The Emerald City Half Marathon

What does one do when she finds she has an off weekend between rotations?  Find a half marathon to help with marathon training of course.  This weekend, I headed out to Dublin, OH (not Ireland, unfortunately) for the Emerald City Half Marathon.  I left Saturday morning, but instead of heading right to Dublin, I headed to my parents house to watch our dog for a few hours.  My parents went to Chicago for the weekend and why pay someone when both kids are within a few hr radius.  Hey, it also bought me some free laundry too.

My mom picked up my bib when she was up in Columbus on Friday, needless to say I asked where she put it after she picked it up.  I didn’t want it ending up in Chicago with them.  I left for Dublin after church and remembered why I hate driving up there (it’s on the other side of 270 and not easy to get to).  I stayed at a hotel about 10 min from the start in order to avoid an hour plus drive the morning of (best decision ever!).

This morning, I woke up at 6 AM and headed out about 6:30.  Traffic was backed up at my exit, but the good thing was that there was a second exit we could get off at 1.5 miles down the road.  I headed to the second exit, where there was no one and was parked quicker than anyone getting off at exit 1.  I headed to the start which was close enough to where I parked.  Gotta love the MS3 race people: they had pacers for the half marathon and the quarter marathon (the 6.55 milers), you just had to watch who you were following.  Because of the traffic, we started about 10 min late.  We were waiting for the lead police officer.  As soon as he showed up, we were off (thankfully we didn’t have to wait).

We took off in perfect temperatures.  It was in the mid 60s, cool and the sun hadn’t begun beating heat down on us. The first 2 miles were good.  I was under 8 minutes, the roads were flat and people were out cheering us on.  About 2.5 miles in, we split from the Quarter Marathoners.  I was hanging tight with the 2:00 hr pacers for a bit and then slowed down a bit.  I felt like I had gone out too fast and it began catching up with me 3 miles in.  We also began seeing some smaller hills.  Nothing horrible, just enough to make you notice.  Mile 4 and 5 came and went and we began seeing parts of the Glacier Ridge Metro Park.  After we passed mile 6, the heat started to pick up.  I was already using every water station, but I started taking 2 waters when I could.  The good thing about the park was there were shady areas, which brought temporary relief from the sun.  As mile 7 came, I realized I was keeping a relatively decent pace (I was expecting something worse, I suppose).  We were winding through Glacier Ridge and the water stops seemed like they were every mile or so (a plus).  At mile 10, I was about 5 minutes ahead of my pace from the Perfect 10 Miler 2 weekends ago.  11.5 miles in, we joined back up with the Quarter Marathoners and eventually were detoured back onto the roads.  The last mile and a half was the first mile and a half of the race.  Not going to lie, I was glad to see mile 12 pop up.  We went through the curves of the backroads back to Dublin Methodist Hospital.  I was kind of annoyed at runners coming back along course with their medals.  Then again, I just wanted to be done.  I finished with a time of 2:04:47.  I was surprised, I was expecting to do worse, not going to lie.

I made it through the chute and got my medal, a good one, but heavy.  I also appreciated the wet rags waiting for us at the finish.  I snatched a banana, some water and some Panera Bagels.  There were medal engravers on site, so I had my medal engraved ($10, fairly cheap!).  While I waited, I headed over to pick up some chocolate milk (perfect post race recovery drink).  I picked up my medal, headed back to my hotel and took a much needed shower.  I wasn’t crying because the race was over, I was crying because I forgot Body Glide and it was time to shower (this is courtesy of RunWashington).  After showering, I took advantage of a free brunch at my hotel (free food as a resident is always a good thing) before heading back to Cleveland.

Take advantage of the Emerald City Half if you can, it’s a good race and well run.  Even though we started late, we were up to date as to what was going on.  MS3 runs a good race, there’s plenty available after the race and there’s plenty of aid stops and medical on course.  Here’s to more good races from them!

Monday Money Savers

After spending the weekend finding some discounts, I feel like I should share!

1. City Sports: 20% off one item with PORTER20. And yes, they work on running shoes!

2. Crosstown Classic 10K (Chicago, IL 9/28/13): $10 off with BATTLE10K through 8/29/13

3. Nike: additional 20% off clearance items through 8/20 with XTRAIN

4. Ross Bridge 8K (Hoover, AL 9/7/13): 10% off with ross10bridge

5. Gear and Beer Night (Philadelphia, PA 9/9/13): Sign up and get a $10 credit, free back pack to the first 30 who register

6. Divas Half Marathon & 5K (San Francisco, CA 6/1/14): 15% with SFBDIVA through 8/26/13

7. Hollywood Half Marathon, 10K & 5K (Hollywood, CA 4/5/14): $15 off half marathon with 3rdannual, $10 off 10K with 10off10k and $5 off the 5K with 5off5k through 8/31/13

Enjoy!

Perfect 10 Miler

When there’s a 10 miler in your back yard, you’d be crazy not to sign up for it.  I found the Perfect 10 Miler in Lyndhurst, about 15 minutes from me.  I signed up Wednesday thinking it would be a good race for time.  Come Thursday, I was invited to the Steelers- Giants game in Pittsburgh Saturday night.  So, Saturday at 4:30, I headed off to Pittsburgh for a 7:30 PM game.  We ended up not leaving until after 11 PM and I ended up not falling asleep until after 2 AM.  That’s an issue when a race has a 7:30 race time.

I woke up around 6:30 and was out the door by 7.  I was in the mindset of “the only reason why I’m still running this is I need a long run and I paid $45 for the race.”  I got to the start about 2 minutes before the gun went off and started off ok.  Luckily, Lyndhurst is on the relatively flat side of things in Cleveland.  The effects of not enough sleep were felt starting 3 miles in.  I would have done the 5K, but $45 seemed a lot to pay to switch to a 5K, so you keep on chugging.  around 4.5-5 miles we were on the part of the course that was out and back.  A runner in front of me kept yelling and cheering for everyone she knew coming the opposite way.  The sleep deprivation was making me grumpy and I was annoyed every time this happened.  As we wound back through the side streets of Lyndhurst, the thought of one more mile kept me going.  As much as I hate tracks, I was glad to get back to the high school track to the finish.

Today’s race was the 10th anniversary of the Perfect 10 Miler.  They got something going for them because you don’t have a lot of them out there.  The weather was perfect and the route was well marked for a smaller, local race.  You also have to love the amount of police out helping with traffic control.   Best part of the race: the smiley face cookie at the end.  Next time though, I’ll plan on more than 4.5 hrs of sleep before a race.

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