Monday, October 14, 2013

Pretzels, Brats, & Beer, Oh My! (A Leavenworth Half Marathon Race Recap)


I don't have a lot to say about this race besides that.  At 3 months post-partum I not only finished this half marathon, but I felt like I ROCKED IT.  I'm not bragging, in fact my time is 18-ish minutes off my PR time.  That's a lot.  But compared to what I expected, I dominated.  And compared to how bad I was prepared to feel - I felt GREAT!  Every race should feel like that.

This race was straight-up amazing.  I LOVE Leavenworth (you already know about this, I've posted about Leavenworth practically more than I've posted about Cooper and Baby J... okay maybe not really!  But maybe the same number of times as I've posted about swimming?!?!).

The views were amazing, I felt GREAT, and I had a philosophical journey while running that made me so appreciative of my life.  Yep, we're going there.

Seriously - check out the views from the course:

There were snow-capped mountains, gorgeous rivers, blue skies, best-friend-horses, people wearing Gumby costumes, a beer station (just the smell made me want to throw up!), cute little bridges that felt like they were about the break under our weight, etc.  What more could you want in a race?

Anyway, to the race recap.

The race swag.  Average.

It's cool that the medal is a bottle opener but it is seriously the exact same medal from 2011 except with a different color.  Also, since I didn't register early enough I had to go to the "leftovers" shirt table and all that was left was X-Large or Small / X-Small.  Turns out XL is the right size because WHY DO THEY MAKE THE WOMENS SHIRTS SO SMALL???  I seriously hate women's race shirts.  I'd rather have the men's fit.  But I digress.
It was a chilly morning and I was majorly wishing I'd brought a parka or at least a fleece to stay warm in before the race.  IDIOT!  But pretty soon we were off and running and I had taken off my long sleeve by mile 5.

Jordanne and I ran together at an easy-pace and talked the whole time through mile 5.  Then we walked up the steep steep hill, took off our long-sleeve, and put on our music.  We stayed together through mile 8-ish, together for a bit, then she pulled ahead for awhile, then I did, then her again, then I did.  At mile 8 I decided to just go hard and see what happened, and I felt great!

Too bad the last mile is the hardest mile of the whole race - on trail with rocks to look out for that was loose sand at times and constant rolling up and down.  

But then I was sprinting to the finish!

Total Time: 2:02:28 (Average Pace: 9:23)

Splits: 10:00, 9:25, 9:24, 9:32, 9:33, 10:55 (the walking up the hill mile!), 9:12, 9:08, 9:03, 9:09, 9:00, 8:43, 9:02

Talk about a negative split, baby!

The course itself was pretty flat except for the steep hill I walked at mile 5 and two out-and-backs that were both gradual downhill out and gradual uphill back.  The rolling hills in the last mile were very short but were more like mountain bike hills so they were just really annoying.  

 Total elevation gain of 397 feet.

We're done!

Anyway, about that philosophical revelation of mine.  While I was running the last 5 miles or so, I just kept thinking about how I felt like ME for the first time in a long time.  I had gone through this long tunnel - through pregnancy (which I don't consider very fun, no offense to all of you who think it's the grandest experience on earth), through childbirth (ouch ouch ouch), breastfeeding woes (double ouch), not sleeping (well, I'm still not sleeping, but that's okay), and the crying, oh the crying.  But most of that is behind me now!  And here I am with this wonderful family - this great husband who I love more and more as I see how Baby J adores him, and of course, this perfect smiley Baby J (who cries much much MUCH less than he used to - and smiles a TON, which just melts your heart).

And not only all of this, but I was also out RUNNING, in the SUNSHINE no less, running hard and feeling good, and actually kind of competing (with myself anyway) and pushing myself hard, and I just felt like ME.  The new me anyway.  The new me that is a MOM.  And none of this probably makes sense, but it was glorious.

Too bad Baby J was not impressed!

Then we headed off to Oktoberfest and had a BLAST in the sunshine.  Polkas, brats, pretzels, and beer - what more could you want?

And although JMan totally didn't want to wear this shirt - we got a TON of compliments.  He was so annoyed because every time someone told us they loved our shirts he was like "they're just reinforcing this kind of behavior!"

And that's a wrap.  I still LOVE Leavenworth.  Now it's time to focus on training for Ragnar and the Seattle Half!