Cheering at the Kiss Me I’m Irish 1/2 Marathon

I have a few races to recap as I’m a little behind. I didn’t run this one, the Kiss Me I’m Irish half marathon, my husband, Ben, did–but I went along to cheer. 😀

The race was the day after St. Patrick’s day. My husband and I don’t usually celebrate as we’re old with kids now, lol! But I had won free tickets to our local Shamrock Festival in downtown. We went early Friday evening, I had my mandatory green beer (my husband didn’t), and we went home. I knew Ben needed rest for the early wake-up the next morning (the race was 45 minutes away).

This was the inaugural half marathon for this race. In previous years, they offered shorter distances, a 4k and 8k (and a kids’ race). Late last year, one of our run club buddies suggested this half in an attempt to PR. There’s a friendly competition going between him and Ben, with Ben currently having the upper hand.

So the original plan was for them two to race to PR (Ben’s is 1:30 and our friend wanted that or under) and for another friend to help pace them both. It was decided though, in the days leading up to the race, that conditions weren’t in favor of a PR–it was 70 degrees at the start (with a high of 88)!!

The race also started 25 minutes late which really didn’t help.

I had my sign ready to go–there were 3 of them “racing”–could you tell who I was going for?

Three amigos

On the back side, I had a little message for my husband. He had reeeeally wanted a Guinness or two the night before but stayed disciplined because of the race the next day, lol!

Needless to say, there were quite a few people who were anxiously awaiting their post-race beers as many asked to take a picture of my sign, lol!!

Even the leprechaun thought my sign was funny, lol

Start line selfie!

Once my husband was off and running, I stayed to cheer on the rest of the runners in all the distances.

And with there being multiple distances, by the time I finished cheering at the start, there were people coming in to the finish. So I just moved there and continued the cheer-fest. 😀

After a while, I finally saw my husband and I started yelling my little heart out. He was with the pacer friend, Tomio, and I could tell this hadn’t been an easy race for Ben– but, he was happy with the finish and very much so looking forward to his Guinness.

He, and others I spoke to, later told me that the race had some work to do. The water stations were not as advertised as there was a long stretch of no water when he knew there should have been some. There was also a section of tight back-to-back switchbacks (not shown on the course map) that threw off a lot of the runners. Oh and no electrolytes/Gatorade. We also recalled how when we arrived (suuuuper early) the race area was empty. Usually, we see people moving about getting things ready, but when we drove up to the event, having driven along part of the course, we noticed that there were no signs or cones designating the course route. When they announced the race would be starting late, they said it was because there were still barricades needed to be placed. With knowledge that it would be a hot day, we thought they could’ve been a little more prepared and had that taken care of earlier.

But the swag was pretty sweet. Runners received a medal, a hat, and a long-sleeved pullover. And the much wanted free beer 🙂

It was fun to try a new race, too, and I had a blast not racing for once, lol!!

–How was your St. Patrick’s Day? Did you drink a Guinness or a green beer?

–Does the heat affect your racing?

 

RnR Arizona 1/2 Marathon: You Never Forget Your First

I remember my very first 1/2 marathon in 2010–I was “sweatin’ for the wedding” and really had absolutely zero clue about racing. I didn’t know what training plans were, or fueling, or anything at all. I think the longest I’d run up to the race was 6 or 7 miles.

In high school, I ran cross country and in college I ran sporadically, so when I ran RnR AZ that year, I really was a newbie runner.

chillin before the race--you know, in my cotton yoga pants and race day shirt. How many rule could I break in one day?? LOL

chillin before the race–you know, in my cotton yoga pants and race day shirt. How many rules could I break in one day?? LOL

Not surprisingly, it was a tough race for me but I wasn’t upset by my results then because honestly, I didn’t know what was a “good” finish time. To me, finishing at all was an accomplishment. (Isn’t that funny? Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be always but as you learn more, that mindset shifts as you get more competitive?)

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Seven year later, I was back for another first but this time, it was my cousin’s. Back in July, he’d sent me a message asking about half marathons. Since he lives in California, I sent him a few suggestions to do out there. But, I also threw in RnRAZ and told him that I do it every year and that I’d run it with him if he decided to come out.

He signed up as soon as I said that.

On Sunday, my cousin was going to his first ever expo picking up his first ever bib. He’d never done a 5k or a 10k, this would be his very first race.

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I could see the excitement on his face as we got in our corral. My bib may have said 2 this time around but I was him in 11 (a better corral than my first, 15, lol!).

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We had a goal of finishing sub 3 hours but most of all, we had a goal of having fun.

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The first five miles went by smoothly, but I could tell my cousin was beginning to struggle. We began taking walk breaks and then as we reached the big hill of the course (there are little ones to prep you lol) I could tell he was sick. We pulled off to the side so he could, you know, do what he needed to do.

At mile 9, I promised him that as soon as we got up the hill, it would downhill the rest of the way. By then though, he was completely checked out and only concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other.

We reached mile 11, finally, and I turned to him and said, “We are right on schedule. We have 30 minutes for two miles. We can get this sub 3!!

Except he was done. So done. He had his headphones so I couldn’t give him words of encouragement. I only hoped whoever he was listening to was doing a good job for me.

When we reached the last mile, I knew we’d be cutting it close. I nudged him and pointed to my watch. ONE MORE MILE.

Finally, we made our last right turn and we could see the finish. I yelled, c’mon let’s run it in!!! He shook his head.

Um, sorry dude, but we ARE running it in.

I pulled his arm and put my other arm on his back.

Let’s go!!

And at just a couple of minutes over 3 hours, he was a half marathoner 😀

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Our stats :)

Our (my) stats 🙂

He was tired. He was sick. But he was oh, so proud!

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And you know what, he was ready for more ❤

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yesssssss

–Do you remember your first race? What comes to mind when you look back to it?

Sweet ’16

What a year.

I remember writing a recap for 2014 thinking there’s absolutely no way it could get any better. And while ’14 was unforgettable in its own special way, two thousand sixteen was pretty darn amazing.

Last year, 2015, was pretty difficult for me in terms of running. I don’t even think I wrote a recap for it, lol! I had my first DNF in Phoenix and trained hard for Chicago but had an abysmal race. I ended the year injured and frustrated.

But I was determined to make 2016 a good year and even though I started it still recovering from my stress fractures (and missing what would’ve been my first race of the year), I was ready to go at the end of January.

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Me in the middle holding a sign at RnR AZ–Had a blast cheering and spectating 🙂

He let me wear his medal <3

He let me wear his medal ❤

After cheering on my friends and husband at RnR Arizona, I slowly got back into the game and preparing myself for Phoenix Half–(I had dropped from the full).

My first race was FroYo 10k in February and I shocked the heck out of myself with a new PR–the first of many in the year ❤

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49:30

A week later, I ran the Nick’s Run Double Challenge–a 10k followed by a 5k. I ran the 10k with my friend Nadia and then raced the 5k finishing with an at the time, new PR!!

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And a week after that, I ran Phoenix Half Marathon and finished with a new PR there too!!! I swear, if February had had another weekend, I would’ve signed up for a marathon LOL #forreals

Ringing the PR bell :D

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I took a much needed break and picked up swimming and biking again because it was this year in March that I completed my first ever triathlon!!! I seriously can’t believe that I did one–did I mention I was THE last one out of the pool?? Lol!!

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After Tri 4 The Cure, I rested for a long while taking it easy in April and then concentrating on trail running as we prepared for the Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim which was in late May.

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June marked the beginning of pre-season marathon training and I did not race at all starting here until New York City in November. I ran ALL the miles though…

101 miles, 176, miles, 152 miles

101 miles, 176, miles, 152 miles

198 miles, 184 miles

198 miles, 184 miles

And then you guys know what happened in November 😀

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3:58:40 ❤

I ran my hometown’s last Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5k later that month and finished first female overall and with a new 5k PR!

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22:30

Finally, December was absolutely amazing as I was able to finish off the year with a new, incredible half marathon PR.

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1:42:45

 

Just an absolutely insane year of running for me. It excites me to see what hard work brings and it really motivates me going in to the new year. I have a few goal ideas that I’ll share later, but right now I’m spending the last few days of twenty sixteen relishing the year’s accomplishments 🙂

–How was your running year?

–After you reach a goal, do you automatically go to work on the next goal or relish in your glory for a while like I do? LOL

–This is likely my last post for 2016 and I just want to thank you all again for your support!! I hope you join me in my 2017 adventures ❤ HAPPY NEW YEAR!!