Running and Racing Memories

For just over six years now, I have been running and racing. Through running, I’ve met some of my best friends, lost other friendships and gained a better understanding of who I am and who I want to be. I really don’t think anything else I could have ever started doing years ago would have allowed me to do and see all I have other than running.

I got to thinking about all my favorite running and racing memories and some made me laugh, others made me a bit embarrassed, and others frustrated me! Regardless of how it makes me feel, there was no way I would change a thing about it.  Here is a short list of some of my memorable running and racing stories. memorieslogo

What you find on a run?

For a while, it seemed like we were always finding things that didn’t quite belong on the routes we run on. We have seen a cucumber, condoms, a package of meat, a guy passed out, etc.  The one that made us all go ew….a half eaten deer leg?! No deer. Just the leg. That one freaked us out a bit but it did give us something to ponder for a mile or two making up our version of how it got there.ew

When nature calls

I was trying to juggle a family dinner and getting in a run so unfortunately, my dinner was happening right before I was meeting my friend, Christie to run. I thought I would be fine running so soon after eating. Boy was I wrong!! About halfway into our run, my tummy was not feeling good at all. I had to go, go. There was a gas station about 1/2 mile from where we were but with each step, I knew I was not going to make it there. I took off for the near by area. Not ideal but the alternative was far worse. Christie was dying laughing at me as I scurried from one tree to the next trying to find a discreet place. I had broke out into a dang cold sweat. I finally found a secluded place to go, tucked behind a huge tree.  Not my finest moment at all!! To this day, we crack up every time we run near that area.tree-800-234x300

That race! 

By now, you all are probably sick of hearing about Kiawah aka my worst marathon ever. I learned a lot from that race but I never share anything else other than how bad it went during the race. If it wasn’t for Kiawah,  I would have never met Cara. She was friends with Katie and Nathan and they invited her to come on the trip. It was her first time being around all of us on a trip and I’m sure she was trying to figure us out, just like we were trying to figure her out. It didn’t take long and by the time we all got home, it was like she was part of our group all along!! Christine was there too on her own trip with friends and it was also one of the first times we got to all hang out. Kiawah was a huge turning point for our two running groups. We all started hanging out a lot more after that trip!11949437_10206107332536989_8990555650156000488_n

And finally…

The Year of the 12athon

One of our running friends created this amazing virtual race series just for 2012.  It was called the 12athon and runners earned points by running 12 miles on the 12th of each month.  We could earn additional points for adding fun elements to our runs.  There were also fun challenge runs too!  I spent the better part of 2012 running in costumes, consuming hard boiled eggs after each mile, running 12 miles on a .25 or less track, etc.  It was a load of fun!!  546031_3568054154689_220894912_n

This Week’s One Word Prompt: Memorymemoryquote

What is your favorite running or racing memory?  Have you ever seen anything weird on a run?

One Word Prompt is hosted by Lisa of The Golden Spoons and  Janine of Confessions of a Mommyholic. Head over to these ladies and see what other bloggers’ are posting!

Go be awesome! 🙂

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Race..er..um..Run Day!

Just a quick good morning to all those heading out to run this morning!

May the miles go by quickly, may your feet be swift, may the wind be at your back, and your pace be effortless!

My friends and I are headed to the starting line of the Myrtle Mini Half as you read this!  I’ll post an race recap tomorrow hopefully! 🙂

Happy Week!

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Cannonball Half Marathon Recap

Fall is here and in Greensboro, that means our favorite local half marathon is too!  In its 10th year, the Cannonball Half Marathon is a great opportunity to run a local half as a tune-up for marathon training as we all move towards tapering.  It’s easy to add on additional miles if needed since the majority of the race is run along our Greenway.

A few months ago, there were posts on Facebook looking for interested runners to pace the half marathon, something new they were adding this year.  I quickly responded that I’d love to pace the 2:15 group, having ran the race 2 times already, but we also run the course on our long runs also, I know the route like the back of my hand.  I was super excited to be selected and I was also pacing with running friend, Johnny! This was going to be a lot of fun!   It also fit in perfectly to my taper miles.  I had to run 15 miles and I could add in 2 more after. cannonball1

I arrived at 7:00am, an hour before the race, to pick up my pacing sign, find other friends who were running and/or pacing, and hit the bathroom.  I wasn’t nervous or stressed at all, which is one of the great things about pacing.  No pre-race jitters!  The only that made me a bit nervous was the temperature and humidity.  It was 68 degrees and very humid!  Unlike previous years I’ve run this half, this was a hot one!  Once it was about 10 minutes out from the start, all of the pacers moved towards the starting line to meet our runners.  One of the girls that I ran with when I first started training back in 2009 was one of the runners in our group!  We hadn’t seen each other in some time, but it was great to know someone in our group!

The race starts and off we go!  As we were coming down the first hill, we heard someone yelling.  We look up and see Cara and Christine up on the hill cheering for us!  They had run to the start of the race to catch us! Johnny and I run a little bit under pace at the beginning, knowing that there were several spots along the course where the hills are a little tough.  We wanted to bank a little bit of time so that if runners in our group wanted to walk the hills at the end of the race, they could do that and still finish around 2:15.  We had a fairly good sized group for the first few miles.  We do a loop around the park, so Cara and Christine ran with us for a bit and left us around mile 2 as we headed out of the park.  The majority of the race is downhill at the beginning, so we kept it right at a 10 minute mile pace, letting our pace go under that on the downhill sections. cannonball3

For miles 4-10.5, we stayed as even to pace as we could.  There is a 1.5 mile stretch of a slow grade uphill and a nasty hill right at 7.5.  Total elevation gain for the run is 572 feet. We were about 2 minutes ahead of pace by mile 8, which was plenty for the hilly section from 11-13.1.  We slowly lost and gained runners along the next few miles.  By mile 11 where the real hills start again, we were pretty much by ourselves, with a few runners from our group ahead of us and several behind us.  I walked the one nasty hill hoping that some of our group would catch up and we would slowly run to catch up to Johnny, who kept pace and powered up the hill.

By the time we hit mile 12, we were pack in the park and had just a few more big hills to conquer.  We were cheering on and encouraging our few runners who went ahead of us, hoping they would hear us!  We were ahead of pace with .5 miles left, so Johnny and I slowed down and started looking behind us to encourage runners to go!  Johnny and I came through the chute on time at 2:14:56!

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PROS

A new race management company, Junction 311,  has taken over a few local races and they have done an awesome job rejuvenating them.  This year’s Cannonball had beer, food trucks, a live band and some great long sleeve blended tech shirts.   The changes they made to this year’s race showed not only in what people were saying about it, but also by the number of runners out there.  It’s a fairly small half.  There were 273 runners in the half this year.  The 5K had more runners than usual!  The volunteers at all the water stops were awesome!  Very encouraging!  The course was marked well too.

CONS

The mile marker signs were off just a bit from our watches which seems to happen in most races.  It really wasn’t a big deal and it seemed to fix itself towards the end of the race.  We missed the port-a-potties at the start too.   They had a row of them past the start line but we were using the bathrooms at the tennis center.  It wasn’t a big deal but the line was long for the ladies and it could have been cut in half if we all would have seen them earlier.

I would love the opportunity to pace again next year!  It was really fun and knowing the course was a definite advantage.

Happy Week!

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