Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Little Rocker's Marathon/ Little Rock 1/2 Marathon

Saturday March 14th was the big Little Rocker's Race. I'm pretty sure i mentioned in a previous post that I was asked to run with the kids during the race. I had been looking forward to this race since day one and to be out there with the kids was just the best!!
It was nice to get to sleep in a little bit, the race wasn't until 11:00. Arland and I went to Magness to pick up Kylie and he dropped us both off at the school. We were riding the school bus to the race and then would ride home with family.
You could really feel the excitement in the air.. the kids were just buzzing about!! We all boarded the bus and were soon on our way with a long caravan of cars behind us. I have not been on a school bus in many years, and had forgotten about that school bus smell!! LOL
We parked right in front of the State Capitol, first stop... port-a-potty's!! LOL Hey it wasn't just me! When Michele texted me to see where we were and i told her in a port a potty, Alex sent me a text saying "Of Course"!!
Poor Kylie, I was trying to help her with something and elbowed her in the eye!! OUCH!! she only cried a little bit but it definately put a damper on her pre race spirits. She was worried she would have a black eye.. but luckily that didnt' happen.
We did a lot of picture taking and finally it was time to take our place at the Start line. The older kids went to the front and we (kindergarten) went towards the back. I had a big yellow Cabot sign and we all chanted Cabot.. CAbot.. the kids loved it!!
I was wearing black tights, zebra skirt, bright yellow race shirt, multicolored/pink arm warmers and pink gloves. I was quite the sight but very visible!!!!
They had a wave start and it was a couple of minutes before it was our turn... we started off at a nice little jog but Kylie soon was ready to walk. I was carrying a sign in my right hand and Kylie was tugging on my left so I was jogging/walkign lopsided.
The first part of the race we mostly walked but I was able to talk the girls into at least running on the downhills and we weren't last so it was ok. I told Kylie we would walk and jog easy but when we got closer to the finish we were going to run hard. As soon as I saw the crowd I said ok lets run, and Kylie took off and ran the last .1 like a pro!! After we crossed the finish line she was huffing and puffing but very proud of herself. We got our medals just like at the big marathons and headed to find the rest of the group.
Tracy, Livia and Jeff all came out to the race and Kylie was so proud to show them what a great runner girl she is!!
After the race we all met the Martin's at Crazy Hibachi... Kylie's choice :)

It was a GREAT GREAT GREAT experience and absolutely my favorite race experience of all time!!! I will always cherish the time I had with the Running club and Kylie.

Little Rock 1/2 Marathon.

With all the exctiment of the kid's race the 1/2 Maraton was kind of an after thought... until Saturday night when I really started thinking about my race plan.
I really didn't have any high expectations for this race, after we did the practice run a couple of weeks ago I had decided to just take this one easy and maybe concentrate on Nashville. I did have some goals, my PR for a 1/2 Marathon is 2:13xx.. I set it at Soaring Wings back in October. I really didn't think I could come close to that so I was concentrating on a Little Rock 1/2 Marathon PR... The first year I did LR it was my second 1/2 marathon and I had only been running for 6 1/2 months finish time was 2:24.... last year I had high hopes but started out way too fast and crashed and burned finish time was 2:20ish. I can't remember exactly.
So my goal was to finish in at least 2:20, well that was one of my goals. First goal is always to finish, second goal was 2:30, 3rd. goal was 2:20 and my if I have a really good day 2:15.

We had been in touch with several other Cruisers and everyone was parking in the President Clinton Library parking lot. Luckily we were all able to park in the same area and had a chance to gather up away from the crowds. Michele had met us at Team1, Karen was also supposed to meet us but unfortunately she overselpt and didnt' even wake up until about 5 minutes before our meet time. We never did get to see her before the race. One of the nice things about the race location is access to nice public restrooms! I was able to "relax" and take care of business which is always great!!!
Michele, Jane, Arland and myself were all lining up together... the plan was to start together but each person was going to run their own race. On the way to our Corral we saw Cheryl and Tammy... I had been keeping my eyes peeled for Tammy, this was her first Marathon and I really wanted to see her before the race. After a hug and picture we all went our seperate ways.
We had kind of lined up towards the back of the C corral but then we saw Brenda and Lisa after hugs were exchanged we followed them and moved a little further up.
I felt good pretty much from the start, I was running an easy pace and enjoying the energy of the people around me. It didn't take long for everyone to leave me behind. I kept Jane and Arland in sight but after a few minutes Michele was long gone. As we were going up the Broadway Bridge I caught back up with Arland and Jane and ran along side Jane for a minute or so. I thought about staying with her but I knew she wouldnt' want me to so I just kept going at my "easy" pace. I'm not exactly sure where I lost Arland and honestly I wasn't sure if he was in front of or behind me the rest of the race, I also wasn't sure if Jane passed me so I spent most of the race thinking they were in front of me.
I turned my i-pod on with one ear bud and settled in... I was passing a lot of people but at the same time I was also getting passed a lot!! The big dilema Saturday night had been what to wear, it was in the low 40's at the start and the high temp was supposed to be in the low 60's. After several text messages and reminders by my wonderful friends I decided to wear a skirt (of course) and a short sleeve tech shirt. I had on an old long sleeve t-shirt for the pre race and I tossed it around mile 2. Anway the point of this is I really really wish I would have worn a sleeveless running shirt. Luckily it was cloudy but kind of muggy and I was getting warm!
I saw Cheryl around mile 3.5 she was waiting to see Tammy and Kim.. I yelled at her and she turned around just as I was running by... it was great to see her!! I also saw some of our Conway running friends a couple of times on the course. It really is nice to run close to home and see so many friendly faces!!!
I felt like even though I was comfortable the first couple of miles were a little fast and after last years disaster I was really worried about burning out!! I took my Raspberry Cream Acel-gel at mile 4.5, I can't take one of those things all at once, it takes me pretty close to a mile to finish. I am really loving these gels!!!
When we got to the long incline leading up to the Capitol I kind of just tucked in and told myself you can make it just chop the hill down and swing em and breath... those are both things Coach Dennis used to tell us. As I was running up the hill I was passing a man and he turned to me and asked if I was on steroids?? LOL... I just laughed and said Uh I don't think so!! LOL but it made me feel good, made me think I looked strong. I really don't remember a lot... I did think of Jane and our rainy run from a few weeks before when we got to the Governor's Mansion.. I was also remembering that last year I was walking so I was thankful to still be feeling good.
Mile 11.5 I am keeping pace but starting to feel a little tired when all of a sudden someone crashes into me.. I could tell it was purposeful and when I looked over there was Michele. I was SHOCKED.. where did she come from??? Well turns out she had been lolly gagging the last few miles, I think we had just passed a water stop and although I didn't see her I must have passed her while she was getting water. She fell in beside me and said so do I guess you aren't going to take a walk break.. LOL.. NOPE!!! I had made it that far I wasnt' going to walk now!
It was nice to have her with me for the last part of the race... she let me lead the way until just before the finish line, she still had some kick in her but I wasn't able to speed up as much as her so she led the way across the finish line. When I got close enough to see the time clock it was 2:09xx.. I really wanted to finish under 2:10 since I was so close and really tried to pick up the speed, but just didn't have enough and I crossed in 2:10:02.. I was thrilled!!! that was a 3 minute PR!!! After I got my chip cut off and Medal I found Michele... she asked me what my finish time was and I told her what the time clock had said... she looked at me funny and said well what does your Garmin say. I just shrugged and said 2:08:43 (it took me a couple seconds after the finish to turn it off) and for some reason it didn't even dawn on me that the time on my Garmin was my actual finish time!! LOL I guess it was about 30 minutes later when it hit me!! So you can imagine if I was thrilled at 2:10 how happy I was with 2:08:45. My official chip time was 2:08:39. Honestly I was not expecting that, even though I felt good the whole race. I never looked at the time and only occasionally glanced at my pace so I had no idea it was going to be that fast.
After getting our "goodie" bag full of junk food Michele and I headed straight to the chocolate milk!! Coleman Dairy always gives away chocolate milk after the race and I always look foward to it!!
We both knew we needed to keep moving but we were waiting for everyone else to come in.
Once we had all gathered up we headed to the River Market to find some coffee. Boulevard Bread was closed, they are always closed on Sundays's but in my opinion I think it was crazy of them to be closed on Marathon Sunday, I can only imagine how much money they lost out on by not being open. After much wandering around we finally got some coffee at Andina's. Brenda, Lisa, Vic and the others had already eaten and were getting ready to head back out to the finish line to cheer in our Marathon runners.
I had already been planning on going back out to meet Tammy, but we also had Jackie and Gary. I called Gary and found out he was really struggling, he shouldn't have been running at all but he is a stubborn mule, and he paid for it!!
Jane stayed with Vic and the others and Michele, Arland, Karen and I headed back down the Marathon route. Arland was comfortable with the whole thing so he stopped and too up post at a bridge closer to the fnish line. When we first headed out I saw Bailey and she looked so good and happy!! She finished in 4:24 which is awesome but later I found out that she too had been lolly gagging through out the race. Stopping to visit with the Clinton family etc. she definately has a sub 4 hour marathon in her if she wanted it.
I think it was right around Dillards Hill when I saw Jackie... I had been on the look out for her but she was dressed all in black and I almost didn't see her! She called out my name and I fell in beside her and ran back to the 26 mile marker with her. She was cramping and had some pain but you wouldn't know it by looking at her, she looked strong!! Jackie is the Angel who got me through the last 1.5 - 2 miles of the Memphis marathon so I was so happy to be able to run beside her for the last .75 of her Marathon!! After I let her go, I turned around and headed back to find Gary, on the way Brett called me... could my day get any better??? I was running and I was talking to my son. He sounded so good!! He is doing really well in Basic Training and I could not be prouder!! He didnt' get to talk for very long but just hearing his voice made me so happy!!!
I had caught up with Gary and Michele while talking to Brett and was sad when he had to hang up but the timing worked out perfect.
Poor Gary he was hurting!! He and Michele were walking but I gave his butt a little squeeze and that pepped him up!! We ran him to just past the 26 mile mark and turned around to go back to find Tammy. I had talked to Cheryl a couple of times and knew about where they should be. It was probably right around 25.5 when we saw them coming up the road. Tammy looked GREAT!! very strong and a big smile on her face! I was so happy and relieved to see her looking so good! She was having some pain but just like Jackie you couldn't tell. We ran with her until just before the finish line chutes and we split off. It was an awesome day!! I had an unexpected PR, felt good and I got to run the last bit of the Marathon with some of my friends.
AND we topped it off with pizza and beer at Gusano's!! :)


Cathy said...

Annette: I loved your race report. And congratulations on the PR. Awesome, awesome job!

gabsatrucker said...

Congrats on your pr (I'm embarrassed that I forgot to do this before now)!!! mmm, Crazy Hibachi, Kylie has excellent taste.

Have fun in S. Carolina this week!!!!!!