Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A couple of cheesy Savannah smiles!

Finally! I get an opportunity to post my pictures from the Savannah RnR Half Marathon.
Sorry it has taken so long. I've been out of town for work for the last 2 weeks and pretty much slacked off (as did my exercise routine).
Being gone from your home and your routine for 2 weeks pretty much sucks!
You eat shit that you normally wouldn't touch, you don't exercise a lot (if any), and you usually don't sleep good (although I had no problem with this, for some reason-it must have been all the carbs).
I sure am glad I don't have a job that requires me to travel a lot!
Here are the pictures and recap:
A cheesy smile but I was freezing (as is obvious)-what is expected?!?!

No, I am not in this picture

But, I am in this picture..barely! I guess it's hard taking pictures of runners, even the slow ones

Finally! I saw the photographer (a.k.a. Chuck) and waved to show that I was having a blast!

Crossing the finish line and, amazingly, I see Chuck again! He's pretty awesome! He stood on a rail just so he could get a picture of me crossing. Aww....

Post my medal, my windbreaker (a necessity), and my chocolate milk! Yum! Where's the party?!?!
This race, or any other race that has a band at each mile (usually the big ones), comes highly recommended by me!
Last, I want to give thanks for the ability to exercise and for the funds to run in fantastic events such as the Savannah RnR Half.
There is a lot more that I am thankful for but since this is an exercise blog, I will stick with this one.
Happy thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rock on Savannah, Ga-The south put on a great race!

First, let me apologize for it taking so long to post since my half marathon last weekend. All I can say is life, a.k.a. work, got in the way.
Last weekend I participated in my 3rd half marathon. It was my first Rock n Roll series race and I have to admit it was a total blast...including the 23,000 participants!

I was a little worried about the organization and the amount of participants. But, I have to give it to the RnR series as they were awesome and extremely organized!!! I was totally impressed and feel that this RnR series won't be my last.
Here are the positives...we must start with the great things about me and the race, first.

1) The music/ bands at every mile were a ton of fun, even when the scenery/ view wasn't that great! One can expect that if you are running 13 or 26 miles through one city that at some point you will travel through either an industrial section and/ or a "less fortunate" area. For those of you familiar with Savannah, you know that the city is full of both! The first 6 miles were through a 'not so great part of town'. HOWEVER, the crowds(and, yes, everyone was out at 8 am) were awesome! Never was there a moment during the ENTIRE 13 miles that there wasn't at least 10 people along side the road to cheer people on!! Lined up...everywhere!

2) Continuing with the crowds...I have to compliment the residents of Savannah as they were most welcoming to visitors. Signs were in the stores welcoming runners, specials at restaurants for runners, etc...and the list goes on and on. Of course, we brought it tons of revenue (estimated $25 million) for the city. But, you could just feel the welcome and warmth. Way to go South Ga!
3) Great signs! Everyone sported awesome signs of encouragement. My favorite one read like this:
Go, complete stranger, GO!!!
I just love a smartass that makes you laugh!
4) The weather...was nothing short of awesome! It was a tad bit cold to start, in the 40's. But, for runners, that's perfect! The sun was shining and there was a cool breeze (with no gale force winds, thank goodness).
5) The volunteers...what an outstanding job they did! I ran/ walked through several aid stations of water, cytomax (similar to gatorade, although to me not quite as good), GU energy gels (which I was surprised to see were available for half marathon participants-usually that's just for the marathoners..go GU!), and medical aid stations (which, unfortunately, I did utilize-only once, as about mile 9 I noticed I was experiencing some severe chafing on my inner thighs-I am not sure why this happened as I put my anti-chafing lotion on-who knows..maybe the cold or sweat wore it off or maybe I didn't put on enough-it was 5 am when I awoke-all I know is the vaseline was a god send!).
6) The medal and photo shoot after the race were super! I actually had a good race picture! (watch the video of my finish, too-how cool! that's me in the pink shirt and black skirt, about 12 seconds in to the video)
7) The organization of the start and time corrals was great, even though everyone did not abide by there assigned start corral. With 23,000 runners you absolutely have to be 100% organized and everyone cannot start at the same time, for no other reason than some person/ idiot, who will insist on walking the entire race, will line up at the front. I am not sure why...and, personally, I wanted to knock a few of them out (in fact, I almost got in to a fight at my first half, as I forgot I had my headphones on and proceeded to complain about a group of walkers that were 5 wide in front and would NOT get over-well, when they heard my comment I did not apologize...what did I have to lose at this point.  I asked them to get, like, 2 wide so someone could pass if they wanted. They gave me a snide 'eat shit' look but did manage to move over-personally, I didn't care if I made them was my race, too!). I digress...for the most part, everyone started with there correct group which led to a smooth race run.

 The negatives...or shall we say things they could improve on:
1) There will never, NEVER be enough porta-potties. I think someone said they had around 230..really? Did they take into consideration the amount of women participating in the race, which I am pretty sure was more than half? The 'lack' of porta potties led many runners to head to the woods.

You can bet there weren't any of these in the woods!

It was kind of funny because during one section of the run, that was mostly industrial and there were some woods around, you could look out and see nothing but people standing in the woods and/ or running from the woods (and I don't mean just guys, either). I considered this myself, as every time I saw a porta potty during the race (which was almost every mile) there was a line 10 people long. Fortunately, I didn't have to go that bad.
2) The Expo-This was my first and it, sadly, left a lot to be desired. I am not sure what I was expecting but it was really crowded. I saw some running apparel/ gadgets that I liked but they were way overpriced. I've seen the sale/ knock off prices on the internet. There was no way I was paying those prices!

I really can't think of any other negatives...but, I do have a couple of opinions/ observations I would like to share:
1) Do runners own any other clothing besides race t-shirts and stretchy pants? I mean, you, or are you allowed, to wear those race shirts (and I mean the shirts you get from participating in the race, mostly the cotton ones) to work? And, ladies...come on. You can wear workout pants sometimes (although I don't know of many booties that I've seen that need to have them on in public) but it's a good idea to have something else in your closet besides workout pants. (and you know that most of the people that wear these in public do NOT need to be wearing them at all!)

That's right...too much junk in the trunk!

2) I've read that on race day you do nothing out of the ordinary. This applies to wearing new or a different pair of shoes. Really? Do people need to be told this? I guess this explains the people stopping at the aid stations putting band-aids on there toes. All those cute shoes that they have for sale at the expo are great but it's just not a great idea to wear a different type of tennis shoe on race day. Even the Brooks salesman doesn't advise this, and he's trying to earn a profit!
3) People that run barefoot are an accident waiting to happen! Yes, I did see one crazy person doing this. I am really surprised that RnR series allows this. I have nothing more to say about this...
4) Stuffing your belly with a bagel, eggs, sausage, etc...before a race is probably not a good idea. For this, r refer back to the porta potty comment. Fortunately, this wasn't me. I know my belly way better than that. I am betting these people could be some of the same ones running to the woods!

That's it...sorry so long.
All in all, it was a great experience and the people watching was spectacular!
It's unfortunate that there was gentleman (37, I believe-ouch! Just 1 yr away from my age) that did expire. I haven't heard the details, as their wasn't much on the internet as of Monday. It's very sad but it seems to be a reality for every large race. It's just a risk you take, I guess, with everything.
I'm not sure I will do Savannah's RnR half marathon again, basically because I may want to experience another race. But, I do have my eyes/ goals set on doing a marathon and it will probably be a RnR event.
I am looking at one in this city, March 2012....I will keep you posted!

I think it would be a LOT of fun to run through on the National Mall! How fun!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It must have been invented by a man!

Less than 48 hrs to go and I will be in the middle of my 3rd half marathon!
Woo hoo!
It's going to be just for me but for the city of Savannah. 23,000 runners! Geez.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution said in an article yesterday that the amount of people coming to Savannah was bigger than the St. Patrick's Day festival that they have.
Having experienced only one of those festivals (by choice) in my younger, more tolerant (for drunks) years, I am hoping the AJC got it wrong and I REALLY hope that the crowd is less rowdy. I feel like it will be.
So, being that I am 2 days away, I have been trying to be a good girl and 'taper' my running/ workouts this week. Basically, I'm trying not to do anything out of the ordinary (does that include not drinking the occassional glass of wine? I think that's an exception).
I didn't make my normal weekly yoga class due to the 100's of trick or treaters I had.
That's right...100's. Party was over at my house by 7 pm, barely dark. All the candy was gone and by that time, the cute kids in costume have gone home. All is left are those that are either scarily dressed (is that really a costume?) or not really dressed in costume at all...basically, just trying to get some free candy.
BTW-I don't give out candy to kids not in costume and they only get 1 piece, to which I hand it to them. I've learned from experience to not allow the kiddies to reach in for there own candy. They grab handfulls and it makes me mad...and them madder when I tell them to put some of it back, as there parents look on! Grrr.....Really?
I digress back to exercise...
Last night, I decided to do upper body weights, a few (very, very few) lower body weights (in an effort to not overstrain/ overwork anything), and get on this horrible thing for some abs:

I truly believe a man must have invented this little exercise device.
You could have done weights and abs for 20 yrs but get on this thing...and it's a whole new world!!!!
The next day (actually, 2 days later) your abs will be so sore that you will swear you have some!
(P.s.-I do believe they are there...they just haven't decided to show themselves yet-they are playing hide and seek)   :)
Besides this workout and a 4.5 mile tempo run on Tuesday, that's it.
R&R, water, and carb loading.
Speaking of carbs...I read an artical in RW this past week that said that you know you ate the right amount of complex carbs before a race if you step on the scale and have gained 4 lbs!
WTF? Are they kidding? Not only would that TOTALLY discourage me (any woman would NOT like this) but that would be extra weight to run with???
With that said (btw-that was obviously written by a skinny, MALE runner), I'm not eating the house down trying to gain carb weight...althought that would be fairly easy, now wouldn't it (considering my love for all things white)?

Ok-This is just gross and not the way to carb load...

So, in addition to a chiropractic visit this week, I've also doubled up on my potassium levels this week, or let's just say I've been a little more conscious about my potassium intake. I have read/ heard that this is good for leg cramps which is a serious problem for me and my calves. Somewhere around mile 4 they quit hurting...that's about the time that my body starts go numb! jk
All this will warrant a massage. Any excuse, right?

I will see you on the return!
I (actually the hubby) plans on taking tons of pictures that I will post!
If this race event goes well, I may schedule a marathon for mid 2012. Ouch!
That's kind of on the bucket list...along with Australia and Jimmy Buffet!
See ya' in Margaritaville!

Now, that's a post-race celebration!!!