Viking 1/2 Marathon Recap

Crossfit, crossfit, crossfit. I haven’t been in this much continuous pain in a long time and I am loving it! Last night we worked on deadlifts and push presses.  I have really bad form with a lot of different things we’ve done but I’m totally cool with that.  It just means I have room to improve and makes me want to try harder.

Alright, now that I have procrastinated enough on putting up my latest race recap.  Here it is for your viewing pleasure…. Last Saturday Karla, one of my running friends, and I ran the Viking ½ Marathon.  I went through a few different emotions with this race.  I was on the fence about it when I registered, then I became really apathetic about it and could have cared less to run it, and finally got excited about it the week of the race.  Sheesh, all those emotions for one darn race!

viking

Friday, Karla and I made the roughly 5 hour drive to Greenwood, Mississippi, for packet pickup.  Greenwood is in the part of Mississippi that’s known as the Delta.  It has incredibly flat lands which was one of the big selling features of the race.  Another selling feature {for me} at least was the fact that the race was offering a free make your own trail mix bar for the runners.  Unfortunately, when we got to the ‘expo’ (it was actually just a packet pickup location), there wasn’t even a stray piece of granola signifying the bar even existed.  I’m assuming that they ran out of stuff. *sigh* I was disappointed.  Anyways, we grabbed our bibs, shirts and some information about the town and headed to our hotel.

Really disappointing race shirt; the bib was cool though.

Disappointing race shirt; the bib was cool though.

I just have to take a minute to brag on the hotel we stayed at, the Hampton Inn.  Their staff was out of this world friendly and the hotel actually opened up the continental breakfast an hour early just for the runners.  In all the races I’ve traveled to, that’s never happened.  After getting a recommendation from the hotel clerk we headed to eat at a place called Websters.

How cute is this place?

How cute is this place?

It was SUPER cute and once again, the staff was incredibly friendly.  Southern hospitality at it’s finest, I tell ya.  Not to mention it was absolutely delish!  I ordered a grilled chicken gyro with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and feta complete with a plain baked potato and fried dill pickles.  Don’t judge.

Whole lotta noms on that plate.

Whole lotta noms on that plate.

6:30 Saturday morning my alarm went off; it was super nice getting to sleep so late.  I grabbed my clothes that I prepped the night before and went in search of food.  Usually I eat my own food but I knew that I could get my hands on freshly made waffle from the hotel.  It didn’t disappoint.

Waffle

Side note – I ate terrible those two days… But it was good!

Karla & I

Karla and I got to the race, snapped a few pictures and looked for a the portopotties.  I didn’t find any. Fabulous, I love starting a race having to go pee. Whatever, time to line up. Since this was such a small race there were no corrals, just go where ever you wanted.  I had a good laugh at the guy on the loudspeaker because he was giving instructions for the fast people  to be in front (duh), average in the middle, and “if you ain’t ever ran a ½ marathon and don’t know your pace, just go ahead and get in the back.” Well ok.

starting line

The National Athem was sung and before I knew it, we were off.  The downtown roads of Greenwood are really pretty brick pavers which is great if you’re not running on them.  The unevenness of the pavers coupled with the fact that they were wet from the rain kept me guessing how long it would be until I tripped (which thankfully never happened). Did I mention it rained/sprinkled the entire time we were there?

Anyways, I had previously decided not to race this and just enjoy the run which is exactly what I did.  I was bummed that there weren’t a lot of course spectators but the ones that were there were great.  The other thing I was bummed about was that the course had so many turns I couldn’t really enjoy the scenery.  Seriously, we made a turn on average every .25 miles. I joked to someone that I felt like Alice in Wonderland; I kept waiting for the Cheshire Cat to make an appearance.

Mile 3 I stopped for a potty break, mile 6 I rocked out to some AC/DC, mile 7 I did a little dance knowing I was over ½ way done.  I was having fun just letting my body run it’s happy pace (somewhere around 9:30ish).  Mile Everything was going great until mile 11.25 where I got a shooting pain under my left knee cap.  It felt like someone had stabbed me with a knife and I almost crumpled to the ground.  But as quick as it came, it was gone.  Very bizarre.  That same shooting pain would happen two more times before the finish. It didn’t slow me down, just scared me a bit.  At one point towards the end of the race we were actually sharing a lane with traffic; there was less than a foot between myself and very large vehicles.  That was TERRIBLE planning and incredibly dangerous.

Finally, mile 13 came and I knew I was in the home stretch.  I entered the finisher’s chute and heard someone scream my name.  At first I thought there was another Gina (I’m in a strange town, far from home) but I looked any way and saw my friend Karla! 🙂 I was completely confused but found out later she was having foot pain and decided not to push herself through to the finish.  (She’s a smart cookie.)

Medal

I dig the medal.

We headed over to the finisher’s fest,  grabbed some water and pizza and then listened to the band for a little bit before heading back to the hotel.  My final time was 2:05:31; not too bad for just having fun.

WatchOnly the finish was chip timed (not the start) so I’m going with my Garmin on this one.  Overall, I enjoyed the race.  Although, I’m not sure if I’ll make the drive back up here again next year or not.  The hospitality was amazing but the race itself wasn’t.

Question:  Have you ever felt unsafe during a race?

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19 thoughts on “Viking 1/2 Marathon Recap

  1. ug I hate when races are disorganized like that! No potties, sharing a lane with traffic? No mam! I def. wouldn’t drive 5 hours for that. Congrats on another race though!

    • Yes, me, too! I’ve never ran one where I had to contend with traffic before. I can understand if I was pushing the course time limit and was one of the last racers but I almost always finish in the top 1/3 – 1/2.

  2. I actually really like waffles before races. With swimming, my best ones were the times I loaded up on carbs and sugar. Sounds crazy, and it may be a little bit, but it works! I’m sorry you didn’t love the race. Still a great job regardless 🙂

    • I have never had a waffle before a race but I didn’t have any issues with it at all. In fact, this was one of the first races where I felt like I didn’t need to re-fuel. Maybe it had something to do with all that syrup…. =D

  3. I’ve never had that happen but have felt that kind of pain before! No judgment on those yummy eats either! Push presses are my favorite and dead lifts too..just takes time to learn the form, luckily I’d done them before crossfit 😉

  4. That is so awesome the hotel opened up breakfast early for the runners! I’ve never had that happen either! Congrats on a great and fun race! And yes I felt unsafe in my local town’s first half last September. They didn’t close the roads for the runners! So we had cars weaving in and out of all the runners! Scary!

  5. I really like races where the partners and town around try to make it that much more convenient for runners. it so helped with all pre race jitters and even during the race you are more at ease

  6. Make your own trail mix stations are the best! When I ran the Seneca7 relay last spring, we had a huge spread of a ton of goodies. Definitely one of the high points of the event. 😉 Anyway, it blows my mind how you can not “race” and clock such a solid half-marathon time! Awesome, awesome, awesome! Keep us posted on that knee pain, too. Hope you’re relaxing and recovering for a few days. 🙂

    • I know! The trail mix bar was the thing I was most excited over. I think I pouted about it for a few days. I haven’t had any issues with the knee pain since, so I think it was just some sort of race day thing. I’m guessing the cobblestones had a bit to do with it. Can’t wait to hear how Miami went!!

  7. I have had weird shooting pains like that and it’s usually because of sloppy form or uneven pavement (pavers in one of my half marathons too).Hopefully you haven’t had any more pains since then! Haven’ had a race where I felt un-safe due to traffic or otherwise, but I’m sure it will happen eventually!

    • I think a lot of it had to do with the pavers. I also have a pretty awkward gait which doesn’t help… But no issues with it since so I think everything’s all good! Hopefully, you won’t ever have to experience traffic issues during a race…

  8. I have run a few races that were right on the road with cars haha. I didn’t feel too unsafe though because thankfully the speed zone was slow. Plus I am so zoned out running at that point that I could care less if I got hit. That plate of fried pickle goodness looks like the PERFECT race fuel!! Great job on this race, and your time is perfect..totally my goal time for a future half!

    • Thanks, Britt! The pickles were amazing; definitely a treat. Also, it confirms the fact that you can batter and fry just about anything and it will taste amazing. I usually zone out during races but I not when cars are coming at me. I don’t want to go splat – lol.

  9. Pingback: March #GoalGetter2013 Checkin | Noshing On Asphalt

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