Here is how our dinner went in pictures:
Gotta get the oil going.
It ended up being a very good size chicken.
All cut up and soaking up some milk.
Oh, she’s saying “cheese”, you just can’t tell.
Double floured and ready to fry.
It is hard to have fried chicken without mashed potatoes.
Chef Aydan, always there to help.
“Look at the milk and butter, mom!”
Aydan playing with the camera.
Another shot by Aydan.
Cauliflower. I told Aydan what this was and he said “ha ha, that’s a funny name for a food!”
Steamy potatoes! Ready to mash up.
Fried chicken. Some got a bit dark, but I kind of like them like that.
Salad to help balance the grease ;)
Aydan was so intrigued by the thermometer, he had to try it out.
Sauteed asparagus and cauliflower. So pretty.
Mashed potatoes! Fluffy, but not too light.
Satisfying, filling, tasty dinner.
~795th out of 2236 finishers
~289th out of 1330 women finishers
~68th in my age group (30-34) out of 239
between the 5k(2108), half(2236), and full marathon(702), there were a total of 5046 runners. I love that Kalamazoo, MI can bring in over 5,000 runners and do it well! Great race. Despite the hills, I will most likely be running this same race next year. Under 2 hours would definitely be my goal. Shave 7 seconds off? Sure, yeah I can do that.
And I must add that the spectators at races are just awesome. They do so much for the runners. The runners they know and the runners they don’t know. Every little bit of flare is appreciated. Truly, overwhelmingly appreciated.
With that being said, if you are a spectator at a race. And you are standing at mile 8 for a 13 mile race, don’t yell out “almost there!!”. Because, the runner is not “almost” there. And to hear that,it is just so frustrating. So frustrating. Not to mention, when I heard that, it was about a half mile before the mile 9 hill. Yeah, silly things can aggravate a runner on the course, lol. Cheer me on, but just don’t lie to me. :)
Next goal? Adventure race. June 2nd, here I come! I have less than a month to prepare, but I think I will get r done.
1. I need to get some bike riding in and gasp!, figure out how to use gears!
2. I need to get some trail running in.
3. I need to work with Brett and learn how to orienteer.
4. Weight training. My body has been craving it. I need to just do it. And it could only benefit our “Cloak and Dagger” team during the adventure race.
And I say all those things knowing that May is one of the biggest months for our family. Four birthdays, Cinderella party, mother’s day, youth events, chuck e cheese, t-ball, dentist appt, doctor appts, small group, church meetings…and that is all the stuff that is already on the calendar. Not sure what else will pop up.
That is ok though. This is always my life and I managed to get semi prepared for my half marathon through craziness and I will be as prepared as I can be for the adventure race too.
Not gonna lie, I thrive on challenges!!
Saturday was lovely. I got to spend the morning with my family, the afternoon with my brother, and the even with my friend Becca. It was nice to have a litle time away from all my “motherly duties”.
I was able to get some sleep Saturday night on my brother’s couch. I had my alarm set for 6:30am and I woke up at 6:25 wondering if I missed my alarm. Anxiety much?
We ate some frosted mini wheat’s and had some coffee. My dad and step mom showed up at the apartment and we all headed down to the race together. The start of the race was only a mile or so from Brett’s house.
When we got there, the place was pretty packed. All the marathoners were lined up and ready to go. The starting line was just a gigantic mass of people. This is the first race I have been to with so many people. I know they capped the marathon at 2,000 people and the half at 3,000 people. I am not sure what the limit was for the 5k. But, I am not sure how close they got to those caps. I just know there was A LOT of runners. I guess when the results are up, I can see the totals.
Here is Brett and me before the race. We don’t look nervous, do we?
I find it amusing that I get so nervous before races. I know I can do the miles, but I think there is just so many unknowns and expectations, that I get uneasy. It is a good nervous energy though.
As we neared 8:20, Brett found his spot near the 1:45 pace marker and I hung back around the 2:15. I ran in to Nancy and was able to wish her luck. I wasn’t able to find Crystal though. I really couldn’t get in “line” at all, so I just hung to the side. I find the side a bit easier to maneuver around people when going through the chute any way.
When I started out on the race, I began to pray. I prayed “Dear Lord, thank you so much for these legs and the ability to run” And that is as far as I got and the tears started to come. I am not one to cry in the middle of a crowd, so needless to say, that is the last of the praying I did. Every time I would try, the tears would try and emerge again. I think I was just so overwhelmed with everything. Running/races are such an amazing thing. I am absolutely in awe every time I am part of a running community. I just feel very blessed to be able to be a part of it all.
I decided to run this race with my Iphone/runkeeper, my water, and sans mp3 player.
The first mile, I was glad that I didn’t have my music. I was enjoying the stomping of feet, the cheering of spectators, and at the bottom of the first hill, there was a DJ and “eye of the tiger” was booming. There was also bands/music throughout the rest of the race.
I had accidentally turned my phone on vibrate, so I didn’t have my runkeeper lady telling me my pace every five minutes. I decided that I wasn’t going to mess with it and I preferred to just run on feel. So, I kept the phone tucked in my arm band and didn’t mess with it the rest of the race.
The first couple of miles, I felt very good. Brett and I had done a warm up run before hand and I think that always helps. I felt like the race was a great game with only two rules:
1. Find women who look the same age as me.
2. Pass those women.
This worked for quite a while to keep me entertained and I am sure it didn’t hurt my pace either!
Miles 2-6 or so went through downtown and there was quite a bit of craziness. Plenty of spectators, cowbells, music, cheering, you get the picture. When it did finally die down, it was so eerily quiet.
Around mile 6 is when I realized I had blisters. Multiple blisters. The most painful one was on my right foot, the toe next to my big one. It was ridiculously painful. I was just hoping that it would turn numb eventually. Thoughts that went through my head:
1. Pain is temporary, half marathon finish times last forever.
2. Is it possible for the toe to fall off from a blister?
3. Do I need that toe in order for me to run?
Eventually, the toe did get a bit numb and wasn’t quite as painful.
(you are welome, for not including a picture of said toe in this post)
Mile 9. Let’s talk about mile 9. Do you see that elevation? I didn’t realize that this course had any troublesome hills. The mile 9 hill was located right after a turn. I rounded the corner and looked up and might have said “oh ___”. I had been going steady at a decent pace and the hill just took it out of me. It didhelp that someone had wrote in chalk all the way up the hill “you think you can” or something along those lines. There was some more encouraging words to specific people. I think it was nice to have something to read as a little bit of a distraction.
At the top of the hill, it took me some time to recover, but I ran through it and eased back in to a pace.
I had passed the 2:00 pacer earlier in the race, but somewhere around mile 10 or 11, they caught back up with me. Considering my goal time was anywhere between 2:00 (which would be stellar) and 2:20, I was ok with being right around the pacer group. Especially since I know they started before me.
Miles 10, 11 and 12 were pretty uneventful. I was just pushing through and doing the best I could. I was getting fatigued for sure. I was glad that I brought my water bottle. It was so nice to be able to run through water stations and not have to worry about grabbing that little cup. I just had to keep an eye out for those runners that like to stop in the middle of the pack to drink their water. I rationed my water pretty well and ended up drinking the last of it on the last mile.
The last mile. The last mile was hideous. I thought mile 9 was bad. I was wrong. I was definitely feeling like it was time to end the race. I had pushed my pace pretty good through the whole race and I was dealing with the consequences. But, I thought that I could “machine” through it. Well, I rounded a corner and someone yelled “last mile!” Sweet. One mile, that is easy, I can do it. I rounded another corner and someone said “one more hill!”. Wait, what? One more hill? You gotta be kidding me.
The hill wasn’t quite as bad as the mile 9 hill, but it was pretty darn steep and my legs did not like that at all. I thought I might as well walk up the hill since I was running so slowly up it. Walking did not feel good at all, so I ran again. I pushed myself pretty darn hard. My legs wavered and I wondered if they would hold up. I made it to the top of the hill and I stopped and bent over. I had to catch my breath. I was getting so dizzy. I walked a bit until I felt a little less like death and I started to run again. The stop sign to the main road seemed so far away, but I got there.
I rounded the corner. Gull Road was packed with spectators all along both sides. That quarter mile or so felt like forever. The next thing I knew, I was running down the chute and that is all I could do. There was no sprinting, there was nothing left. My legs were moving, but I was done, spent, finished. I heard my family call out and I manage a smile and a wave. I didn’t really even see their faces, although I tried.
I crossed the finish line and veered off to the right to find some grass to lay in. Oh, and I took my shoes and socks off first thing. Luckily there was a kiddie pool stocked with bags of ice. I put one of those bad boys right on my blistered feet. Oh, it felt so good.
I called Mark and talked to Charly. Mark, Charly, and Aydan had been on the course, but we missed seeing each other. Charly told me about the sign she made for me and told me about all the fun they were having.
It was great to have family there. It was so nice to be able to share that with them.
It took a while, but we all ended up finding each other.
Crystal (left) - 1:51:12
Me (middle) - 2:00:06
Brett (right) - 1:42:19
Here are my splits. (I did have trouble starting the app in the beginning and I didn’t stop it until I had sat down after the finish, so it is a tad off)
More post race pictures:
Opa and Natalie (my niece). Isn’t she adorable?
My nephew, Luke. He totally hooked me up with one of those gummies.
After we all hung out and chatted, we decided to get some food and go back to Brett’s house. We decided on Panera. I had a cup of chicken tortilla soup and a baguette. It hit the spot. I was famished, but I knew that I would fill up fast and I didn’t want to overdo it.
We relaxed and hung out. I got a little nap in at one point. The kids/cousins played together. Eventually we figured we better head home.
The kids looked like this about half way home:
Aydan. Dude was tuckered out!
Charly girl fell asleep even before Aydan. Long day, good sleep!
So, this was a long post. And honestly, I didn’t even put everything in. It was an amazing day. An amazing adventure. And a great family day/weekend. My cup is definitley full!
First half marathon, done!
I didn’t run last night, even though I originally planned on it. We were getting low on milk, among other things, so I took off for Benton Harbor after the kids went to bed. Running out of milk just isn’t an option in our house.
I enjoyed my time out and alone. I brought along some hot tea. I had my list. I had all night, if I wanted.
I mosied around Target. Bought some underwear for Pey (why don’t they make small underwear for 2 year olds?? the smallest size is still too big). Bought diapers. (the last box lasted a long time! woohoo!)
Then I went to Meijer. I found some clearance energy supplements for me to experiment with. I walked around for quite some time looking for a metal hat rack. (never did find the bugger) And then I got our groceries. I filled up the cart first with lots of veggies. I love that part of grocery shopping.
I took my time and compared sale prices for different items. Ya know, saving 2 tenths of a cent per granola bar DOES matter. :)
And then I checked out using the you-do-it lane. Meijer was pretty desolate, so I didn’t feel rushed. 150 dollars later, I had all the groceries scanned and perfectly bagged. Stocked and loaded.
At both Target and Meijer I had MULTIPLE people ask me if I needed anything. Even by the same people twice sometimes. Either everyone was really bored or I looked really helpless. Who knows, maybe both. Sometimes it is just nice to wander aimlessly through stores.
oh, who am I kidding? Training went out the window a long time ago. Now, I am just hoping to be “ready”. Not too sore, not too tired, not too worn down, not too rested, not too full, not too…I am sure there is more.
Today I ran a nice 3.17 miles. 9:25 avg pace. I was trying to find a pace that felt good that I could hold for a while. 9:25 is not it. Oh, I can hold it for a while, but I am pretty sure I can’t hold it for 13 miles. But, I do think my 9:50-10:00 pace goal is pretty reasonable. I won’t really know until I get out there.
It was lightly sprinkling during my run and I was wondering what the weather was going to do. Well, about 2 miles in, the wind picked up, the sky got even darker, and then the thunder and lightning started. I decided to head in the direction of home. I didn’t plan a real long run, but I was hoping for 4 or 5. But, I didn’t want to push my luck. I never got drenched (other than sweat mixed with the sprinkles) and I didn’t get hit by lightning, so I guess the run was a win.
No run tomorrow, maybe a short run on Saturday if I have time, but I won’t beat myself up if I can’t.
Awww! That is so sweet. If your looking to exchange, I love my Nathan hydration vest. I also have an Osprey pack for my mountain bike that is great.
Thanks for the tip! There are so many options out there and it is a bit overwhelming. It is good to know what brands work for other runners. :)