Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hippie Chick Half Marathon Race Recap

On Saturday I ran the Better Series Hippie Chick Half Marathon as a Nuun ambassador (Nuun is working with the Better Series for their hydration!).  Thank you to both of them for the opportunity!  I haven't run more than 3 miles since the Seahawks 12k a month ago, and I've been in a bit of a running funk as you might recall, so running this race was probably not one of my better ideas!

Ready or not?

But, you start with the quarter marathon (how many races have you ever seen are actually quarter marathons instead of 10ks?!?!?  Very cool), so I figured if I felt terrible I could do the quarter race instead.  

I got there and got my packet without many problems.  It was a WAY bigger race than I anticipated!  The traffic line up into the parking area was really long and I was worried for awhile I would be late, but I ended up at the start time with an easy 20 minutes to spare, no problems.  It was very well organized at the start with the packet pick-up and such.  It all took place in a big stadium so there was tons of space and *gasp* real live bathrooms!  That's a major major plus. 

And then we were off!  I felt fine, so I kept going when the quarter marathoners turned off from us around mile 2.5 - it's so early to make such a big decision!  And sure enough, at mile 3, I thought I'd made a HUGE mistake!  There was still SO FAR to go!  Oh man. 
The course is GORGEOUS though.  I mean, if you like beautiful meadows and forests and seas of red flowers.  If you're into that kind of thing.  I say the more cows and horses, the better.
So I had zero plans going into it, but after seeing my split at mile 2, I decided my goal would be to aim to hang on to sub 2 pace (my goal for the year is to get under sub 2 again) for the first half (through mile 6.6) and then I could walk as much as I wanted to the rest of the race.  

Well, I made it to 6.6, so then I was like just make it to 7, then just make it to 8, then 9, then 10, and then... running 3 more felt IMPOSSIBLE.  It's funny how your brain works.  At mile 10 running 3 more felt like climbing Mt. Everest, so I walk a bunch, but at mile 11 I'm like, oh, just 2 more miles, I can do that easy! And then I start busting out  my fastest miles yet.  I'm a weirdo.  

So basically, spoiler alert, I threw it away at mile 11.  IDIOT!  It would have been close either way, it would have been super tight if I would have even made it without walking any, but I did manage to hit 13.11 (on my watch) at 1:59:21.  It's crazy folks!  How did I do that?!?!  
Splits: 9:04, 9:03, 8:54, 9:07, 9:02, 9:09, 9:00, 9:00, 9:03, 9:12, 10:10, 8:43, 8:58, 8:07 (.26)
SO consistent!  Well, except for when I threw it away - can you spot that?!
This was just the motivation I need to get my butt into gear.  I want to train!  Think of what I could have done if I had trained for this race?!?!  (The lesson here might be that I do better when I don't train than when I do?!)  I definitely want to keep working and train for the next one.  I want to train for that triathlon!  I don't want to just hope to finish!  I want to race!  Now let's see if I can get this plan into action.

Now let's talk about the race.  Folks, this is THE race to do if you want to PR.  It is FLAT AS A PANCAKE. 
Speaking of pancakes, they give you a free pancake breakfast after the race!  Speaking of breakfast, they also give you a free beer!  Speaking of beer.... they also give you a ton of free chocolate!  I don't know how that relates but it does.  :-)  You also get a necklace instead of a medal, and I'm pretty sure all participants got the necklace, not just the half marathoners.

Here's the caveat though - if you want to PR, I think you should carry your own water. I thought the race was fantastically run in every area EXCEPT the hydration.  There were only three water stops during this race - at miles 4, 6, and 10.5.   I know I am high maintenance in that I prefer more stops than most (I think 6 is ideal!), but even keeping that in mind I think 3 is a bit low.  I also only got Nuun at mile 10.5 - no electrolytes anywhere else that I could see (maybe they were refilling?).  

I think there was supposed to be one more water station:

It was unmanned the whole race.  I saw person after person try and fill their own cup from the jugs but it was sad and empty!  :-(  So there must have been some sort of mix-up.  By mile 10 or so it had been 4 miles since the last water, the sun was beating down on us, and I was seriously thirsty.  I'm not going to blame my dark times then on this, since I'm SURE it's *mostly* not training (ha!) but I did feel 100 times better after I finally got that glorious Nuun at mile 10.5! 

Other than that though, it was a lovely race and a lovely time had by all!  I will be back next year!  I love local races that don't involve 10,000 people and parking fiascos.  It was fun to do an all women's race and feel that energy.  It was a great way to kick off my first Mother's Day!