Thursday, January 3, 2013

Virtual 1/2 Recap

My very 1st half marathon.  Holy cow!  Did I just say that I actually ran a half marathon?!  Never in my life did I think that I would like running.  Let alone be able to and wanting to run a half marathon.  Once back when I started high school I asked my dad to take me out to a cross country meeting about joining.  He had me run the dike behind our house to get a feel for what it would be like to run.  I run about 2 miles, but I don't quite remember if I didn't go out because I never spoke another word and just dropped it after that, or if I didn't like running so I purposely didn't bring it up, or if it conflicted too much with my band schedule (yes I was a band geek) and I dropped it because of that.

So, I came along the idea of running a half marathon when I "found" the RunningNerds.  They created the Virtual Half Marathon and Treadmill 5k Challenge and I contacted them because I was interested in the half marathon, but I knew that I might not be able to pay for it so I was probably going to do the 5k.  The "leader" of the RunningNerds, Tes Sobomehin, contacted me back and helped me out.  So, I was able to run the half marathon at a discounted rate in exchange for helping to promote the event.  I graciously agreed to this offer.  They were giving me the opportunity to represent Nebraska as the 1st runner.  I did promote this via my Twitter account and also some on Facebook.  The basic "rules" of the run were to run where you wanted, when you wanted, and how you wanted.  This means that you plot your own course or run the distance on a treadmill.  You choose when you want to run between Dec 22, 2012 - Jan 1, 2013.  You are to then upload your time to the Zulu Racing site for the results to be given publicly.  The final results can be found here.

Now that I'm done rambling, on to the actual recap of the morning.

The day started out with the alarm going off at 6:00 AM.  I laid out my clothing the night before.  We had actually ran to get me some compression pants the night before because I realized that I didn't have any and I should probably have another layer on my legs.  So, you'll notice that most of my gear is C9 by Champion.  It's only available at Target stores, but it was certainly within my budget.  I also have my Swiftwick Sustains that a won courtesy of Larisa over at 0to26point2.  I also wore my Mizuno Wave Creation 13's that I also won.  These were courtesy of Mizuno's Mezamashii Project and Louise Cunningham over at Runners Ramblings for the invite into the project.

As I walked out the door it didn't feel that bad outside.  I looked at the temperature and it read that it was 10 degrees out.  Wait, was I really going to do this?!  Not only have I never ran a half marathon, but I also have not really run when it's that cold out.  I knew that my 3 running buds were expecting me by 7:30 AM to do what was now being called the "Polar Bear Friendship Run 2012" between us.  We were going to run around Zorinksy Lake a couple of times to make the distance we needed.  I had actually heard from my boss the day before because he runs Zorinsky regularly and had ran it the day before.  He was letting me know that the trails looked pretty good.  I had made a pit stop on the way in order to grab a bar for before and after since I didn't eat anything before I left home and a bottled water to hydrate some more beforehand.

We all started together and for about the first 2 or 3 miles we were within about a quarter mile of each other.  After that time frame we all kind of hit the stride that we were used to.  Me being the only non-military/non-fitness person of the bunch I figured I'd be last, but Aaron kept about the same pace as I.  I was glad to have him running with me to keep me company because I am sure it helped the time go by much quicker than it would have otherwise.  I wasn't opposed to running the whole thing by myself, that was how I was originally expecting to do it.  We both kept one of our headphones in, but ran together chatting as we were going.  It actually turned out to be a great morning to do the run.

After about the half way point I ran into an issue.  On my right foot behind the "ring toe" in the padding of my foot it felt like I was "rolling" a bone every time my foot hit the ground.  I was upset about this because I was already running at a pace faster than I normally run at.  I knew I would have to slow my speed so I didn't hurt myself.  I kept on running though.  The view was great and the company was great so I couldn't complain much.

As we were running along towards the end I felt some sweat running down around my mouth.  I went to wipe it away and noticed that I had ice crystals around my mouth.  I hadn't even noticed them until now.  Aaron said that I looked like Jack Frost.  I guess you can look for yourself as I took a picture.  It's in the pictures below.

Once all four of us finished I certainly felt accomplished.  We took a little different routes, but we all finished. Aaron and I took a different route so we finished first.  3-5 minutes after we finished Brian trotted in to the finish.  He got something to drink and had to leave after he "cooled off" a bit because he had somewhere to be.  Mike finished shortly after Brian.  He was what I'm describing as drone running from the distance.  He is active Army and is used to running, but not this distance and not this temperature.  He just got back from a deployment in Kuwait.  So, we was used to it being 120+ degrees. VERY different temperatures.

Below are the pictures that I took of the day:

Here is the gear I wore. 2 layers on bottom, 3 on top.  My top always seems to get colder.  I could probably have ran in shorts except that I didn't want wind burn on my legs and to end up sick.  Notice, I wore my new Swiftwick Sustains on this run. I also just noticed that I forgot to add a my Mizuno Wave Creation 13's to the picture. (Note: The link is to the 14's page as there is a new model out now.)

The view beyond my buddy Brian's car is just a great one to start a morning run.

My buddy Brian while we wait for the other 2 runners to arrive.

A quick snapshot of me.

As we start to run this is what I see. You can see my buddy Brian ahead in white and my buddy Mike with his yellow reflective stripe.

We had an onlooker that we were onlooking that was playing hockey by himself in the middle of the lake.

A quick post-race shot as we wait for all of us to finish.

And here is the 4th runner, Aaron having a post-run smoke

You have to love an ice beard!  This is even after I pulled some off.  I thought I should have a picture to share before I take it all off.  I was told that I looked like Jack Frost running!

Now, here is runner Mike and runner Aaron the night before our run.  Mistake?  Or equalizer?

Post run I added a 4th layer since I was cooling off and sweaty, but I'm still smiling!

So, what did we do to celebrate...some more beer the night after the run to celebrate the New Year as well!

Aaron was my running buddy as we ran most of the time together.

The 4th runner that we haven't seen yet.  This is Mike.  Or as he looked at the end of the run, the Dumb & Dumber Zombie.  He was "drone running" with snot frozen to his face similar to you see in the movie.

Now that all of that is done, where to next?  I guess I'll have to look forward to training.  I'm trying some interval training to increase my speed and endurance.  I was talking with Aaron and he talked about maybe heading out to Zorinsky to train more.  I guess we'll see where we end up.

UPDATE: I forgot to post my time yesterday.  I finished with a time of 2:39:36!

Until next time, keep those beats coming!

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