Sunday, April 21, 2013

My thoughts on the Lansing Half/Full Marathon

Today I ran at the Lansing Half Marathon. I am not one who usually would write about the event itself usually I write about my experience, but I guess this will be a little of both.
My Garmin time, but not official time.....

I ran this event to be with the crew that I run with, plus it was less then 10miles from my house! I went into this run as a training run, Flying Pig marathon is 2 weeks away! So I went into calm and not on a mission to PR. I also was going to try and help a couple others run a sub-2. All and all is was a fun event, but that was more because of the people I was with and little to do with the actual event itself. 
Little fun before the run

So here are my Pro's and Con's of the race.....
  • Location, close to home
  • Time of start, 8am! I got to wake while in 6am hour not earlier!
  • The people I ran with!!
  • Ease of packet pick up, (even though many would say this was a con due to some issues with pick up and running out of shirts!)
  • The medal (again was an issue with some runners as they ran out of half marathon medals)
  • Volunteers, there were a lot of them and did a great job
  • post race food
  • Course (except one area, to be discussed) I liked being on the road, I think the crowd support would had been less if we were on the River Trail. 
  • Seeing so many of my friends get there first Sub-2 half and/or set PRs!!
  • Seeing my friend and (Team RR team mate) Crush her Half marathon PR

PR For Chlesea!!

  • Race shirt....would had been nice to gender specific shirt. Not seeing myself wear this shirt on any runs as the co-ed small is like a large.
  • Hydration choices on course- water which is fine. but the electrolyte drink was something I had never heard of. It was called Shaklee, I did not try it and after hearing from others I am so glad I didn't! If you are putting on a race, have a beverage that most runners have drank before, such as Gatorade or Powerade! Rule number 1 of racing, don't try anything new on race day....
  • Start of the race.....No Pacers or any type of corral system. It really is not fun to start a race running and right in front of you are walkers. If your not going to have pacers at least have signs that say pace/per mile. 
  • Post race atmosphere...or the lack of it! No post race party. So instead of being around all the runners who finished you are off to go 'discover' Lansing. Which is a nice idea but not much is open prior to 11am. & runners like beer and that was not available until noon. The other downside of no post race is that everyone is gone that could had been around on the race course at the end to help cheer on the others. 
  • No Gu on the course. I know that this should not be a given, and most runners supply their own type, but Most Full Marathons do provide some thing at the higher mileages. Not here! and the reason I read on their Facebook page was because it was a "green" race and wanted to limit the waste.....
  • The Train!!! Yes....we got stuck behind a train for 3 minutes! If I was trying for a PR and got stopped I would had been 1 pissed off runner! Living in the area there are ways around the tracks!! I didn't even know that getting stuck by a train could had been a possibility...
Really a Train!?!? Had to have fun with the issue!
  • Double loop. No I did not run the full and finding out they made it a double loop I am so glad I didn't! The worst part of the double loop was they made the full runners run past the finish line in starting their 2nd loop. Maybe that was there were only 400 full runners of the 2,100+ total runners??!
    another shot of finish
    start 2nd loop... but don't go to finish!

These are just my thoughts on the event. I do hope they can make some improvements, as this was only there 2nd year. But next year, I will set up my own little cheer station and have fun cheering on my friends and other runners. And yes I will have beer to hand out to runners and other important runner fuel such as oranges, pretzels, Coke, all the things us runners crave at mile 18 or so!
Fun Group to Run with!!

I am still happy to have run it...but now its taper time and flying pig in 2 weeks! 

Did you run the Lansing full or half marathon? what did you like or not like?

Have you ever gone to event and felt a little let down from what they offered for what you paid?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Winter Running Blues...

I am officially over all this Michigan weather! Please bring on real spring weather!
This is my little rant on the weather and how I have been trying to deal with it....
Michigan's mother nature of weather this winter has been playing a horrible joke or very rude welcome back to the north on my part. Looking back I am still very impressed that I really did run through out the entire winter! At times I will did wonder about my sanity!
In December and January I have to say it was 'kindof' cute and a novelty to run in the snow! I was not a runner when I used live in Michigan, so when I returned and was now a runner it was an adventure. I was able to say I ran in the snow. And I ran in it, but it felt like I ran in over and over and over again, with no end in sight. As the months went by and the sidewalks were not being shoveled as well and the ice was not salted running was a challenge! But during those months I was training for the Mercedes Half Marathon, and somewhat for the spring marathon, Flying Pig. So I kept going. And there were some horrible runs, it was cold, windy, wet, and slippery. But somehow I still managed to make it through and got a nice new PR along the way.

1st run in the snow
yes..that is a single digit
February the only break from the weather I had was my trip to Alabama. And it was a nice break to get out of the winter conditions, that I realized I really did not miss it all when I live in Alabama. And yes I started questioning my husband of why did we move back?! I did try to run on a treadmill a few times, but I hate the treadmill! My mom was getting rid of hers so I took it and put it in my garage, which I only used a 3 times. Maybe I would had used it more if I could actually get my wi-fi to reach and be able to watch stuff on my iPad. But doing over 4 miles is really difficult for me on the treadmill, I definitely like being on the road a whole lot more.
Thankful to have a great running partner while running in the snow!
There were a few breaks in the weather, and occasionally the sun came out...but that was far and few between. I was very lucky to have found a great running partner and friend when I moved up here. And she was a part of most of the fun and interesting Saturday long runs! And yes, Michigan found it cute to snow on Friday to Saturday's the most often. It's like it knew we had a long run to run so why not make it even more challenging! 
So in March the snow did slowly start to melt, but the sun was still hiding and the temperatures were still low. And the wind....oh the wind! It seems as if it never wants to stop, and every time I went to run it seemed as if it would change its direction to make sure it was always in my face, even when I would change directions. And it was never a little breeze, it was the take your breath away wind and I was trying to run..not fun! But I was still out there!
It's Melting!
So now into April...1 month to go till the Flying Pig Marathon. And the training should be going great. It's April, it's spring....right?! Well Michigan weather has decided that its not done with winter weather. It's still cold, we have gotten above freezing but still cold. And now instead of snow we have rain! and a lot of has now been 4 days in a row of rain and not just a shower here and there, but all day rain. So now yet another thing I thought I would Never do...go run in the rain.

But it rained every day this week, & i ran everyday in it. But yesterday was the most challenging run I think I have had. And after it I am really starting to wonder and question myself as a runner. Yesterday was my weekly speedwork day, and it was a workout that should had been run on a track. Well, getting onto a track here is not easy, they have either been snowed covered or locked gates. So I have had to run all my speed workouts on the road. Which can be difficult, especially with snow/ice on the ground... Last week was my 1st decent speed work out I had for a long time. So I thought the winter running blues (as I had called them) were gone. But yesterday, it was cold, wet, and gray outside. But I thought I could fight through it. Coach Alex, sent the workout...and I went out with some hopes of being able to do it. I tried to get on a track, but the gates were locked up. So I did few circles around a block on MSU campus. But it wasn't really the running that was hard, ok yes it was, but the fact that when I started running there was no rain, but mile 3 and the start of the intervals the rain stating coming down strong and of course my friend the wind started as well. I had to keep my head down the entire time otherwise there was rain in my eyes. 
I was never able to make any of the targets that I was supposed to. And I really really wanted to. Over this whole winter I feel as if I have been failing a bit on the speed work, and I am hoping it really has been the weather. I know I can do it, I did all summer and fall long. But lately I have felt I can't do it. And the part that stinks is that I have been feeling really strong on all my other runs, but when it comes to speed day the weather seems to not want to corporate, which I know is a factor, but it is really playing with my mindset! So needless to say I am really looking forward to Spring....which I hope shows up soon! 
I have always told my self the day running is no longer a happy place I will stop....I'm not there yet but these past few months are really starting to test me! I want to continue to Run Happy but lately its been a challenge! I just need to keep going knowing that the weather will change, it has to!! Plus I am signed up for the Chicago Marathon!! And with the spring/summer to train in is what I am looking forward to. Knowing this is helping me to keep going.

If you read all of this, thanks for reading my little rant on the weather and how I have been dealing with this weather.

And to go along with this little weather rant you will be happy to know that Michigan is forcasting yet another wet day tomorrow even with that evil word...Snow! And yes I have 22 miles to run, so nothing like testing my running soul!
Tomorrow's running forcast...who's coming along?!