Monday, December 15, 2008

Race Report: Reindeer Run 5K (1st sub-35 5k!)

Reindeer Run 5K (by Kitzzy)

I finally ran a sub-35 5K! I am so excited!

Clock time: 34:28
Watch: 33:50.

This was not a chip-timed event, and the start was not clearly marked, so my watch time may be off a few seconds, but not by much. However, I crossed the finish line before the clock turned 34:30! According to the pictures, at 34:28 I was already across the finish line :)

The weather was in the low 40s, so it was a pretty chilly start. I wore long pants and a long sleeve shirt over a tight-fitting tank top. On my head, I wore a headband, a hoodie, and a christmas hat :) , which I lost somewhere before crossing the finish line :( And of course, jinggle bells on my shoes :)

I planned to run 5 and walk 1, but I missed the first beep because of all the jingle bells so I just kept running. I ran most of the race non-stop and just walked for a minute after mile 1 & 2, a few seconds at the water stop, and somewhere around 2.5 to work out a stitch, then ran to the end and sprinted to the finish. I was so fast that Jason missed me at the finish line. Hee hee :) It was a great race!

This is likely my last 5k race of the year and those my smooth time for the Shave Your 5K Challenge. For a little perspective, this is over 10 minutes faster (even by the clock time -- almost 11 by my watch) than my first 5K 8 months ago on April 12, Windermere Run Among the Lakes 5K, where I clocked a time of 44:38 by my watch (it was not chip-timed either) and in which I only ran a total of 14 minutes.

At the first race in which I ran more than I walked (at least 2 miles), Disney's Go Red for Women 5K on May 3rd, I clocked a chip time of 41:46 and a clock time of 43:02. So compared to that clock time, I've shaved over 8 minutes off my time in 7 1/2 months. WOW! Re-read these old reports to see how far I've come :)

Next year my goal is to run a sub-30 5K and I know I can do it after I have a few more longer runs under my belt! :) My 2nd 1/2 marathon is Feb 8, and I can't wait. I am extremely tempted to run the Disney half in January but I am not sure I really want to spend $115 on the entry fee right now. Plus Jason would still be in California and I really think his support was instrumental in getting me through the finish line. We'll see :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Race Report: OUC 1/2 Marathon (my first!)

day355: My first 1/2 Marathon! (by Kitzzy)
Words can't possibly do justice to the amazing feeling I experienced when I crossed the finish line of my first 1/2 marathon. I was afraid that, since I had already covered the distance in training, it would feel anti-climatic. Boy was I wrong. It was a very emotional time and I even shed a few tears.

So onto the race report. It's a little long and full of pictures, so bare with me. A lot of the pics are best viewed large, so click on a picture to see a bigger version. Or view the whole set as a slide show.

Friday night, I met my group for a pasta dinner at Il Pescatore and had a blast. It was nice hanging out in our normal clothes :) When we got home, I got everything ready, set the alarm, and was in bed by 9:30ish I think. I tossed and turned most of the night. I am sure I slept at some point, but every time I looked at the clock it seemed only 5 minutes had passed. I think I finally managed to fall asleep and dream a little around 3 or 4 and magically woke up only 15 minutes late since I forgot to actually turn ON the alarm. D'oh! I sprung out of bed cursing to myself, got ready, and we were on the road by 6:15 ish.

Galloway Group (by Kitzzy)
We quickly and effortless made it downtown to the parking garage next to the library. It was a bit chilly when I left the house, but it certainly did not feel as cold or windy as our recent training runs. I wore shorts, a short sleeve shirt with arm warmers, gloves, headband, and fleece vest (see pic). Since we were running late to meet my Galloway group, and I needed to warm up, I jogged from the parking lot to the timing chip table and Jason biked along. When I finally found it, there was a huge line and I worried the race would start before I could even get my chip or find my group. I really did not want to run this by myself. I finally got my chip, quickly fastened it to my shoe, found my group and Jason, and immediately shed the fleece vest. Thankfully, the race start was being delayed 10 minutes while the rest of the late comers got their timing chips, so we had a little breathing room and time for a group photo.

And we're off! (by Kitzzy)
There were no pace signs, so we just lined up where we were at the back near the timing chip tables. Jason biked ahead to take pictures as we took off. Our group runs 2:1 intervals, but a girl from the 2:30 / 1 group was with us and we decided to try that interval instead and kept it up for most of the race (more on that later). We finally crossed the start line and I realized my Garmin was not giving me a pace or distance--it had lost the satellite signal! I restarted it in hopes of speeding up the process and nearly missed Jason taking our picture at the start. I tried to get a signal several times to no avail and finally gave up and turned it off. I was not as bothered by this as much as I thought I'd be. I actually think it was the best thing that could have happened. It took the pressure off and I really focused on having a good time and just went with the flow.

Mile 1 was upon us before we knew it. Despite starting in the back, we still went out too fast and completed the first mile in less than 12 minutes. About a half mile later, we saw the first water stop, and I was pleasantly surprised to see my co-worker Amy cheering me on just before that. I opened the first pack of sport beans, ate a few, drank some water, and we were on our way. I followed this same routine at every water stop.

The weather was great, not too hot or humid, yet not too cold, so I quickly shed my arm warmers and gloves somewhere between mile 2 and 3. People lined the streets throughout and somewhere before mile 2 or 3 (I think), a group of 3 was cheering on runners with such enthusiasm that before we saw them I thought there was an Obama rally going on. We were on a walk break as we approached them, but quickly decided that we just had to run past them so we cut that walk break short. It was so mcuh fun and we were sure to thank them as we passed.

Mile 3 - feeling strong! (by Kitzzy)
As we approached mile 3 and Leu Gardens, I started looking for Jason and it wasn't long before I spotted him. I was so happy to see him. We were all feeling great and looking very happy. He snapped a ton of photos of us as we ran by. I tossed him my arm warmers, gloves and watch. He quickly gasped at seeing the watch. I laughed, knowing how neurotic I am about data, and pleasantly surprised that I didn't even care. I was having too much fun. We were happy and encouraged to have the first 5K out of the way and we pressed on. We were making great time. From this point on, clocks were only every 2 miles so I had to improvise for my splits (more on that at the end of the report).

The 2nd water stop had a live band. At the 3rd water stop, around mile 5, they were playing "Eye of the Tiger" and that really got me pumped. Silly signs lined the course as well as spectators and on-course entertainment. The support was simply awesome. On our way to Mile 6, we crossed Colonial Dr. (a major road) where cops had stopped traffic as we crossed. We were greeted by a barrage of honking cars and wondered if they were encouraging us or beeping in annoyance at being stuck in traffic. We chose to believe the former. Jason greeted us once again near the next water stop by mile 6 and took some video of us running by.

Mile 8 - Michelle spots her daughter/dad (by Kitzzy)
By mile 7, my feet were starting to hurt and I felt like my right foot was blistering. Otherwise, I still felt pretty strong. Jason met us again near mile 8, where Michelle's dad surprised her with her daughter. Jason caught the touching moment as she ran to embrace her in a sequence of photos. She had been debating whether she could run the last mile straight and seeing her daughter gave her the strength she needed and she determined right then that she would do it.

Mile 11 - on the home stretch (by Kitzzy)
By mile 9, my legs were feeling tired, but I was in awe at how much we had already accomplished. We were making great time and still smiling. By this point (sooner but I don't recall exactly when), Brenda, Michelle, and I had broken away and ran ahead from the rest of our group. We knew they could not be far behind us, but we could no longer see them. As we approached mile 10, we took comfort in knowing we only had a 5K left. I was again in awe at myself but really feeling the toll it was taking on my body. It was getting harder to start running after each walk break. This mile seemed like the longest as we searched for mile marker 11. We saw Jason one last time and I was still smiling. We started feeling rain drops, but were thankful they never materialize into anything more.

timing chip removal (by Kitzzy)
After one more water stop, we reached mile 12 and began running to the finish line. It seemed really daunting and my calves were killing me. Brenda had fallen back a little, but was only a few seconds behind Michelle and me. I was afraid I would really slow down and not be able to sprint to the finish, so I took one last walk break then ran the last 1/2 mile to the finish. As I rounded the corner and saw the finish line, I tried to pick up the pace. No matter what, the finish line did not seem to get any closer until finally it was right in front of me. When I saw that the clock was nowhere near 2:45, I really gave it my all and crossed the finish line chocking back tears. Since I knew it took us at least 2 minutes to cross the start, a clock time of 2:41:50 meant that my net time was in the 2:30s! I could not believe that I had finished my first 1/2 marathon, still felt relatively great, and had beat my goal time by that much. I could not help but cry tears of joy at how far I'd come in just 9 months.

After getting Jason my 2 free beers at the finish for being such a great support, we headed to the car as it started to drizzle again. I was aching and wanted to get into some dry clothes. I changed in the car into my now fully earned race shirt :) and we headed to the farmer's market for some veggie chips, fresh produce, and an omelet where proudly displayed my shirt and medal. I think I wore the shirt all day, to the celebratory dinner at Shogun, to sleep that night, and in the morning until I showered and headed to my massage :)

Now for some number crunching. Since I did not have my Garmin, I had to improvise my splits.

OUC 1/2 Marathon Splits (by Kitzzy)

I tweeted the times for the miles where they had clocks and calculated net times based on the official race results. After mile 3, they only had clocks every 2 miles so I just clumped those 2 miles together and averaged out the time difference to get the average pace. Clearly, we started out too fast, but it worked out because my average pace for the last 2.1 miles was faster than the first so I was still able to finish strong. How awesome!!

And here are the rest of the results:

chip time: 2:38:56
pace: 12:21.1
clock time: 2:41:49
overall place: 2062 / 2249
age group place: 167 / 187
gender place: 983 / 1126

In conclusion, it was an incredible experience and I could not have asked for a better 1st 1/2 marathon. I absolutely could not have done this without the support of everyone who has been following my efforts and encouraging me along the way on this blog, LJ, the daily mile, and twitter. I could not have done this without my amazing Galloway group, and especially Brenda and Michelle who were with me to the end. And of course, I HUGE thank to Jason, who supported me and put up with my crazyness and believed in me throughout this whole ordeal and who was there throughout the course more than I could have ever imagined. Thank you everyone!! I can't wait for the next one and to do a full marathon next year.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Preliminary OUC 1/2 Marathon Race Report

I'll post a full race report later but here is what you really want to know anyway ;)

Results: 2:38:56 (official chip time)

Photos on Flickr - Jason was amazing and biked throughout the course taking pictures of us.

In lieu of a full race report, here are the live updates I posted during the race to my twitter account via TwitterFone. These have been edited to correct mis-transcriptions when it couldn't make out what I was saying (probably because I was breathing too hard =P).
  • (6:15) Driving to the race site. Will try to tweet my splits with Twitterfone.
  • (6:21) Maybe not every mile, but at least each 5k or so. I may be too distracted though :)
  • (7:10) About to cross the start line. Here we go.
  • Mile 1 14:50 clock time. Garmin's in the fritz, so no net time.
  • Mile 2 27:08 clock time.
  • Mile 3 39:15 clock time. weather's great.
  • Live band at water stop 2; saw Amy at water stop 1 and Jason just after mile 3. Thanks guys.
  • Mile 5 1:03:40 "Eye of the Tiger" playing at water stop. Support is awesome.
  • Mile 7 1:28:12 Think my right foot may be blistering. Feeling good though.
  • Mile 9 1:52:40 tired legs.
  • Mile 10 Only 5k to go. No clock so I don't know what's the time.
  • Mile 11 2:16:52. May be last tweet. Will try to run last mile straight. Bye.
  • It's done! 2:41:50 clock time. Wow. I can't believe how emotional I feel.
  • I can't believe I cried. I feel amazing!
  • Chip time 2:38:56!!
  • Free beer at the finish. Great reward for Jason who gave great support; he biked the course & took pics
  • Going to the farmer's market for some veggie chips and an omelet :) oh yeah, I guess we'll get some produce while we're there.
  • Yup, got a blister on my right foot. Battle scar! =)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Pre Race Checklist

I am making my final pre-race perparations before going to bed in a few minutes. I'm posting this here to remind myself for next time and in case anyone spots something I forgot :)

Night Before
  • lay out race clothes: sports bra, shorts, singlet, socks, shoes
  • back up Garmin and erase older lap memory
  • charge Garmin
  • charge iPhone & turn off pass code access
  • pack pre race bag (see below)
  • pack post race bag (see below)
  • panic
  • remind myself I've trained for this and I can do this. YES I CAN!
  • triple check every item on the lists
  • set alarm with beep
  • turn ON alarm D'oh!
  • go to bed
  • toss and turn for several hours
  • finally fall asleep about 1-2 hours before alarm is supposed to go off.
Race Morning
  • wake up before alarm goes off because I am too excited/nervous/anxious to sleep any longer (or because I forgot to actually turn it on)
  • use facilities
  • eat something (banana/bagel/luna bar)
  • drink water
  • use facilities
  • drink more water
  • get dressed
  • use facilities
  • make sure Jason is up
  • apply body glide
  • put on socks and shoes
  • double check contents of pre race bag
  • double check contents of post race bag
  • triple check that I have Garmin
  • grab purse and bags
  • OMG where is my BIB?
  • quadruple check I have everything and get in the car
  • drive to race (by this I of course mean Jason)
  • Park
  • Pick up timing chip and place securely on shoe
  • Meet Galloway group (6:45 am at timing chip pick up table)
  • Take group pictures
  • Line up at the back of appropriate pace sign (12-13?)
  • Smile for camera as I cross the finish line feeling and looking great ;)
Pre Race Bag
(aka what I'll carry on person/shorts during the race)
  • Garmin
  • Garmin strap
  • hat
  • arm warmers
  • headband
  • body glide
  • sunscreen
  • fleece vest (maybe)
  • sport beans
  • iPhone
  • ID
  • BIB!
Post Race Bag
  • Crocs
  • sports bra
  • race t-shirt / tank top
  • shorts / pants
  • jacket
  • oyster crackers :)
I think that's all. Shout if I forgot something!

OUC 1/2 Marathon Eve (+Running Dreams & Wishes)

Tomorrow is the big day, and I am ready! I just wish it would hurry up and get here already as the anxiety of waiting is killing me.

Yesterday I went for my last run before the race. Jason came with me and I left my watch at home. We just ran and talked and walked whenever we felt like it (about every 1/2 mile). It was really nice and liberating. I think we were actually going at a pretty fast clip so I wish I had it timed, but it did not matter. The weather was perfect and I really enjoyed just running. It made me feel great because I can actually keep up with Jason now. I've come a long way since April when I could barely run for 1 minute at a slug like pace.

I guess at this point I should make some kind of predictions about my performance or set some goals. I know I can cover this distance (I've already done it in training), but anytime you go out for a run there are many variables you can't control. What if this is a bad run day? What if the weather takes a turn for the worse? No matter, I shall focus on the positive and do my best. I've been training for this and I know I can do it; it is just a matter of how well. However, just getting to that starting line and crossing the finish line is a huge accomplishment and I will be damn proud of that fact.

Goals for OUC 1/2 Marathon:
  1. Finish!
  2. Run across the finish line.
  3. Pace myself well to be able to finish strong and run at least the last 1/2 mile without walk breaks and be able to sprint to the finish. The plan is to run with my Galloway group using the 2:1 intervals at least through mile 7, then assess how I feel for the last 10k. If I am still feeling strong, I'll speed up or increase the run intervals to 3:1 & maybe 4:1 for the last 5k.
  4. I know with this being my first 1/2 marathon race, I should not be setting any time goals, but I am confident I can finish in under 3 hours. I've averaged this pace or faster in training, and I don't plan to walk as slowly during the walk breaks.
  5. Not-so-secret time goal: Finish in under 2:45. According to Galloway's magic mile predictor, this is well within my reach. I haven't done a magic mile timed trial since the end of September, but I don't want to set too fast a goal and be disappointed. After all, this is my first 1/2 and I don't want to set the bar too high since I want to show a significant improvement at my 2nd in Feb.
Yesterday's TIART at the Runner's Lounge Blog was Dreams & Wishes. I am a day late, but I think this goes well with this post.

My Running Dreams & Wishes:
  • Finish the OUC 1/2 Marathon tomorrow feeling strong and above all have fun!
  • Finish the Melbourne & Beaches Music 1/2 Marathon in February with my dad and show a significant improvement over the first.
  • Finish the Gasparilla Marathon Relay in March with Jason, Dad, and Mom. I think this will be so fun and a great bonding experience, so I hope happens.
  • Run a sub-30 5K.
  • Run a sub-35 5K with no walk breaks (except for water stops).
  • Run a 10k in under 1 hour.
  • Finish a marathon in 2009.
  • Continue to enjoy running for the rest of my life. This is part of the reason I am taking this so slowly and taking my time. I do not want an injury or bad experience to turn me off to running because I am so grateful that I finally converted myself into a runner and I want to continue to improve, be fit, and maintain my new healthy lifestyle.
Related Posts with Thumbnails