Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hippie Chick Quarter Marathon

Mother's Day weekend I ran a quarter marathon, or 6.55 miles.

Last February I started running. Last May was my first race & it was this one, the Hippie Chick. Last year my goal was just to finish the race. And, I did. I walked the first 4 miles with friends, then ran the last 2.5 miles.

I remember being so nervous last year & feeling out of my element. I'm still not fast, but now I realize I don't have to be. I was much more comfortable being there this year. The only nerves I had were from wanting to run a good race.

 :: Packet Pick-up ::
The swag I got at packet pick up included a shirt, a bag & a Luna bar.
I love the material & color of the shirt. But, I'm quite disappointed with the design. I loved last years design with the vw bug. Mostly I dislike that the Les Shwab logo was on the front. I paid a lot of money for this race & part of that money is for the shirt. I wanted a race shirt, not an advertisement for a tire company. The other sponsors were on the back of the shirt. Les Schwab was on the back, too. They should have only been on the back.
I will admit part of my grumpiness is that I have a sore spot for tires. We go through tires so quickly & they are so dang expensive. To go anywhere involves driving on gravel roads & many miles & it's terrible for the life of our tires. The last set we bought for my car were 50,000 mile tires. We barely got 25,000 miles out of them.
Not many material things make me grumpy, but the thought of tires definitely does. So, to have a tire company on the front of my shirt is driving me bonkers.
Enough of my tire rant & on to the race...

  :: Race Day ::

Starting line just minutes before the start time of 8:00am.
At the start line.
I ran this one solo. So, throughout the race I asked other runners to take my pic.

My goal for this run was to do the very best I could. I didn't train like I should have. But, I still wanted to finish strong. My ultimate goal is to run a Disney half marathon next year. I'm hoping my finish time from this race will bump me up at least one starting corral when I do run a Disney Half. For that reason, the only fun accessory I wore were wild colored bracelets. No wacky hair accessories, colorful tutu or crazy socks. Just good ol' running clothes.

My goal was to finish the race with a 13:00 minute pace per mile, so I began the race next to this pace runner. After the start, though, I never saw her again.

At the half way point.
This was just over a 5k distance. I ran that 5k at my fastest pace yet - 38:18.

Along the race course they handed out Clif gel shots. I had never tried one before, so I tried one this time. It was very sweet & definitely gel like.

I finished!

This 78 year old woman came in right after me. Amazing! She didn't even look out of breath.

Finisher's medal.

Last year I didn't partake in the pancake breakfast after the race. This year, I did.
Although, I didn't have the free beer I could have had. What is it with races & beer?

Finishers stretching after their run & receiving congratulations from their families.

There was a band playing after the race. They were good. I feel bad for them that nobody was down there supporting them. I was enjoying their music from afar, though.

After the race I also got muscle milk & a ghiradelli chocolate bar. I had never had muscle milk before, so I tried it. I didn't love it. I haven't eaten the chocolate bar yet, but I'm sure I will enjoy it.

 :: Results :: 
The Nike+ app logged this as my fastest 5k, fastest 10k, longest run, farthest run & most calories burned. If nothing else, that feels like an accomplishment.
For the most part, I ran a mile then walked a quarter mile. I have found that my finish time is better if I allow myself to walk throughout the race.
I ran the first half of the race quicker than the second half. But, I still finished with a 12:44 minute/mile pace. Awesome! My goal was 13:00 minute pace.

2013: Finish time = 1:47:08
2014: Finish time = 1:24:03

I feel good about my finish time. I'm not a fast runner. I probably never will be. But, I run. And, I finish the race.
I ran 23 minutes faster than last year & I wasn't near as tired. Last year I was absolutely exhausted at the end. This year, I was tired but felt ok.

I don't know if I can tell much in these photos, but I'm about 13 pounds lighter this year than last.

My confidence as a runner has improved since last year, as well. This year I was confident enough to run alone. I wasn't self conscience when I was walking, as opposed to running. And, I wore tighter pants. Last year I was too self conscience to wear the tighter pants. This year, I didn't care what people thought. Those pants are comfortable & easy to run in, so I wore them.

I've been running races now for an entire year. I don't plan on quitting anytime soon. Hopefully by this time next year I can even say I ran a half marathon.

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