to go inside and wash my hands - I'd gotten some GU on them - and also use the bathroom one more time. I was like a salmon swimming upstream trying to get in because EVERYBODY ELSE was coming out of the building. It was nice that the bathrooms were empty though!

Made it back outside with 2 minutes to spare and the gun went off to start the race.

I didn't set any time expectations on myself for this event. 

There was one section of the course that was an "out and back" so I kept looking for my husband and Chris but never saw them. It wasn't until we were headed back out on Washington Street that I noticed them passing me on the far right. It was easy to spot my husband with his GUIDE vest on. I hurried - as much as I could - to catch up with them and got this photo.

Sadly as I was trying to get another photo my phone completely died. I couldn't power it back on or anything.  To make matters worse....that is what I was using to listen to my music. UGH!!  I had to run the remaining 1 3/4 miles without tunes. For me - that was pure torture.  Note to self: go buy a new iPod shuffle.

It was a cold start to the morning; I forgot to take a weather screen shot but I think it was around 25 degrees. I felt like I was properly dressed but since it was so sunny and I was in all black, there were times when I was too warm.

It took me awhile to find my husband afterward. We socialized for a little bit with friends but then walked back to the car and drove Chris home.