Pass to Bay Christmas 10k Recap

This past Saturday I ran the Pass to Bay Christmas 10k which is a fun annual race put on by our local running club.  I ran it last year for the first time and, even though my finish time in 2011 wasn’t so hot, I quickly decided that it will be an annual event.   I mean for a $17 entry fee, why not make it a yearly thing?

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Friday night, I laid out my clothes so all I’d have to do in the morning is get dressed and run out the door.  I’ve learned that if I don’t lay out my stuff ahead of time, I inevitably end up forgetting or not being able to find something.  As I was laying out my clothes, I kept telling myself how much I was going to regret my ‘outfit’ selection.  It’s been unseasonably hot and humid lately, yet I chose to wear a heavy long sleeve shirt, an undershirt, tights, knee high stockings and shorts.  Sound tacky? Yep, it was! But I didn’t care, I wanted to dress up a bit and have fun.

The other reason I was excited to run this race is because my 18 year old step sister decided to run it with me – score!  She’s on her college lacrosse team so she’s been running a good bit lately but this was her furthest distance ever.  SO proud of her.

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Saturday morning we drove over to the start and got our bibs.  It was already in the upper 60s and gross humid.  I contemplated ditching parts of my outfit but thought, ‘what the heck’, just have fun.   Not many people were dressed up so I embraced my individuality.

Doesn't this look like it belongs in some heinous Christmas card or something?

Doesn’t this look like it belongs in some heinous Christmas card or something?

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Geez, the sun was super bright!

A couple minutes after 9 we started.  My goal was to PR but I knew I had that on lock since last year’s time was a measly 1:04; don’t judge, I had just started back running last year.  My ‘secret’ goal was to get under 56.  About 3 miles into the race I knew I was in trouble with the heat and wouldn’t get my 56 minute goal.  I was literally rolling with sweat (gross, I know) and my sunglasses had fogged up so much I couldn’t see out of them.  But hey, I looked cute, right? 🙂

Mile 4 came around and I found myself trucking up the lovely incline of Bay St. Louis bridge.  If you detect a bit of sarcasm, you’d be right.  I’m not a huge fan of hills, especially ones that are almost a mile long.  After I got done with the bridge there was about a mile left.  I picked the pace up a bit to try to make up for the time lost going up the bridge and I crossed the finish line at 56:58.  I PR’d but I didn’t reach my ‘secret’ goal.  Oh well, there’s always next year.  I knew I was taking a risk with my outfit of choice but I wouldn’t have changed anything.  I know if I want to PR next year, I have to ditch the outfit.

After finishing, I walked around a bit, got some sort of sports drink and then headed back out on the course to find my sister and finish with her.  We stayed around for the awards.  It was kind of cool because Rebecca from season 8 of The Biggest Loser was there handing out awards.  She’s trying to run in each state before she turns 30.  I’m not going to lie, I don’t watch BL so I had no idea who she was/is.

Sorry, not a great picture.  I wasn't paying attention when I took it.

Sorry, not a great picture. I wasn’t paying attention when I took it.

I missed placing in my age group by just a little bit; I came in 4th.  I was so proud of my friends Mel and Lorena.  They took 1st and 2nd in their age division with speedy times!

Awards

And then it was time to ‘refuel’.  My stepsister, running girls and I headed to a local pizza joint where we enjoyed some awesome, and cheap, pizza. YUM!!!! So good.

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Be sure to stop by and check out Friday’s post.  I have an awesome, sparkly (hint-hint) giveaway!

Question:  Do you have certain races you run for fun or do you try to PR at every race?

Womans Half Marathon Recap

I can’t believe it’s Friday already – woooohoooo!! Tomorrow I’m running a Christmas 10k where I’ll be rocking a slightly tacky festive Christmas outfit.  I was sick earlier this week but I feel 100% better and ready to tackle this weekend.  Y’all know that we only have 11 days until Christmas, right?  I hate to admit this, but I haven’t really started shopping… whoops.  I think I do my best under pressure.

This past Sunday I ran my final 1/2 marathon of 2012; the Womans Half Marathon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which I ran in memory of my Aunt Kathy.  Even with feeling horrible during the race, this was one of my favorite 1/2’s to date!

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Those little white lines on the sign are actually the runners’ names.

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Let me start from the beginning.  Saturday, my friend Lorena and I drove to Baton Rouge, LA, which is typically a 2 1/2 hour drive.  We hit some major road work and then I missed a couple exits once in Baton Rogue, so almost 4 hours later  hours later we finally made it to the expo right before it closed.  We picked up our bibs and freebies – this race had a ton – and then went in search of food.

Swaaaag! Awesome shirt, super cute gym bag, pink headband and FREE race pictures!

Swaaaag! Awesome shirt, super cute gym bag, pink headband and FREE race pictures!

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We ended up at a local place called Sammy’s Grill which looked super cute.  I ordered an avocado BLT on wheat and a side of onion rings completely oblivious to the fact that hose darn onion rings would come back to haunt me.  Unfortunately what I ordered wasn’t really good but it got the job done.

A few hours later I started not feeling great and vowed to the onion ring God that I would never eat another one if I just felt better.  Apparently I’m masochistic; I know my body can’t handle food like that any more.  I laid out my stuff for the next morning and just kind of vegged out for the rest of the night.

Bright and early the next morning my alarm went off.  I love race mornings, there’s just something magical about them; I feed off of the excitement and anticipation.  I was not, however, in love with this race morning.  I woke up feeling even worse than I did the night before.  I tried to eat my usual pre-race Kashi cereal but only got 1/2 way through the bowl before I couldn’t eat anymore.  Strike one.

My RBFs (running best friends) and I hopped in the car to drive to the start and luckily Lorena had some Pepto Bismal tablets; I took two.  They didn’t kick in immediately so by the time we got to the race, I had to make a mad dash to the portopotties.  Bleh.  Fortunately, the Pepto kicked in before we had to start running.

Yikes!

Yikes!

Love you Aunt Kathy!

Love you Aunt Kathy!

The starting area was downtown Baton Rouge and had some really awesome sights.  I snapped some pictures but the pictures from the race photographers are so much better so I’m sharing those instead.109141-245-002f109141-245-003f109141-245-001f

A few minutes after 7am we crossed the starting line and embarked on the 13.1 mile journey ahead of us.  To add to the fun, it was 96% humidity and almost 70*s at the start.

Can you spot me? Hint - bottom, left.

Can you spot me? Hint – bottom, left.

I planned to give this race my best but wasn’t really looking for a PR since I hadn’t trained for it at all.  Prior to the race, 10 miles was the furthest distance I’d run since the Marine Corps Marathon in October.  The first few miles snaked through downtown Baton Rogue; this portion of the race was just ok.  We were treated to some lovely (please note the sarcasm) odors along the route.  Hey, it was downtown, what do you expect….  I looked down at my Garmin and noticed my pace was right around 9:15 which made me happy because it felt effortless.

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Taken in the first mile.

Somewhere around mile 3 I noticed some stiffness in my knee and foot.  Strike 2….I decided my body hated me.  I panicked a bit thinking that I was going to be in some horrible pain by the end of the race, but fortunately that didn’t happen.

After another few miles the course took us out of downtown Baton Rouge and looped us around the LSU campus.  Seriously, this was the most beautiful, scenic race course I’ve ever run.  It was gorgeous! We ran by huge, historic houses that lined a lake where countless large white birds,  geese maybe??, were enjoying a leisurely float.  That scenery lasted for several lovely miles.  I noticed around mile 7ish that my blood sugar was getting low so at I decided to risk my stomach issues and take the Honey Stingers gel.  It went down without a problem – whew.

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Strike 3 came after mile 9.  At this point in the race I felt like crud again, the Pepto had worn off but I still had 4 miles to go.  I walked through a water stop, grabbed some water and started running again.  A few short strides later I ended up doing something I’ve never done during a race…..I threw up. UGH!  Luckily I didn’t really have anything in my body other than water and Honey Stingers gel so it wasn’t a huge, ‘look at her, she’s throwing up’ type deal.  I don’t think anyone except the two girls in the closest proximity to me even realized what happened.  (Sorry ladies…) It was still embarrassing nonetheless.  And the worst part was that I had already passed the water station so I had to wait until the next one to get the taste out of my mouth.  (Sorry, TMI, I know…)

After that bit, all I wanted to do was finish.  I didn’t have enough energy to pick up the pace so I did my best to just maintain.  I remember coming into the finisher’s chute and the announcer saying something about “smile, don’t look so serious” over the loudspeaker and all I could think to myself was, “lady, I’m going to puke all over you if you don’t shut it”.  I got my medal & finisher’s picture, grabbed a bottle of water & 1/2 a bagel and promptly found a patch of grass to die on.

Bleh.  Please take this picture fast so I can die.

Bleh. Please take this picture fast so I can die.

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Bllllllliiiiiing

Yep, that's me being a bit dramatic. To justify it, I did get the chills really bad after I finished.  I blame the fever.

Yep, that’s me being a bit dramatic. To justify it, I did get the chills really bad after I finished.  I blame my actions on the fever.

My final chip time was 2:04:29; almost a 3 minute PR.  All things considered, not too shabby.  Stacey and Lorena both  got stellar PRs of their own!!

Ok, I know I did a great job of making this race sound miserable but the actual event itself was phenomenal.  It was so much fun running an almost all woman’s race (there were handful of men) and you can tell that this event was put together with lots of thought and care for the runners.  However, all the great swag, the awesome course,  and shiny new bling can’t compare to the feeling that I got from running in memory of my aunt Kathy.  It makes my heart happy knowing that at least a small portion of the race proceeds go to help cancer patients and survivors. I think this would have made Kathy incredibly proud and I can’t wait to run it again next year! (Sans flu symptoms.)

Question:  Have you ever run a race sick? Or gotten sick on the race course?