Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tuscaloosa Half Marathon Recap

This week is a wrap.  Now it's time for the Weekend Update hosted by Tara @ Running N Reading

My third half marathon (within 14 days) is complete.  One more to go.  Overall, it was half marathon #33.

"Can I get fries with my vinegar,  please?"
I had the worst week imaginable with two unexpected long road trips, the last one on Thursday.  I was either driving or sitting in a hospital.  We all know how nutritious vending machines are.  I arrived home around midnight and was up early the next morning for work.  That's not the way you want spend the Thursday night before your Saturday race!

Friday, I ate my favorite pre-race lunch.  My cup was half filled with malt vinegar to give the fries a good soaking.  Don't judge me -- you should try it!  I did eat a small cheeseburger too but it was quite mangled by the time I took this picture. 

I was sleeping like a rock when my alarm went off at 4:00 a.m. Saturday and I left home 10 minutes later than planned.  When I turned on the GPS (with the address still stored from last year's race) I realized it was 15 miles further than I thought.  Oops!  I would have to speed - a lot!  Thankfully, no ticket.  When I arrived, it was 23 degrees.  It was so nice for Winter to stick around.  Heh-heh.  No worries, there was no wind and it warmed up quickly.

I had planned to meet fellow blogger Tricia from Miss Sippi Piddlin before the race.  By the time I got my packet, visited the porta-potty, returned to the car, and arrived back at the starting line -- I had 3 minutes to spare.  I decided I would hang out at the finish line afterwards and look for Tricia there.  This is the stuff that makes me nervous, never the race itself.  I dream about not making it to the start line on time!  I'm lucky I remembered to tie my shoes.

Roll Tide Roll
I was a total zombie during this race, worse than my normal zoned-out state.  Here's a few things I do remember:  1) Early on, a guy passed out just ahead of me and a group had already stopped to assist.  2)  There were a few substantial hills in the first miles.  We ran this course in reverse from last year and I knew where they'd be.  3)  About half of this race is through the University of Alabama campus.  When we ran by Bryant Denney Stadium (Roll Tide Roll) I looked up to the most beautiful cloudless azure sky and saw a small white airplane flying overhead.  That was my takeaway mental pic {Snap}.  I always have one from each race.  Sometimes, they are oh so randomly odd!

Apparently, zombies have no sense of time.  It. Flew. By.  {Huh?  Mile 9 Already?  What?}  I felt my left IT band pulling on my knee a few times.  Each time, I immediately shortened my stride.  It never became an issue.  Both feet tried to cramp but I managed to keep that at bay too.  Again, no complaints with the old body.

Last year, the course measured long.  I was hoping with this year's changes it would be shorter.  Nope.  My 2:05:31 finish was actually at a faster pace than last week's 2:04:48.  But, when you get 13.3 for distance - what'cha gonna do?  My last mile was the fastest and I'm always pleased when that happens.

Most of the race was on one coned-off lane of very busy roads.  You had to stay inside the cones and therefore had no way to run the tangents.  I must say we had excellent traffic control.  Thanks TPD.

I was stuffing my face with a Chik-Fil-A chocolate chunk cookie when I spotted Tricia.  Because of her gorgeous curly red hair, she was easy to find.  She was running with her friend Leah and they both set PRs!  How awesome is that?  A huge congratulations to both of them!  It was fun getting to know Tricia and Leah, who just started running in August!  I'm sure with us being southern gals, we will run another race together.  Check out Tricia's blog, I'm sure she remembered the race (ha!) and will have a great recap.

Leah, Tricia, and Me

The post-race festivities seemed well endowed.  After visiting with my new friends, I needed to get on the road and was happy with a cookie, banana and chocolate milk.  I could hear a band playing and saw BBQ and beer among many tents.   We were given a short sleeve tech shirt.  The shirt, bibs and string bags were nicely blue & green color coordinated but the medal (although quite large and wonderfully Bama themed) didn't go with anything else.  It doesn't matter, it just seems odd.



I liked this race - what I remember of it - and it was great to meet new friends.  Other than a long course, I have no complaints.  I would definitely do a three-peat.   I can't say the physical fatigue of my half series has affected me greatly, but probably a little.  My time may have been better had it not been for a stressful week, but then again...who knows.  I DO KNOW I was happy to be outside in the glorious sunshine, running and breathing in that cool fresh air, and having a break for a short period of time.  I'd call that a win any day!  I was 6th out of 43 in my age group.  I guess that's OK too.


Camo Yurbuds
My original plans for Sunday were to do as little as possible.  That didn't happen.  It was a beautiful day and I could not stay inside.  I ran 4 easy miles and finally remembered to try my new lime green camouflage Yurbuds.  I'm a convert!  The sound quality is excellent and made me wish I could run longer.  They also stayed put.  I later spent several hours in my back porch swing.  Heaven.

Has anyone else run a race and not remembered it?  
Please tell me I'm not alone!





Don't forget to visit my friend Tara and the other linked bloggers at Running N Reading!

















43 comments:

  1. Congratulations on finishing your race! Sometimes I am so far in a zone I can't remember it either. And certain things stick out to me that sometimes don't even make sense. Glad to hear it was a beautiful day for the race. I have the yur buds to and I love them!-L

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes -- I remember the oddest things at some races. Maybe that's a side effect of exhaustion? LOL.

      Delete
  2. Congrats on yet another half. Yes I had a 10 miler that I remember little of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess it is better than thinking..."will this race ever be over?"

      Delete
  3. Great job on your race! And yes, I've had races and runs like that where I lose myself...nothing wrong with that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I prefer it actually. It's just hard to recap a race that you don't remember. LOL.

      Delete
  4. Oh, I'm sorry about the tough week :( Great job on the race in spite of it! And the yurbuds are awesome! I haven't found anything else that stays put so well and I love the sound quality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I first put the Yurbuds in, I thought these are WAY too big. They were comfortable! You can't go wrong with lime green and camo, right?

      Delete
  5. Wow, you did awesome in your race. I often zone out during a race and honestly during Marine Corps Marathon, I missed lots of the special historic sights. Guess I need to run it again to see them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes I really want to pay attention, but it just doesn't happen. I guess it's better than feeling like you are suffering through a race.

      Delete
  6. Congrats on #33! Sounds like a great race--no injuries, a faster pace than last year, a strong finish, and meeting new friends. Awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. It looks like I'm going to make it to the fourth and final half on Saturday. Then I plan to rest a few weeks!!!

      Delete
    2. You certainaly will deserve a rest after all of this racing you're doing. Congrats on another half marathon finish and placing so high up in your age group!

      Delete
    3. That's definitely what is next on the schedule. And, thank you!

      Delete
  7. I'm so glad you had a nice race and sunny weekend run! This is awesome! I'm also thrilled that you were able to meet Tricia; we're planning to meet up at a half marathon in September, and I can't wait. I think you did great; can't believe the course is long, though. That's a bummer! Thanks so much for a great recap and for linking up with the blog today; hope your Monday is off to a good start!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tricia is adorable. I may do the half in Tupelo too. It looks like a tough course and will be hot, I'm sure. I don't run well in the heat but I need to add MS to my list. We'll see.

      Delete
  8. A race that zooms by has GOTTA be better then a race that feels like its never going to end ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm so glad you've been able to keep your knee relatively happy.

    Hospital waiting sucks. :( We did far, far, far too much of it last year. I hope all is well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The old body is holding up pretty well. One more half and then I rest a while. I hope YOU are doing better. I just hate you are going through an injury!! My brother is not doing well and he has no family where he lives. It's very stressful.

      Delete
  10. Great job!!!! And sitting on the swing on your back porch sounds heavenly!!! Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. It is heavenly most of the time. My two dogs like to swing with me and there's not enough room. LOL.

      Delete
  11. roll tide! i'm a big bama fan so this would be a race i'd love to run. congrats on the race!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a new race - it was only the 3rd year. I think there was only 1000 runners. But, it is done very well and I predict it grows. You need to put it on your list. You can practically touch the stadium when you run by. I don't understand why the medal was Bama themed and the other stuff was not.

      Delete
  12. I was just thrilled to meet you! I can't say I remembered any more of the race than you did though...Humm I've got to get better at that! But I'll that PR anyway. I'm like you I appreciate the police for being at the intersections and there were a lot of them. I tried to thank them as I shuffled by! Some even entertained my humor when I asked if the Zombies were about to catch me, hence my shirt saying. I would do this race again and hope they stick with this route as I'm not sure I'd like running it in reverse like you did last year :o Maybe I can talk you into running Tupelo and we can both meet up with Tara ;) Have a great week!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was awesome to meet you! I preferred the direction we ran this year, for sure! I'll think about Tupelo, you think about Talladega! Funny, I called myself a Zombie and that's what your shirt said. HA. Maybe I should have worn that shirt and I wouldn't have felt like one.

      Delete
  13. Congratulations!!! I love that this was your 3rd in 14 days, so awesome!!!!
    I usually hate races that are coned off next to the traffic, but sounds like you had pretty good traffic control to go with it, so maybe it wasn't so bad afterall. Guess it just depends on the race organizer.
    #33 too, wow so awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. It looks like I'll make it to 4 in 21 days...then my streak will be over. LOL.

      Delete
  14. Congrats! I've been in the zone before and when I try to remember stuff on the course, I can't. Before I did long distance running, I made fun of my friends and family when they couldn't remember. Now I'm a club member :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good! I thought it was just me. Glad to know I'm a club member too!

      Delete
  15. congrats on your race! woo hoo! I have hot pink your buds and I love them! It is fun meeting friends at races!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I don't know why I waited so long to try them. The lime green/camo color was on sale...so I couldn't resist.

      Delete
  16. That is super cool that they ran the course in reverse this year! I wonder if they switch back and forth each year!

    Nice job with pacing on the long course! And now that your friends PR'd on a long course, they could get an even faster PR, potentially, on a right-sized course! LOL!

    Hope your IT band and feet are good for #4, as well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is only the 3rd year. The 1st run was to benefit tornado victims and the route went through the awful devastation. Last year is was changed to a more see-the-city-route and altered and reversed this year. I think they are still searching for the perfect route.

      Delete
  17. Well zoning out and popping at mile 9 is great! I have done that before, I always try to "notice " stuff as I run, but at the end I can't remember a thing just blank!
    You ran a great race! I love your finisher pic :)
    Sorry you had such a blah week :( Hope things are better. My father- in- law has had a very rough time, I relate to running up and down the road.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one that draws a blank after a race! I hope your FIL is better. It's my brother. He has no family around. It's tough.

      Delete
    2. That is tough,you are a good sister to be there for him.
      my FIL is a 3 drive away

      Delete
  18. Great job on your half! I have had some races where I'm kind of zoned-out, too. They happen. Better than having those races where you feel sick, though! :)

    I have never eaten at Five Guys and I totally need to. I'm a complete burger maven, so I feel like my life is lacking until I do so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yes. I'd rather be zoned out that struggling for sure! I LOVE a good cheeseburger better than almost anything else. You have got to try Five Guys.

      Delete
  19. Love your threepeat goal! Sounds like you raced smart to save some energy for the next one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This race is definitely on my repeat list.

      Delete
  20. I love the mental image you took away from the race. Sounds lovely. I get so nervous when I cut it so close at a race, but hey, if you don't have to stand around in the cold for an hour, that's a good thing!

    I love blogger meet-ups at races. Last year's goal was to have a blogger meet-up every month, and almost made it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it was cold so I'm glad I didn't have to wait. I dream about not making it to the start line. I really enjoy meeting other bloggers!

      Delete

I enjoy reading your comments and will make every attempt to reply. Thanks for taking the time to leave one!