Race Review: Crawlin’ Crab Half Marathon

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Confession:  I was terrified that this race was going to be one big failure.  It had been a month and change since my injury, and therefore, besides one 4 mile run here and another 5 mile run there, I hadn’t run at all since late August.  I had no idea and no way of figuring out how much endurance, muscle, etc. I had lost over the course of my injury.  Heck, I didn’t even know if my ankle tendons were going to make it through 13.1 miles. This race was one big question mark looming over my head.

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Race Day Attire

The race start was 8:00am, so I woke up on race day around 5:30am.  I had my coffee, some peanut butter toast, and a glass of water, then Trae and I headed out.  Traffic was a semi-nightmare getting off the interstate and I by the time Trae dropped me off as close as he could, I had approximately 8 min to find the bathrooms and be in my corral.  I swear every single runner decides to get in line for the bathrooms within ten minutes of race start… I stood in line for what felt like forever!  I finally made it to the starting area when they were calling for Corral 2.

When I had registered for the race, I was hoping expecting to finish between 2:00 – 2:10, so my bib said Corral 3.  I certainly didn’t expect to finish with that time with the conditions I was dealing with.  I went ahead and started with them anyways.

The easiest way for me to explain the race is to breakdown my thoughts by mile:

Mile 1:  Be careful with the ankle, be careful with the ankle, be careful with the ankle.  I was obsessed with making sure it felt okay.

Me being so careful took over my brain and I went out with a 9:something mile.  Not really how I planned for that to go.  Adrenaline must have been pumping.  Between miles 1 and 2, there is a bridge that you have to go up to cross over I-664.  This was just about the only significant elevation change, nothing I would even consider a hill, except on the way back during mile 12.  Everything is a hill at that point.

Mile 2 – 4:  Not feeling a thing so far, fingers crossed.

Mile 5/6:  Had a happy moment, when I finally realized that my ankle wasn’t hurting at all and I was definitely going to finish this race.  Ate a few Starbursts.

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Mile 7 – 9:  Wow!  Look at this view!!! (Unfortunately, I didn’t have the patience at this point to pull my phone out of my arm band to snap a picture… we were running directly alongside the James River/Chesapeake Bay, not exactly sure what they consider it, they connect at this area.)  The sky was clear, no clouds, and no shade.  It had been like this from the start, but it was REALLLLYYYYY beating down at this point and I was feeling it, I started getting heat goosebumps every now and then.  Whenever this would happen I would slow down and walk about a tenth of a mile.  I wasn’t taking chances of getting sick or passing out.  I was trying so hard to find enjoyment in the view and the folks that were cheering us on.  This street was definitely the most pleasant, the families in the houses were all out in lawn chairs, having their coffee, some even had ladders in the street with a sprinkler on top spraying the runners.  They were definitely supportive of us runners.  To all the Chesapeake Ave. residents:  your cold water, pretzels, and skittles were very much appreciated!!

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This was the view of the Bay coming into Hampton race morning, so you can imagine the view during the day while running…

Mile 10:  I found a “little while friend.”  We were running next to each other and about the same pace so I asked her if she minded that I ran next to her for a while.  She laughed and told me she needed somebody to talk to so she was glad I asked.  I definitely needed this distraction.  I was sweating my butt off and the sun was killing me.  (Silly me, didn’t think I’d need a hat or sunglasses…)  Eventually the heat goosebumps hit me again and I told her good luck and goodbye and started to walk for a few minutes.

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Mile 11 – 12:  Back over I-664.  This teensy tiny uphill on the way into the race seemed gigantic at the end.  I just wanted to be done and at the finish line.  The heat was really hitting me and by this point I could feel that my legs hadn’t run in a while.  My ankle was still in good shape, not hurting at all, but my muscles in general were punishing me for putting them through this after a hiatus.  At the beginning of Mile 11 I texted Trae to start heading to the finish line.  I’m so glad I looked at my phone at this point.  I had text messages from different people who knew I was running and had wished me luck.  It was definitely motivating.

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Mile 13:  I think I was seriously delirious.  All I remember is hearing my name, looking over, and seeing my boyfriend Trae running along with me (mind you, on the other side of the cones).  He had his phone out video taping me finishing.  I remember hearing someone on the other side of me say, “What is that guy doing?!  It’s way too hot to be doing that if you aren’t in the race!”  I wanted to look at him and say, I bet your significant other would LOVE it if you did that from him or her!  Trae running next to me was just what I needed.  The finish line photographers actually caught this moment, of me laughing at Trae.

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Mile .1:  Just like anyone who wants to be finished, I started sprinting.  Not that I was racing to win, but it feels good to have a strong finish, even if it’s only worth a few seconds.  I just wanted that damn wash cloth!! Seriously though, whoever decided to start handing ice-cold wash cloths out at the end of races, you deserve a medal.  BEST FINISHER’S ITEM EVER… hahaha

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Finish Line!

I finished the race in 2:27:38.  Not a PR, not what I planned, not what I was aiming for, but… I am definitely OK with this time.  For not having run in close to a month and a half, having a just recovered injury, and the heat, I’ll definitely take this time.  Had these circumstances been different, I know that I would have gotten a PR.  I can’t wait to go into my next half, trained and ready to run like crazy.

Overall, this race was both frustrating and needed.  I needed that push to get me motivated again.  I needed to know that I hadn’t lost everything.  I needed to feel the excitement of the race to get me going and looking forward to another race.  But, it was also very frustrating in that it didn’t go as originally planned.  I hated having to walk more than just the water stops.  I hated feeling like I was struggling.

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Dragging….

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It worked though.  I am already coming up with a training plan to possibly run the Shamrock Marathon in March 2014.  I am also thinking about sneaking in another half this fall.  It’s a little late but the Virginia Running Festival Half, Norfolk Freedom Half, and the Outer Banks Half Marathon are all on the exact same day.  All three are equally appealing and all three are being debated.

Anyone who has participated in these races, feel free to comment about your experience and give your opinion!!

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GIVEAWAY: Color Me Rad 5k Race Entries

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Time to get colorful!!

Color Me Rad has so kindly offered up two separate race entries to give away (you can find the Giveaway link below or here) to my readers, likers, followers, etc.  The entries are for the Virginia Beach Color Me Rad 5k being held on Sunday, November 3rd.

Color Me Rad has been around for a bit now, so most of you probably have heard of it or have even run in it.  I think this is the perfect 5k to do right in the midst of fall race season.  It’s a fun run.  It is not timed and there is no declared winner.  It’s pure fun.  What a great way to blow off some racing steam and enjoy the experience.  This is a great race to get your family involved or those who are not necessarily the running type.  This 5k is very walker and family friendly!

Check out this video to see the fun in action:

I ran the race back in May 2012, the first year it came to Virginia Beach, with my friend Katie.  It was definitely a good time!  Like I said, there are usually a lot of walkers and children, so you have to just enjoy yourself and soak up all the color you can get.  What’s the point of doing a fun run if you don’t actually have any fun?!

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BEFORE…

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…AFTER

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Not convinced yet?!  Here’s what Color Me Rad has to say:

Color Me Rad is a 5K that fires off in a blaze of color bombs, color cannons, color mortars, and multi-toned courses that guarantee your outlook will be brighter, your boyfriend will be more affectionate, your boss will finally remember your name, the hair on your head will grow back and the hair on your back will fall out, and your gray outlook will turn green like a spring morning.

You’ll start off with a shirt as pure and white as your granddaddy’s dentures, and throughout the run, we’ll coat your chaffing thighs with Color Bombs of blue, green, pink, purple, and yellow until you come out like a tie-dyed hippy on the other side.

Each section of the run adds a new explosion of color to your clean, painter’s palate until you cross the finish line into a final blitzkrieg of color.

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Enter the Giveaway Here

Last Week: Test run, football, & race-day

9/30 – 10/6

Monday – took a test run of 5 miles.  I was happy to report that this run went very well.  NO pain or soreness.  This was the test to see if I could continue running and to determine whether or not I should have deferred my race entry to the Crawlin’ Crab Half… as you all know now, I decided to run the race.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – A little yoga here, a few ab workouts there… as much as I wanted to run, I wanted to be sure that I didn’t injure myself before the race so I took it easy.

Saturday – Headed to the race expo and packet pick-up.  Picked out my race-day attire.  Headed to my alma mater for my first football game as an alum, it happened to be the Homecoming game too!  I am fortunate enough to have a pretty cool friend who took us out on to the field for a portion of the game.  Definitely a cool experience.

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Race Swag

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Race Day Outfit – Pro Compression socks & Brooks PureConnect 2’s

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On the ODU football field

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Yes, I paint my toes black, so you can’t see the black runner toes 😉

Sunday – RACE DAY – 13.1 Miles at the Crawlin’ Crab Half Marathon

Look for a race review sometime this week!  Looking forward to telling you all about it.  P.S. This runner totally has her groove back… Already trying to find another half to sneak in for November.  I’m debating between the Norfolk Freedom Half Marathon and the Virginia Running Festival Half Marathon.  They are being held on the same day.

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Post-race picture – Crawlin’ Crab Half-Marathon

Did you race this past weekend?  How was it?

Did you miss me?! & Lots of Updates

Hello world. I’m back.

I don’t even know where to start…

Injury Update:

I’m sure you all know that I had tendonitis in my ankle. It was very upsetting. I was about to take my 16-mile long run that weekend, and things all fell apart during an interval run. I should have known better. I was feeling off that day, not balanced, and then I took off super fast, like 6:00min/mile sprints fast… (Ok, super fast for me…) And then I felt the twinge and ignored it. I was close to the distance goal I had set for this run. I learned my lesson, when you’re an athlete, your head can only tell you so much, it’s your body that you need to listen to. It is what it is, and now my punishment comes in the form of a deferral.

Marathon Updates:

Yes, with great disappointment, I will be deferring my entry to the Richmond Marathon to the 2014 race. There is no way I could catch up with my training in a month’s time. I’m still recovering and I think I’d be setting myself up for failure as well as another injury if I ran in the marathon. This is going to be so cliché and sound completely lame and completely cheesy but I want my first marathon to be great. I want it to be special and I want to do it in good health and with good spirits. I would be cheating myself if I ran it half-ready.

I haven’t quite decided if I am going to wait a year to run my first marathon, or if I’m going to run one in the spring. A seed has been planted in regards to running the Virginia Beach Shamrock Marathon in March… but we’ll see. I’m sure I’ll let you know as soon as I decide.

Half-Marathon Updates:

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The Crawlin’ Crab Half Marathon is THIS WEEKEND, this Sunday to be exact. Call me crazy, but I did decide TO RUN this race. I will be hitting the expo and packet pickup on Saturday and racing at 8:00am on Sunday. I didn’t want to defer this entry because I felt that I could finish this race. I ran 5 miles on Monday (the last day to defer) and didn’t have any ankle/tendon pain or soreness, nor did I have any pain or soreness the next morning, so I am confident that I will make it through. I have no shame in taking walk breaks if needed. I am certainly not expecting a PR from this race and I am not expecting to come anywhere near my previous goal of finishing sub 2:15. I will be happy just to finish this race.

Luckily, this course is significantly flat. The weather is supposed to be beautiful on Sunday, and a portion of this race is along the water. I have been told by Kristy from Breath of Sunshine that it is a great course “to recover on.” (She’s also running the race) I’m taking her word for it. Look for a race review sometime soon! And good luck to anyone else running The Crawlin’ Crab!!

Yoga Updates:

This was the silver-lining of this whole injury month. I have rediscovered my love of practicing yoga. I’ve been doing a lot of home practice and I bought ten classes at two different studios. One is a very “authentic” studio where some serious chanting occurs at the beginning and end of class, the other is an exclusively “HOT” yoga studio. I have taken one class at the first studio and hopefully will have a chance to start at the second one soon. (I have been battling a Sinus Infection for the past week and a half and didn’t want to be sniffling and coughing the whole class).

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Other things:

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  One of Trae and I’s favorite quick eats places, Tijuana Flats  is helping the cause.  If you donate $1 they will make your tacos and chips pink!  Here are Trae’s pink tacos and the cute pink ribbon chips…

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This Bolthouse Farms Amazing Mango is my new favorite flavor.

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I am so ready for fall sweater weather… I had to break out a big cozy one last Sunday… I was being lazy, but it felt so good.

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Speaking of sweater weather… I cannot get enough chili these days.  One of my favorite Fall/Winter meals.

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Saw Rascal Flatts… not my favorite band, but it was still a nice night out.

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Enjoyed a date night somewhere new… Headed out to one of the Fishing Piers for dinner and drinks.  They had a great seasonal beer, Abita Pecan Harvest Ale.  It was really good, sort of tasted similar to Newcastle.

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It feels good to be back and I’m sure this race in a few days will feel even better.  I have to confess that I feel somewhat lazy these days.  I was in such a good place right before the injury.  I had a schedule that I was very strict about, I ran with a plan, a set mileage for each week and now I’m finding every excuse to sleep in.  I need to just push myself and I’ll be back with it, I’m really hoping this race gives me a push in the right direction.  I think I need to feel the endorphins, the adrenaline and I’ll want to be right back to where I left off.

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What do you do to come back from an injury slump?  Or a running slump in general?

How do you find the motivation again?

How crazy am I for running this half after being in recovery for a month?

Sick in September?!

I’ve been MIA for a few, but I have good reason…  A sinus infection is attacking my face, head, and teeth.  I haven’t felt very good and actually I feel rather delirious.  So don’t think I’ve up and left the blogging world, I just can’t muster up more than a thought or two at a time right now… Rottenecards_77989216_nf629287p6

I promise to be back soon!  This weekend I hope!  Get ready for a new ab routine and maybe a new recipe!  Oh and a review on some delicious new snacks!

Take this as a warning… Sick season is coming, so stock up on some Emergen-C or Airborne or whatever it is you take to prevent the nasty colds that are about to take over.

Be well. Talk to you all in a few! 🙂

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A Cross Country Meet & Some Major Motivation

Last week I had the pleasure of watching my cousin run in her first cross-country meet. Being a runner myself, I was obviously thrilled that she had taken up the sport! I was so excited to be there to support and cheer her on.
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I couldn’t believe how “un-nervous” she was!

The total distance was that of a 5k, through one of the local parks. It’s probably one of the few places in the area that has a significant hill (at least significant to us southern Virginians). The course could be seen at many different points and made one curvy loop around. It actually is a great location because spectators can move around to different portions of the course to watch whoever they were there for. I caught Casey at each spot, starting line, first loop, downhill, the curve, and the finish line.

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Starting line

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These girls (and the guys too) were so inspiring to watch! So much enthusiasm for the run, so much energy. If you ever have the opportunity to go watch a meet, GO! It was incredible. I know that you could find this energy just as easily at any weekend race, but seeing just young people out there, and so many of them, was awesome. It makes me happy to see that running has already become such a big part of their lives. It made me wish so bad that I had joined my high school cross-country team. (I was on the crew, or rowing team & ran all the time for practice, but it wasn’t the same)

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I was so impressed with how well Casey did! For never having run distance before, and recently having back surgery, YES, BACK SURGERY, I didn’t have a clue as to how fast she’d be. And wow, was I completely and utterly surprised and impressed! She was born to run. Seriously. She held a great pace the entire race and didn’t start out too fast. She was consistent in her pace and hit every turn right when I expected her to be there.  I was a very proud cousin.

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Finish 27:35

And what a strong finish!  She put all she had into that last stretch and finished her very first official race, and very first official 5k with a 27:35!  Did I mention she’s in 9th grade?!  Maybe I’m just bragging because she’s my cousin, but this girl has some major potential to be a great runner.  I mean my PR for a 5k this year is 25:54,  I guarantee she has me beat by the end of the season.  And you know what, I hope she does.

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Strong finish!

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If you’re looking for a boost in your running spirit, go to a local high school cross-country meet.  If it’s anything like this one, you’ll definitely find some inspiration, a lot of passion, and you’ll leave with a renewed excitement for the sport.  I mean this picture shows it all!  Dealing with my ankle injury at the time of this race, I was dying to be able to jump in there and run with them.  I gained a whole new love for a sport I was already madly in love with.

Casey, I am so looking forward to watching you progress and succeed as a runner!  Can’t wait to come to some more meets!  Lots of love and luck! 

Did you run cross-country in high school/college?

Have you attended a local meet?  Do you get the same vibes from going?

9/9 – 9/15 Weekly workouts, a silver lining, and an ankle update

9/9 – 9/15
Yes, technically this was week 14 of marathon training but considering this was another week without running, it just doesn’t seem right to count it as a “Marathon Training Week.”

Speaking of running… I FINALLY went on my first run since that dreaded Wednesday three weeks ago. It was only a short 2.25 miles, but at least there were mileS with an “S.” And not just miles, but miles that I RAN! I didn’t have any pain, or uncomfortable aches. But I can tell that my right ankle is weaker than my left. I immediately iced and ibuprofen-ed as soon as I was finished just for precaution. I was terrified that I was going to feel it the next morning, but I am happy to report that I felt perfectly fine. I am planning on taking a run outside today after work and that will be the real test.

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Yay! for first run back this past Monday!

Silver Linings. The past three weeks have sucked.  If you read my blog regularly or follow me on Twitter, you know that I’ve been quite miserable.  And although I really wish I didn’t have to deal with those three weeks, I can’t say that they completely went to waste.  I used to practice yoga regularly when I was working out at the Y.  My schedule and life started taking over and running was more important.  These few weeks off however, have allowed me to pick yoga back up and for that I am thankful.  I even bought 10 classes at a local studio; my first class is tonight!

Monday (9/9):  1 hr. Beginner Combination Yoga

Tuesday (9/10):

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  • 20 min. Erin Motz Yoga for opening hips
  • Tone It Up workout video x 2:  Butterfly lunges, Walkouts with tricep dips, plank push-ups, alternating side plank, tornadoes.
  • Tone It Up move of the day:  Tabletop crunches
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    I even convinced my sister to come join me in some yoga.

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    I was thrilled that I was actually able to do this Half-Tripod Headstand

Wednesday (9/11):  Went to the doctor for ankle.  Had an x-ray which showed that there was nothing wrong.  Doctor determined I had tendonitis.  She told me that “sometimes it’s better to work or run through the pain.” Interesting theory, but luckily there wasn’t any pain when I attempted a run this past Monday.

I also made these EASY beyond belief Pumpkin Muffins…

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Thursday (9/12):  Today was Trae’s Birthday!!!

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This is my yoga goal

Friday (9/13):  Work all day… Friday the 13th won.  This was a bad day.  Forgot my check card in my pants pocket from the day before.  Went to get coffee and was at the register with food and coffee in hand and realized I had nothing to pay with.  Thank goodness my mom was meeting me for lunch, because I would have starved… and it just went on from there.

Saturday (9/14): 

  • Erin Motz Yoga – 40:00
  • Abs:  Leg Raises/Toe Touches/Bicycles routine

Sunday (9/15):  went on a road trip to Richmond to take engagement photos for a friend of mine.  (I’m also a bridesmaid in their wedding!)  We got a pretty decent walk in because we took the photos all over the Maymont property.  This place is huge, great place to go on a run, especially if you’re looking for some hills.  Wish it was closer to where I live…

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A picture of a picture… Sam & Matt’s engagement photo-session.  The lighting was so perfect on Sunday, I barely have to edit any of them!  It was beautiful outside.

Also, this week I received an email letting me know I had been accepted as a Sweat Pink Ambassador!  && my pink shoelaces have been ordered and are on their way!  So excited and honored to be a part of this fabulous group.

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It has been cooling off down here at the beach, so sweaters are on my mind.  I WANT THIS ONE!!! I love the long open cardigan ones like this.  You can appropriately wear leggings or jeans and look nice but still comfortable.  The perfect mixture.  Unfortunately, when I checked, Dainty Hooligan was sold out… If anyone sees a sweater like this elsewhere, let me know!

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How was your week of workouts, runs, etc.?

Favorite fall recipes? Feel like sharing?

Any tips for yoga headstands?  Have a favorite yoga pose, or one you’re dying to master?