Sunday, March 29, 2015

Viking Half Marathon

Half Marathon #35

At the very last minute, I decided to run the Viking Half Marathon in Greenwood, Mississippi.  The weather was predicted to be cool and it looked like a flat course.  The overwhelming pull was I felt it would be my last opportunity for a cool weather half.  Yeah...I live in the south.  This would give also me a new state. Woo-Hoo!

We have a big project going on at our house so I made the drive alone.  It was VERY long and VERY boring.  I barely made it to packet pickup Friday night at The Alluvian (which advertises itself as a cosmopolitan boutique hotel --- whatever that means).  Luckily, they had a cancellation and I was able to get a room without being excessively gouged.  I have to say, it was a very nice hotel. 

The movie The Help was filmed in Greenwood.  It is a quaint small town built along the river.  Some of the streets are still paved with bricks.  You'll see no tall buildings in this city!   There are many old fashioned storefronts and the race started right in front of the old courthouse.

I enjoyed crossing the bridge!  (Photo from Viking Half Marathon website)


The course began by winding around through the downtown area, which is not large by any means.  The brick streets were a little tricky.  You had to really pay attention!  We then ran through beautiful neighborhoods and a few times right along the river.  Crossing and re-crossing the river was my favorite part.  It was definitely a flat course.

It was a chilly 38 degrees and a little breezy at the start.  I began well, but in hindsight probably too fast.  Around mile 5, I got that "uh-oh I'm out of gas" feeling.   I slowed and kept running.  I hoped maybe I could pull out a couple of fast miles at the end.  That didn't happen.  My left foot cramped a while but it wasn't fatal.  I got my dreaded shoulder stitch (more accurately a sharp pain under my collar bone) for the entire last mile.  I'm very grateful it didn't start any sooner.  But, neither of those things affected my time.

There was little crowd support.  There were (what felt like) a hundred turns and the traffic volunteers and those manning the many water stops were just about all the Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah we got.  However, some were very enthusiastic.  One lady was in everyone's face yelling YOU BETTER MOVE IT.  Yes ma'am!  She was crazy scary.

The after party was different with hot tamales and fried catfish, which was actually very good, among the typical fare.  Although I will probably never make that drive again, it was a well done smaller race and simply oozed southern charm.   If you are in the general area or need to run in Mississippi, it will not disappoint.

Compared to the ribbon, the bottle opener medal is quite small.


I ended with a 2:07:12 gun time finish.  Meh.  I admit for a while, I felt somewhat disappointed and frustrated. This one bothered me more than the last few. Yes, I completely understand some would be thrilled with that.   But, I'm simply comparing this to my own faster times from last winter.   It's a little hard to swallow that I continue to run slower.  I had loads of time to analyze this on the long drive home.

It boils down to one thing...I've run 7 half marathons in 70 days. {Holy Freakin' Cow.  How did I pull that off?}  Am I expecting too much out of myself?  Probably.  One of these days, I will pick a goal race, train like nobody's business, and smash my PR.  Until then, I own my multiple half marathon madness...my mediocrity...my middle of the road (pun very much intended).


Does anyone else experience pain under their collar bone?

How about half marathon madness?







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42 comments:

  1. Your recaps make me want to move south, so I can run some of these races! Well, so does your weather. Great job on the race! Don't frown! Holy moley! #35? I'm up to 11....

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    1. Come to Dixie and we'll run together!

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  2. No, don't do anything different from what you're doing now! I LOVE that you run so many races, and I love that you can decide to do one on a whim. I think I love it because it's so opposite of me. I wish I could be more spontaneous. Given the foot cramp & shoulder stitch (actually never heard of that!) you did great! Congrats on continuing the madness!

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    1. Oh, thanks. I needed that! As many miles are you are running each week, I'm positive you could do some on a whim too!

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  3. I know that feeling but like you said, you didn't specifically train for this race, which in and of itself is something many people couldn't do! Nice little bit of trivia about the filming of The Help!

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    1. You know what? I've never really thought about it that way. Thanks so much for that comment.

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  4. Holy cow, 7 half marathons in 70 days? You are a beast!!! Great job on pushing through this race, even if you weren't thrilled with the time. The fact that you went out there and just DID it with no preparation speaks huge volumes about your fitness! Sorry to hear about your pain under the collar bone, I think I have experienced something similar in the past. For me, it was due to tensing up my shoulders too much when I run, so I try to remember to shake out my shoulders every so often. I love that they had hot tamales and fried catfish at the post-race. It really does sound like a charming southern atmosphere!

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    1. I think my shoulder problem is a result of too much liquid and/or trapped air. I tend to drink more often when I'm struggling. It does help to move them around and raise my arms to the sky. It looks silly...but oh well.

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  5. Congratulations on your half marathon. Wow! 7 half marathons in 70 days is quite impressive. Love the medal. The J&A series is the only one I know that has a bottle opener on each of their medals. So cool that yours does. I bet your put it to good use:) -L

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    1. Thanks. The Gulf Coast series used to give out bottle openers too. They were huge and had a picture scene of the race on one side. I'm not sure this one is big enough to be functional.

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  6. I would be thrilled with at time. I sometimes get a pain in my shoulder. I think I am tensing up. I love racing too. So that leaves little time for training.

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    1. That's the thing...why would I want to limit myself from doing what I love to just a couple of times a year? You get it!

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  7. Congrats! That bridge is beautiful and i'll bet the entire course was, too. Yes, that's a heck of a lot of racing and I think it's a good bet that's why you're not getting PRs right now. I always tell clients to race less if they truly care about times--it's all a matter of trade offs!

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    1. Yes, and I get that. I just so enjoy the half distance and hate to limit myself to a few times a year. One of these days...I'll buckle down.

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  8. 7 half marathons in 70 days is a lot - congrats on that and pushing through a stitch and cramps - not easy!

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    1. Thanks. It looks crazy on paper...but I don't really feel like it was. HA.

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  9. Tamales sound awesome after a race!

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    1. That was definitely a first for me!

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  10. 7 half marathons in 70 days??? that is nothing to :( about! That is fantastic!!! You might want ot take a rest day or two though :) congrats!

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    1. I know, it looks a little insane on paper. But, I actually feel good. Yeah, a few days rest are probably in order.

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  11. Congrats!!! Super proud of you! And I love the pic of the bridge...it looks a lot like my favorite place to run!

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    1. I don't know what the fascination is about bridges, but I enjoy running over them! They can be very steep. This one was flat!

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  12. I totally get the allure of one last cool weather race, especially with your endurance base. Congrats on this one and for banging out all of those halfs. Amazing!

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    1. Those muggy warm races are coming soon enough...blech.

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  13. I think it is awesome you ran a surprise half marathon! looks like some beautiful country too!
    7 in 70 that is pretty awesome!
    I may have told you this before, but at one point I was running 13-14 full marathons a year, and although I was able to do them, my times were all over the place, and the closer together the races, sometimes it was really just a hit and miss. Eventually, I realized although it may be possible for some to PR with that, for me it wasn't going to happen.
    I figured, when I was done with my goals and crazy running schedules then eventually I will sit back and like you said, train for 1 race. For me it will be to qualify for Boston and then I will put all effort into that. But sometimes when you want to run and race, it's not an option:)
    I think even though you're not PRing, you are seriously doing quite awesome for the amount you have put in. Wow, your year has already been beyond race awesome. I can only imagine what else you'll do the rest of the year!

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    1. It all comes down to doing what you enjoy. I don't want to limit that. I enjoy running that distance. And, what if I do put all of my effort into ONE race and it doesn't work out? That would be devastating. This way I can always think...well there another in a couple of weeks. LOL.

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  14. Wow, looks like a nice course. Cool bottle opener, too. Before I started working with a coach I would race very often - not so much for peak performance but for the social element and fun of trying new things. When I decided I wanted to focus on performance the first thing she had me do was ratchet back on my races and think harder about goal races versus "for fun." I still have a hard time with it because I love trying new things.

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    1. I know I would have a hard time limiting my races because I really enjoy that too. One day...I will get serious and do it.

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  15. That sounds like a lovely course. It can be hard without much crowd support though. You have done a crazy amount of HMs!

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    1. Yes, it does look insane on paper. But, I promise it doesn't feel that way.

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  16. Congrats on HM #35 and running 7 in 70 days! I loved the book/movie the Help.

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    1. Thanks. It was a good book. I wasn't as pleased with the movie as I pictured some of the characters differently...I always do.

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  17. We are always our own worst critic, and 7 half marathons in 70 days is a lot of half marathons! Great job . I don't get a pain under my collar one... eh maybe I do sometimes, I guess I think of it as more by my shoulder but maybe it is the same thing. Weird and annoying. It usually works itself out but not before I am annoyed by it!

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    1. Yes we are. That shoulder pain is very annoying. One of my theories is trapped air - or to put it bluntly...I need to burp. HA.

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  18. Awesome! Does this change your moon level?

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    1. No. I moved up when I did the 4 in 21 days, but the next level requires some truly crazy running! Never say never.

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  19. I think you did fabulous and 7 in 70 days is huge! I know how frustrating it is those to have I could do more feeling, and i hope you get that desired speedy one soon. I know as things heat up it will be much more challenging.I dread the humidity coming...

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    1. It sounded amazing when I typed it up, but really that many just feels...normal. EEK. Whose normal is that, right? I loathe the heat and humidity that's coming. I probably only have a few more weeks.

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  20. What a great recap, my dear! I've never heard of this race, but it sounds like it would be a pretty good one and MS is not very far for me and my local running folks; I'll definitely pass along the info. I love that they had fried catfish at the finish - ha! That's is truly a southern race, right? Thanks so much for sharing your experience and for linking up with the blog; hope your week is going well!

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    1. It's still in the early stages, but growing. The catfish was very good!

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  21. Congrats on yet another half! I think you answered your own question about slowing down - 7 halves in 70 days, especially if you're racing them all.

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    1. Yes, I believe I did. I'm guilty of wanting to be superwoman.

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