Marshall Univ Half Marathon

November 10th seems long ago, when really it was only 10 days ago.  When you work close to 80 hours a week and you’re done with looking at a computer screen by the time you get home from work, the last thing you want is more computer screen time, so I apologize this is late!  Now that I’ve had a few days to detox on vacation, here’s the Marshall 1/2 Marathon race recap.

Originally, I was suppose to work Nov. 10.  Small issue since I was signed up to race, but no worries, a switch and problem solved.  I worked a 12 hr shift at work on November 9th so no expo, no free pasta dinner and no hearing Bart Yasso speak.  My mom was also running, so she picked up my race stuff for me.  I left work at 730 PM.  Note, it’s about 5 hrs from Cleveland, OH to Huntington, WV. Enter caffeine and decent driving weather.  I drove, and drove, and drove some more before arriving at the hotel at about 12:30 AM.  Talk about being tired.  I changed, pinned my bib on my shirt and went to bed.  Who needs a shower when you’re going to be showering after a race in 9 hrs anyways?

After falling asleep around 1 AM, we were up and at em at 6 AM. YAWN.  Had my mom not already been there, me not having already paid and spent another $30 on the jacket, I would have turned around about an hour into my drive the day before.  We were about a 10 minute drive from the start so we were there and parked by 6:35.  We may or may not have parked in a Donato’s parking lot down the street from the stadium. We also found port a potties with no lines (Score!!).  We waited around for the start and we were a few minutes delayed before Bart Yasso sent us off.

Holy flatness.  I love flatness.  The race was full of flatness with an occasional incline if you want to even call it that.  The first few miles I felt really good.  And then the fact I was tired and working on 5 hrs of sleep after 5 hrs of driving and a 12.5 hr shift began to kick in.  The first few miles took us through the city.  Somewhere after the 10K mark, we worked our way through a park with a bike path.  Since there’s only 2000 runners, we never felt overly crowded or like we were overwhelmed.  Somewhere between 8-9, Bart Yasso appeared again and shortly after, I took off for the port a potty with no line.  The further in we got, it seemed like the water station tables got shorter.  There were one or two where I got no water at all because I couldn’t get over fast enough for it.  The course is a loop course so we looped backed along the river and into the middle of Huntington, WV.  I was happy to see the last mile or so and was debating what to get for lunch (or what sounded good for lunch).  With about 1/2 a mile left, the marathoners peeled off to start their second loop of the course while all of us who were only 1/2 crazy continued straight and eventually hit the football stadium.  You turn in and run down one of the tunnels onto the field and basically do about 75 yards one way and 75 yards back to the finish carrying a football and with your name being announced as you finish.  You also have the Marshall Mascot available for photo ops (minus the Harley he uses to ride onto the field).  I waited for my mom who came in about 25 minutes after me.  I finished in a little over 2:08, not bad for 5 hrs of sleep.

Overall, I’d come back for the Marshall 1/2 Marathon.  It’s small, but it’s flat and fun.  There were a few issues though.  For some reason, there was an issue getting the starting mat down for the chip timing and it would have pushed the start time back 40 minutes had they continued.  My Garmin time and my actual time was about 3 seconds off so something happened right??  Also, it sounds like people took advantage of the free pasta a little too much so others couldn’t fully enjoy it (c’mon guys, really??).  I wish there would have been a few more tables at some of the water stops because of the few I missed.

Eventually, I’ll come back and make a weekend of this race and do a football game before running the race again.  Well done Marshall Half, well done!

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Only 1/2 a Hoedown: the Little Rock Half Marathon

In the quest to hit a half marathon in all 50 states, this weekend I headed out to Little Rock 1/2 Marathon in Arkansas. I’m working outside of Kansas City, KS at the moment so instead of spending $500 on a flight, I drove 6 hours to Arkansas for state #14 (I think?).  I left Friday around 3:45 (about an hour plus after I wanted too) and didn’t get in until around 9:45.  This is why you got to love the Plains states and a speed limit of 70 mph on the highway.  Originally, I was going to meet up with a friend of my (Amy), but she ended up going on a medical mission trip to Haiti (jealous of that one!).

I stayed out by the airport (3ish miles from downtown) and Saturday morning, headed to the expo to pick up my gear.  This is the 11th annual LR Marathon and 1/2 Marathon (with a 10K and 5K) and you have about 10,000 runners. They use loaner chips so give em back at the end of the raise or pay up $30! I ended up volunteering in order to get a free long sleeved shirt with a cowboy (or cowgirl) vest looking thing on the front.  I also found my new favorite socks (swiftwick, head over here to take a look cause they’re awesome!) at the expo which excites me and my small feet.  That and it was buy 3 get 1 free :-).  I did some Little Rock site seeing (the Old State House, the Peabody hotel ducks), got some lunch and headed to Central HS, where the Little Rock 9 went in the 1950s during the integration of schools.  Afterwards, I headed back to the hotel for a shakeout run of my own (missed Bart Yasso’s in the morning) and ended up missing on the 50 State 1/2 Marathon Group photo (sorry guys :-().  I found a 4:30 church and at the the end, the priest makes an announcement to the effect of:

Priest: “tomorrow, thousands and thousands of runners are going to take to the streets in subfreezing temperatures to take part in something I really don’t like doing. Running.  Would all those running the marathon (and 1/2 marathon) please stand.”

We stand and the priest says: “You’re Crazy.” Yes Father, yes we are (and we know it too).

After some dinner in town, I headed back to the hotel to get my stuff laid out and hit the sack.

I love 8 am starts, it means I get more sleep but I’m guessing I should have stayed down town.  It took me 8 minutes to get from the hotel to my exit and then I spent 20 minutes looking for parking which I somehow found for free.  Not sure it was a valid lot, but I got no ticket so there you go.  I worked my way to the front of the open corral and we were let loose about 15 minutes in.  For the first time in awhile, I ran a sub 9 min mile as my first mile (woohoo!).  I ran the first 6.55 miles in an hour and thought I was going to PR, but the 28 degree weather said otherwise.  That and work drained me some.  For the most part after my first 3-4 miles, I was running about a 9:30 mile or better.  Miles 8-10 were rough and I was well over 10 minutes.  Stupid mild elevation, but what can you do.  The last 3 miles I was at least under 10 minutes with my last 2 miles under or about 9:30.  During the last 2/3 of a mile, the lead runner for the marathon passed me.  Gotta say that feels good (riiighht).  We were cheering him as he passed and he gave us a wave which is always exciting. As I got to the finish, my favorite person, Bart Yasso, was doing shoutouts.  Needless to say, I got my high 5 and my name called as I’m yelling out “Philly!!” while running by.  Always a plus, that’s for sure!  I loved the costumes at the race, plenty of cowboys, cowgirls cowspidermans and who knows what else that I missed.  I had 2 signs that I laughed at while running:

1. I gave up Running for Lent (why didn’t I think of that)

2. Around mile 11: Finish the race like you’re finishing a piece of cheesecake (hey, I was starting to get hungry)

This is a good race to come out and do, especially if you end up doing the marathon.  They have an 8 hr time limit and if you’re walking and planning on finishing between 6-8 hrs, you have a early (read 6 AM) start time.  It is pretty flat (I started wearing down more so due to sleep) and I can’t complain about an 8 AM start time.  Need more reason to come this: Bling…

Little Rock 1/2 Marathon Medal

Little Rock 1/2 Marathon Medal

This picture doesn’t do it justice, but the thing is huge. The marathon medal?  Even bigger.  Probably best medal I have.  Only complaint I have is 28 degree weather. It didn’t warm up until later in the day (as I was leaving).  I had 3 long sleeved shirts on and didn’t warm up and kept my ‘throw away’ gloves on the entire race.  I know we don’t have a Pope at the moment, but that shouldn’t mean Little Rock was suppose to freeze over.  Good tim

The Adventures of Flat Bart Yasso and Flat Krisine

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Hearts to you, Niagara, Canada

Today, while looking over some facebook and twitter posts during a break, a new post from Bart Yasso, Runner’s World CRO, popped up on my feed.  It was a share of a post of a friend of his who lost her husband suddenly.  Her husband’s name is Jerry Friessen and he died suddenly this morning at the age of 51.  The details are unknown at this point, but he was doing what he loved to do- running.  Friessen was well known across Niagara Canada and he was also known for helping with Caribbean cruise runs.  He grew up an athlete and was a talented boxer back in the day.  Active in his community, it’s safe to say that there is a sense of shock and loss to his family, friends and those who came in contact with him or to those who participated in any of his races.

Prayers and sympathy go out to his family and to someone who sounds like a class ask, I hope you Rest in Peace and that you’re watched over in heaven!

http://www.niagarathisweek.com/community/life/article/1236585–running-legend-dies-suddenly

Chicago Marathon Pep Talk- Bart Yasso Style

On 10/10/10, I ran the Chicago Marathon for Ryan Hall’s Charity The Steps Foundation in an effort to raise money for running programs for underserved, high risk kids and to raise money for clean water supplies to be sent to Africa.  The night before the marathon, we had a team dinner where Bart Yasso spoke.  Nicest. Guy. Ever.

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