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Race Recap – NU Hartford Half Marathon

14 Oct

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Ten years ago I moved to the East Coast. And about Nine years ago I ran the Hartford Half Marathon for the first time. It was (and is!) a great event, best known for the flat, fast course and the post-race Apple Crisp!

The first time I ran this, it was pouring rain at the start, but eventually that slowed to a drizzle and then by afternoon the sun managed to peek out sporadically.

So, since I’m in the middle of my training for #Dopey15, and seriously lacking in personal  motivation, I decided at the almost last minute to sign up for the half marathon that took place last Saturday. I headed to the expo Friday after work – got stuck in traffic and missed the One Miler  which made me feel:

sadbaby

Headed directly to the expo then and after picking up my bib was greeted by the Skechers booth!! Now, I’m not sure I’ve adequately expressed my love for my Skecher performance shoes I got at the Houston Marathon expo last January — they’re light, they’re comfy and…they Glow. In The. DARK!

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I’ve been wanting to get a new pair and when I saw they would have a booth at this expo I was excited! I checked in the the folks in the booth and saw that they had the new, upgraded model available. And, yeah, these will glow too!! (They also come with an extra insert if you need the extra cushion!)

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On my way to grab my shirt I stopped by a couple of other booths — OohRah Hydration: Hydration products that support our armed forces and disaster relief efforts. The flavors and colors of the bottles reflect the branch of service being honored – so pretty cool! And the flavors I tried were nice (Chargin’ Blue -grape, and Fightin’ Green -lemonlime) and Generation UCAN: a great source of energy with a SuperStarch source of carbs which gives energy while helping stabilize blood sugars!

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The Shirt. My only issue is that the Half marathoners have to “share” a shirt with the 5K and the Relay people…:(

After picking up my shirt, and grabbing a new pair of Skechers, I got back in the car and headed home to rest up.

As expected, when I woke up Saturday morning, it was….well, drizzly…and a little chilly. You know the weather, the kind that makes you want to just stay in bed. But too many people knew I was planning on running this so…up and at ’em!!! When I went to bed I told myself “Don’t forget to wear your DryMax socks on account of the rain”…then I woke up and threw on my ProCompression socks. That are not my DryMax socks…and by then it was too late! 🙂 But I love my Compression socks for long runs so I was hoping to not run through any puddles …hahahaha

By the time I got to Downtown Hartford, it was actually raining, not just drizzling. And it was still kind of chilly. I had on a plastic rain poncho that I figured I would throw away when the rain stopped and the sun came out (spoiler — I wore it the whole time!). I dropped off my bag with a dry sweatshirt and some flipflops and tried to find a potty before the start. Success.

There wasn’t a long wait before the horn blew and we were off! Now, the last time I ran this, it was a completely different course. Not a bad course necessarily, but, there were some sketchy sections. This new course is fantastic!!! I love it!! Sure, there were hills…there will always be hills. But they weren’t unbearable! I was cruising to a return to my olden day times until mile 10. I saw a sign and had a delayed reaction and turned to go back and take a picture (which I ended up not doing after all!) and strained my calf a bit. So the last three were slower than I’d been going but I was still definitely going to beat my time from 2 weeks before!

The finish line snuck up on me!! I really was expecting to have to go around a block once we got back into downtown but nope! Turned a corner and we were there! With great support from the volunteers — including a mylar blanket and a new water bottle!!

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A water fountain nearly a block long!!!

 

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Pre-filled for us even!

And the bling!!

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I knocked 20 minutes off of my time from 2 weeks ago too — which was a bonus!!

Up next — Hershey Half Marathon! And the rest of my training week of course!

**My absolute favorite part of Saturday’s run was when we were passing one of the three fire stations on the route. From a couple of blocks back, I saw runners -almost every one of them! – turning up into the station driveway where there were 8-10 firefighters high-fiving every single runner! Amazing!!

 

 

It Just Keeps Getting Bigger!!!

30 Sep

starting line

And no, I’m not talking about my rear view 😉 Note – if you are trying to find a picture of someone’s rear end, google will show you a lot of nekkid ones….

I’m talking about my list of upcoming races – or as I like to call them “events” (since I don’t actually race much other than my own self!). And since I’m doing all this training I thought a good reminder was in order.

So, in Order of Appearance, here we go:

Hartford Half Marathon – I’m actually also doing the new “One Mile Friday” which is, yep, a One mile run in Hartford followed by a beer 🙂 After the half I’ll get this beauty:

hartford half medal

Hershey Half Marathon – I’ll be doing this one with my friends Kathy and Jennifer. And, we will of course be headed to the park on Saturday before for Roller Coastering! And, I think for this one, we don’t know what the medal will be ahead of time so it will be a delicious surprise!!

Marine Corps Marathon – This is the ‘biggie’ for 2014! You know, the one you can show your support of my efforts by donating to the Tug McGraw Foundation! C’mon! It doesn’t hurt!!

runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon – This one we do for “fun” — and the training miles 🙂 And after the miles and before the Food and Wine-ing I’ll get this around my neck (bonus – it spins!!):

2014 Wine Dine Half Marathon Medal

Santa Hustle Half Marathon –  This was a new add (like Hartford) since I’m getting to the point of having some really long weekend runs, I *know* it will be tons easier for me to get them in if I have an event. Not that I don’t love circling my town a few times to get my long runs in…Plus SANTA!!!

TXU Turkey Trot 10K – Everyone should do a Turkey Trot at least once!! This is a nice one – I’ve done the 5K before. And, really, it’s probably best to start the holiday eating season by moving a little!!

Then…after Thanksgiving I’m taking a ‘break’ – from organized events! That is, until I get to the Main Event:

Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: Dopey Challenge – 4 Races, 6 Medals (Okay, one of the ‘medals’ is a rubber medallion but still…) 4 Races? 5K on Thursday, 10K on Friday, Half Marathon on Saturday and Full Marathon on Sunday –  I had planned to do the Goofy Challenge this year since it’s an anniversary year and then they went and added that crazy 10K in there!

Aramco Houston Half Marathon  – I deferred this one in 2014 since I was having so many issues even walking! I’ve done this one a few times and it’s a nice course and a really great event! They’ve also added a 5K on the day before so of course I said “What the heck, why not?!

Publix Georgia Half Marathon – So now I’m entering “what was I thinking” territory! This one was registered for when I saw that I could get in for something like 34 or 40 dollars! Really. That’s it. Plus, it’s one I’ve often thought of doing so….there ya go!

The next Biggie — Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris – Another one where I entered a lottery on a whim, et voila! Making this into a fun trip with a friend. She’s even decided to do the Paris Breakfast Run the day before!

And then, my pal Jackie applied appropriate pressure to get me to sign up for the Brand New! runDisney Pixie Dust Challenge! So new it isn’t even up on the runDisney page yet!!

So there you have it. And all I can say is WHOA! If nothing else, I am definitely feeling way more motivated to train than I normally am. Which is to say, I am feeling motivated to train 🙂

liar

 

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