Sunday, March 11, 2018

MGM Half Marathon (WW # 136)



The purpose of this linkup is to
support active women.
Have you read the UPDATED RULES ??

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Montgomery Half Marathon
Montgomery, AL
March 10, 2018
Half Marathon # 53



Alternate Post Titles:
  • The one after a 3.5 hour root canal
  • Hills, hills and hills for breakfast
  • What do you mean you ran out of grits and eggs?
  • Do high doses of antibiotics cause cramps?
  • You just can't beat the swag!


Saturday marked my 4th time running the Montgomery Half Marathon.  It's never been one of my faster finish times.  It's usually warm and humid and very hilly.  Always hilly.  I was so happy to be blessed with a cool morning this year.  Even though I wasn't gunning for a course PR (I'm marathon training and elected not to do the traditional taper) I hoped it would translate into a decent finish time. 

Well, I'll cut to the chase -- I felt fantastic until mile 9.  I was thrilled to successfully navigate those early hills and middle miles.  Then,  the cramps started.  AGAIN.   I had already taken in plenty of electrolytes. Just like Mercedes, I was forced to stop when the foot cramps reached my calves -- yes, both.  I also had a weird cramp in the back of my right knee.  That was new.   I limped across the finish line with a 2:12:14 gun time (oddly, they don't record chip time).  My Garmin recorded 13.24 in distance.  I wasn't very good with running the tangents. I was 7th out of 54 in my age group.



I admit to beating myself up for a hot minute over my time.  No, that's not accurate.  It wasn't exactly my finish time that bothered me. I've actually done worse at this race!  It was going from such a strong race to a barely-limping-in one.  If you read my alternate post titles, you've figured out I had a root canal this week.  It did not go well and I spent 3.5 hours in the dental chair.  I've also been on a high dose of antibiotics for two weeks, along with my allergy medicine (see pink azalea bush above).   There may have been a few factors working against me.  Or...maybe I'm looking for excuses. 



The swag included a large beach towel, a
truckers hat, socks, a tattoo sleeve, a pair
of arm warmers, a T-shirt and a car decal.
The photo-bombing diapered dog, not included.

Regardless of performance, I was out there doing what I love.  It was fun hanging out with a couple of the ladies from our weekend running group.  The band was rockin' and the sun was shining.  You can't beat that.  I was a little miffed that they had run out of some of the breakfast food when I came through the line.  I had been thinking about those grits and eggs for a few miles.  But, they had record attendance this year and I think I caught them in a restocking phase.  I didn't feel like going back.


Always fun catching up with Laurie and Kaye.

I crossed another finish line and hopefully learned a few lessons I can apply toward my next race. Another theory for my recent cramping is running with inserts in my shoes.  I do think they are helping my poor, sad, previously fractured metatarsals, but maybe they are a part of the cramping equation?  I think I'll try training in them but not racing in them.  

And that's a wrap!


What's the best race swag item you've ever received?

Do you run with inserts?  Like them?  What brand?




41 comments:

  1. ouch.ouch.ouch. I know what those calf cramps feel like, and they do make you stop in your tracks. I also have had a handful of half marathons where I do believe antibiotics have played a part in my less-than-desired performance. Maybe that's an excuse, but it's a valid one. That said, your finish time is still solid...those first nine miles gave you some leeway when the aches/pains showed up, right? The swag! Wow! Lots of goodies there!!! ;-)

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  2. That's more swag than any race I've ever done. Wow! I think you did have a few forces working against you. That diapered dog is priceless!

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  3. Congrats on another half! That's a lot of elevation in just 13 miles. Congrats!

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  4. Why is Mojo in diapers? I hope everything is ok. You did great, my friend, and I think I may have to join you for this one next year. Or maybe Mobile. So many options--altho the swag makes this one very attractive. That and getting to run by Hank Williams final resting place.

    Congrats!!!

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  5. Sorry to hear about the cramps again but you rocked it out on the course. That is fantastic swag.....hmmm the best swag I've received was from the hot chocolate race. I can't do inserts. Last time I tried, (due to a number of factors) I ended up with IT band syndrome. But I was a newbie in the wrong shoes with inserts I didn't need, running on a cambered loop for training.....recipe for disaster hahaha!

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  6. Great swag. And a decent finish line. But we all get pissed when we know we can do better.

    I hate when they run out of food. Grits. Yum!!

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  7. Taking anti biotics long terms definitely causes stomach issues. My daughter had the same problem this week too. The dentist is my least fave thing to do!

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  8. Great job on a very hilly course!

    Sunshine, a band, post-race time with run friends...sounds amazing. I'm jealous.

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  9. That is some admirable swag!! And the diapered dog makes it that much better. :) I'm really not sure what the best item I've gotten from a race is. I love adding t-shirts to my collection though. I never think "Oh, it's just a t-shirt race." I'm more like "Heck yes, give me all the t-shirts!!"

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  10. Congrats on another half marathon finish but so sorry to hear about that root canal - those are never fun :( I think that you did great considering everything you have dealt with this week!

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  11. Sorry about the cramps! It still sounds like you did great on a tough day, especially with so many things working against you! Congrats on another half!

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  12. That's amazing swag (and quite the hilly course). Antibiotics completely wipe me out -- I think you did great considering everything!

    I don't use inserts so can't help you there -- but then again, I'm still prone to cramping. Haven't really figured it out myself but it's definitely not fun.

    I'm always amazed at how you can write such concise race recaps!

    And as a slower runner, lacking water & food is nothing new to me -- but never appreciated. At all.

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  13. Yikes - sorry to hear about that root canal, doesn't sound fun. Like you said, at least you finished! Sorry to hear about the cramping in your legs. Sounds like despite a tough week, you rocked it!

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  14. Well heck, sorry to hear that the calf cramps returned...that really stinks! Love the diapered dog photobomb...Paco also approves. ;)

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  15. Each race is a building block to your race experience! Even the tough races have lessons and you were tough to push through. I hope you feel better soon and I was hoping that diapered dog was part of the race swag ;) hehe

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  16. Ugh sorry about the cramping but you did great! You were definitely facing some challenges on this one. 3.5 half hours in the dentist's chair - ouch!

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  17. Those cramps sound awful -- but 7th AG shows you did really well for the course/conditions. And ugh on the dental work. My mouth aches for you.

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  18. Congrats on completing your race after having a rough week at the dentist!That is quite a lot of swag. It's always nice when races offer great swag!

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  19. Hey Holly - So sorry but it looks like something went wrong with the link I posted and it pulled an old post. I've re-posted but can't figure out how to take down my first post.

    Sorry!

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  20. Wow, running a race the same week as a 3.5 hour root canal is challenging! You might not use your face for running but the stress will have some effect. Shame you got cramp. Hopefully your idea of running without the inserts will work.

    The swag from the race is pretty good! My goody bags usually just contain food.

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  21. That sounds like a rough week. And those cramps sound like they're the worst! But way to go on finishing the race and doing so well!

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  22. I use Superfeet inserts because of my high arches, but I also wear compression calf sleeves because of my tight calves. I make sure I roll and stretch my calves because they've been tight for years.

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  23. I saw the swag pic and thought - they gave you a dog?!?! Can you imagine if a race did do that? hahahaha! Congrats on pushing through what sounds like a tough week and a tough race.

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  24. Sorry the wheels fell off the race, but I'd say that the antibiotics definitely played a factor - if the root canal was so recent then your body was diverting resources to healing that. Congrats on pushing through to the end though!

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  25. Geez - root canal, cramps - sounds like an awful week. I'd be surprised if the antibiotics didn't play a role... along with the seasonal allergies. Congrats on another finish!

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  26. Sorry to hear about the cramps! Congrats on another half though! Such awesome swag!

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  27. Ouch-sorry to hear about the cramping! I don't run with inserts but I have to put them in my bike shoes, I like the Superfeet brand. That race swag is probably some of the best I've ever seen--I actually LOVE getting towels and trucker hats/visors for some odd reason. The best race swag I've received is from REV3 Williamsburg-a super soft women's cut t-shirt, a visor that I actually wear and a towel dipped in cold water wrapped around my shoulders at the finish line :)

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  28. The last race I did was on antibiotics and I feel it definitely affected my performance. So sorry about those cramps - gosh, sounds absolutely awful to have to deal with during a race. But still - well done on another achievement, another medal and that swag looks awesome! The nicest thing I have received is maybe a water bottle? Lol.

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  29. For the St. Jude Half I got a new hat and jacket for raising money for the hospital! I was really excited about the hat lol. I had worn out my other ones. Congratulations on the Montgomery Half! I hope to run that one one year. I’m sorry about the cramping and hope you can rest and recover this week. I had a nasty red eye for Disney Princess Weekend thanks to allergies. Have a great week!

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  30. Wow, you definitely had the odds stacked against you for this race, but still managed to finish in a great time. Don't beat yourself up too much, I think you did amazing, especially given the conditions that you faced.

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  31. Ugh, that root canal sounds tough :( I'm sorry the cramps sprung up again during the race. But that looks like a nice bit of race swag!

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  32. I don't think you're making excuses at all! I'd be pissed they didn't have breakfast! After the Phoenix half people raved about the french toast and I looked forward to that the last few miles... I would have been so mad if they didn't have any. I love when races give a towel!

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  33. That race looks brutal! Great job placing 7th in your age group! The best swag I got was the finishers Tiffany necklace at the Nike Women's Marathon. I have 3. I wish they would bring that race back.

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  34. That's really is some nice swag. At the Hokie Half we got a finisher's shirt and car magnet in addition to our medals after we crossed the finish line. That was really sweet, especially the first year since we weren't expecting it.

    That's awful about your cramping. I read an article a few years ago about cramping being a problem the older we get. It has to do with our muscles and nerves not working as well as they did when we were younger (like everything else in my body). :-( So far I've only gotten cramps in my feet later in the day after my long runs, but my husband missed qualifying for Boston one year by 8 seconds when he had to stop and stretch the cramps out of his calves for a couple of minutes.

    Thanks for the linkup!

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  35. The dog would have been some phenomenal swag LOL! Best swag I've ever received is probably the tote bag they give at the Publix Savannah Women's Half. Most years, they have been gorgeous and versatile.

    I'm sorry it was such a tough race. It sounds like there were a lot of extenuating circumstances, and that will get to anyone. Next time will be better. I hope all those cramps took a hike after you were done.

    I run with Superfeet Berry inserts. They have been a game changer for me, and I can totally feel the difference when I don't have them in.

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  36. Nice swag! I've never gotten that much at a race before ...maybe I'll join you next year! Sorry about the cramping. But dang girl, you've had an awful lot going on lately and the dental work and meds really may have contributed to your performance. You know, I've wondered if my new inserts are the cause of my foot cramping too. Maybe I'll try a few training runs without them and see if it makes a difference. We've got to get this figured out before June!

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  37. I always loved my ZOOMA half marathon swag - I prefer useful items ;) Sorry to hear about the cramping. Hopefully you will find an answer soon. And congrats on crossing another finish line!

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  38. Man, I have been down that tough/long root canal road before and it is NOT a good time. I'm impressed that you actually went out and did that well in that half!

    That's weird about the cramping. Especially since it's your feet. If it started in your legs, I might think more electrolyte imbalance but feet makes me think of shoes. I used to run in the Superfeet Berry inserts and I had to stop. I struggled with metatarsalgia and those were supposed to help with that. But, I would literally have to stop during a long run and take my shoes off and massage the balls of my feet, they would hurt so bad. Plus, those inserts made my shoes squeak. UGH. I've been running without inserts for a while now and that seems to help. I also make sure my toes have plenty of room in the toe box. And, honestly, taking some time off from running and focusing on other things (CrossFit, etc) has probably helped too. Hopefully, you figure it out soon!

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  39. Ummm Mojo looks adorable! is he okay though? I am sorry the race ended that way. It is frustrating to go from feeling great to limping along, but you still did fantastic :) That cramping does sound odd, I have no idea...I guess it could be the inserts ?? Hopefully it was just the fatigue from the body trying to heal from your dental work!
    Congrats on 53 :)

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  40. Congrats on another half, especially such a hilly one! Calf cramping is not fun and I am sorry to hear you had to deal with that. Antibiotics can definitely take their toll on running.

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  41. I am sorry you had cramps! But congrats on pushing through on a hilly course. And yes, antibiotics will absolutely mess with you.

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