Archive for half-marathon

The SF Half Marathon

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, shoes with tags , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2013 by afuntanilla

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And, so…the day began. 5:30am start in San Francisco. Starting line just south of the Ferry building. A gorgeous morning as you can tell from the photo. I had run down to the starting line as my little warm up. The city streets filled with fellow runners….love it! As I ran along to the start, became more and more awake, enlivened…to do my thing. RUN.

It had been a long time in between races…the last one I did was very different; a super small trail race in Pacifica. The starting line was packed with those running the Full Marathon and those like me, running the Half. (This was the 1st half of the course, last year I did the race but ran the 2nd half of the course, which is actually easier in may opinion.)

My “starting wave” didn’t actually cross the starting line until about 5:50am, so I had plenty of to stretch, warm up and get comfortable. I felt relaxed and at ease with my “game plan”….which s simply run, enjoy and do my best. In contrast to last year when I had specifically trained for a personal best, I did not train much this time. I mean, I got many runs in, but I didn’t focus on speed work, I didn’t get the specific training in that I would have needed to keep pace with my 1:58:42 from last year. And, I was ok with that. I knew when I signed up this would be the case. So.

There was a Cable Car bell ringing to signify the start and off we went. The first 5-6 miles are almost entirely flat as we run all along the Embarcadero, past Fisherman’s Wharf and along the Marina Green and Chrissy Field. Felt easy and comfortable. I kept looking out into the bay….feeling loads of gratitude and appreciation for where I live.

And, then the climbs started. The steep climb up from the marina and onto the Golden Gate Bridge. Contrary to popular opinion, I did not enjoy this part. I knew I wouldn’t as I remembered this portion from when I ran this Full Marathon back in 2005. To me, running across the bridge is very loud and it FEELS like a constant steady slight uphill in both directions! I guess the path is like a slight arc, but honestly it doesn’t feel easy. I guess I also feel like it’s a bit chaotic because the bridge is not closed to traffic. So, lots of cars swooshing by and other runners headed in the opposite direction since it is an out and back portion. The remaining 4 miles were not easy.  Once off the bridge, we made a steady climb into the Presidio which is followed by a nice downhill section into the final Richmond District neighborhood and finally into Golden Gate Park. I was not comfortable on the climbs as any climbing has been almost non-existent in my training. Ahhh… A good kind of hurt, eh? But, even around mile 10, I remember thinking, “I am actually feeling ok…i would be curious to see how i would fare for the FULL course today.” And then, something happened in the last 2 miles where i just started to feel very tired…like seriously running out of gas!! I was surprised but probably shouldn’t have been since my longest run pre-race was only 10.5 miles. So, as we made the ran the final steady uphill mile into the park and into the finish line, I was Happy I was NOT running the FULL course. Today.

My finish time was right along what I expected in 2:09:42

My main goal while running races is always to see what I can do on a given day. How will I show up? How will my body perform? How am I mentally? As mentioned in previous posts, I had not felt the greatest mentally or physically before this race and I did in fact, have some fears that I would just crack and not finish. But, as I woke and got prepared in my hotel room….as I made my way to the starting line….as I stood there with thousands of my fellow mates,  I knew I was instantly stronger in every way. THAT’S why I do this. It was great to get out and be a part of the race and feel the enormous energy and camaraderie. I needed that.

I never really care how I finish overall, but I do care and like to see how I fare among my sex and age group: women 40-49.

Here were my numbers from this year :

Females 40-49    121/618

Which I think is good, especially on the tougher part of the course.

To contrast, here are my numbers from last year when I ran the 2nd portion of the course and had a PR

2012 Females 40-49    54/415

Which I also think is good.

Some comments about the race logistics, etc: Race Expo was ok, but it was VERY, VERY hot in the building so that made it uncomfortable to stay long. I was also super aware of how commercialized it all is….seems like every year, the feel of an expo appeals to me less and less.  I used to love going to these things and now I have more like a “get me in, get me out” attitude. But, that’s definitely the nature of big races and I have to expect that….if I want something low key, there are plenty of options for that!!

The Race organization itself was awesome. Even their communication per-race, with sending emails and letting us know security would be enhanced and to arrive earlier than usual. And yet, there was no waiting or anything at the starting line, everything was clearly marked for each different starting wave and just simply well-organized. There was enough of water, Gatorade, etc on the course and the volunteers were terrific, as usual. Massive thank you to all the volunteers. I realize some were probably starting their VOLUNTEER shift at 4am or earlier. THANK YOU! The finish line and snacks afterward were more than sufficient. I took a shuttle bus back to the starting line and that was easy as can be. So, overall the WIPRO SF HALF MARATHON was terrific.

I made my way back to my hotel, changed and met a friend for breakfast at the Dipsea Cafe in Mill Valley.  A great Sunday morning.

Thank you to my friends who cheer me on, near or far, in person or in spirit. Thank you!

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Shoes: Brooks T-7 Racer. super light shoe, felt good but would not want to run in full marathon, but good for this distance. Would want more support for longer distance

Also wore: compression socks for the first time. loved them and will use again.

Next up: The Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta on July 4th!!

“Running to him was real; the way he did it the realest thing he knew. It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary behond comprehension. But it also made him free.” –John L. Parker Jr.

short & long term

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, running, shoes, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2013 by afuntanilla

T-9 Random drawing process for NIKE Women’s SF Marathon (race date 10/20/13)

T-22 San Francisco Half Marathon (6/16/13)

T-40 Peachtree Road Race 10k (7/4/13)

T-42 Registration opens for Kepler Challenge 60k race (race date 12/7/13 New Zealand)

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CAN’T WAIT

RUN HAPPY

The Race Report: The little runner that could…

Posted in races, road, running with tags , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2012 by afuntanilla

So. Where to begin? Well, I guess I’ll start on RACE DAY EVE. Sharon and I drove into SF and went over to the RACE EXPO at SF Design Center. Lots of people buzzing with excitement and such. Love it. Great atmosphere. I picked up this awesome jacket. We picked up my race # and walked around a bit. The expo was overflowing with a variety of people…short, tall, overweight, underweight, different ethnicities, etc…RUNNING DOESN’T DISCRIMINATE!
I saw BART YASSO, running legend, who was setting up his table. I walked over and introduced myself and Sharon and I chatted with him a bit. What a cool guy! I was bummed to miss his “Shake-out” run he did earlier that morning with twitter peeps, etc..

Soon enough, we made our way back home and enjoyed a nice, mellow evening. And Ate pasta, of course.

Race Day: woke at 5:45 and started to get going. I elected to just drive down from Petaluma because a) the hotel we wanted was sold out 2) my start time was at 8:23am

I was a little anxious and nervous in the morning. I think it was just because I literally woke up, got dressed and got in the car. So different from my usual pre-race routine. But, seeing that we had about a 45 min drive, this is what I needed to do. We came to Golden Gate Bridge and saw the Full Marathon Runners and 1st Half Marathon Runners who had began at 5:30am. The fog was in full force and it was covering much of the bridge. A very cool morning. I was getting excited just seeing the other runners. We made our way to Golden Gate Park and the start location of the 2nd Half Marathon runners. I had about 45 minutes to wait around.


A few visits to the port-a-potty helped the time go by fast, but I was pretty anxious to get going. It had been September 2011 since I had run a ROAD RACE!! A very long time for me! Sharon took off to go meet me at about the 7 mile mark and I did a little warm up to get loose. Next up: The Start.

The start was near the back end of GG park and the route took us down one side and up the other side of the park along with a loop around Stow Lake. The weather was perfect. Very cool temperature in mid 50’s and some mist even greeted us as we ran among the beauty of the park. This area is a combination of flat roads and then some very small inclines. Flanked by towering Eucalyptus trees, I was in heaven!

We exited the park right at 6 miles and had a long straightaway on Haight Street. I was happy to see more spectators here and it finally started to feel more like a race. I love running in the park, but i was also glad to get more energy from the people of San Fran. I knew I was close to seeing some friends as I approached the 6.5 mile mark. There was a little downhill and I saw the three of them, Alec, Kimmy and Emily there on the corner of Haight/Broderick!! I ran over to them, smiling and feeling good. I gave them “High 5’s” and a kiss to Alec and kept rolling along. Such a great surge they gave me!! Thank you!!

I had a little more downhill as I rolled down to lower Haight and then would see Sharon around 7.5 miles. I turned the corner from Haight onto Buchanan and spotted her there with her camera. Another big surge of energy!! Yeah!!

I kept looking at my watch for my mile splits. I knew I had to have an average pace of 9:09/per mile if I wanted to meet my 2 hour goal. So far so good. I was running pretty evenly but I also noticed it started to get a little harder around mile 8-9. I had already taken 2 GU ENERGY Gels and had 1 more left on my person. Miles 8-9 carried us thru the Mission District with its variety of culture and color which was also a boost of energy. Weather remained the same, except no mist, just very cool and overcast. Perfect. We had a rude hill right before crossing over into Potrero Hill area. I just kept plugging along. By mile 10 my legs, quads were starting to really tighten up and i was feeling the effects of keeping up my pace. I started to get concerned I would not be able to carry the pace til the finish. I just told myself, “give everything and if you miss it, you miss it…then at least try for a PR..under 2:01:43.” My mindset and mental focus was very strong. I was completely focused and as such, i would say that my enjoyment level while running was not very high. I was starting to feel quite a bit of pain…but i also knew that’s what it would take for me to reach my goal. It would not be easy or PAIN-FREE. It was gonna hurt and IT WAS HURTING.
Stay focused. Stay focused.
At mile 11, we were at Mission Bay, which is about 1 mile south of AT&T park. I could see the bay and smell the finish line 2 miles away. I looked at my watch and saw i was still on a good pace and making good time, but I COULD NOT let up. I had to keep pushing. (I did, however, stop at every water stop to take a few sips and when I sucked down my gels with water) I was not allowing myself to celebrate prematurely. I had to cross the finish line BEFORE 2 hour mark. Mile 12 – right at McCovey Cove and AT&T Park. We ran along the back side with the park on our left and bay on the right. Then, onto Embarcadero and a straight, flat road to the finish line up ahead. Legs were tightening, but I had to ignore everything and keep pumping my arms. I tried to pick up my pace even a little bit. I crossed the finish line, my feet stepped on the electronic timing mat.

1:58:42

I DID IT. I almost started crying. I saw Sharon immediately on the left hand side and we just were smiling at each other and I kept saying “I did it. I did it. I can’t believe it”
She was thrilled for me. I was so happy to see her there and share the experience together. She knew how important it was to me and she had 100% faith in me I would do it. Today. She probably had more confidence in me than I did. THANK YOU, SHARON.


As I just kinda stood there for a few moments afterwards, I think I was in a little fog. A happy fog. So deeply proud from the inside of me…the little runner that could.

I learned that sometimes you have to wait a long time to beat a goal. And I learned a lot in the process while I made training errors and pushed my body last year to more than it could handle. I learned that it’s not just about training harder, but truly TRAINING SMARTER. I think that made all the difference. I got faster because I did what I needed to do: incorporated intervals, tempo runs and specific strength training into my workouts. This was a huge help. I want to thank NIKE for setting me up on a program that I definitely benefited from following. I didn’t follow it to a T, but I followed it a lot and had to modify it some to fit more of my current physical capabilities.

It was perfect that this race happened while the Olympics are underway. So much inspiration out there. If you have read my blog, you might have read I had dreams as a child of being an Olympic Runner. Today, I was my own hero, my own Gold Medalist. (In fact, the person who put the finisher medal around my neck was a serviceman from the Coast Guard. Pretty cool.)
I ran for me. For the me I am and the me I want to be. The better me. The more complete me. Every part of the journey is important. The defeats and the victories. I was glad for the latter today and to finally get the 2 hour monkey off my back.

Thank you to all my friends who support me in my running. Thank you for all of you who read and comment, verbally or in person or never. Thank you.

May you be your own hero and rise to meet and beat your own goals, dreams and wishes, whatever they may be.

ONWARD

On Running…Tennis…

Posted in motivation, photos, races, running with tags , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2012 by afuntanilla

The plan this morning was to wake up at 5am to catch the Gentlemen’s Singles Final at Wimbledon. Then, go run 10 miles. So, I got up at 5am only to see the match wouldn’t begin until 6am…yeah! more sleep. Re-start the engines at 6am. I watched the first couple of games between Federer and Murray and THEN decided to make the coffee, Peet’s GAIA Organic Blend. Yum.
I was thrilled to be able to watch the match on TV. This was the first match I’d been able to watch of the entire Wimbledon Tournament because I had not yet had my cable installed. I finally took care of that bit of business yesterday! Just in time to catch Federer!! I figured I would eat, watch the match and then go out and run. The match then had a rain delay and I decided to adjust my plans. Not knowing how long the delay would be, I decided I would go run on the treadmill at the club and watch the match whenever it resumed. I didn’t really want to run 10 miles on treadmill, but if I got to watch the match, I would be entertained! Thankfully, as soon as I arrived, the match re-started. First couple of miles, I was not too focused, but then afterwards, I was all good. Got into a good rhythm.
Watching Federer play is always such a gift, in my book. He is so composed, so talented and graceful. He is a beautiful athlete to watch perform. Like he is dancing out there…amazing footwork and touch. As I have begun to play tennis, I feel like I can appreciate even more his and all these other elite Athletes talents. Amazing. I was thrilled to watch him win another Grand Slam Final. Unbelievable. 17 Grand Slam Titles. Unreal. Talk about consistency.

So, as the match kept going, so did I. I ran the first 5.5 miles and then restarted the machine since it was going to stop soon anyway at 60 minutes. Re-started and ran for another 5 miles, a total of 10.5 miles. Felt pretty good almost the entire run. Like, i mentioned, had a little bit of a hard time getting going, but then had a nice pace. Ate 2 GU Vanilla Gels to keep me going.

10.5 miles/pace 9:02 per mile.

I finally signed up for the race I have been targeting; the SF Half Marathon on 7/29. Getting excited. Feels like I NEED to race. It feels like a long time since I ran a road race and I guess it sure has been! I am looking forward to getting out there and seeing what I can do come race day! All I can do is prepare the best I can and put my best self forward. A few more weeks of preparation and then it showtime.

Back to tennis: if you were not able to watch the match or the ceremony afterwards, you missed a great event. Murray’s comments afterwards were humbling, touching and gracious. He cried. He showed his humanity. You understood that he did give all he had and how much he had wanted to win. Much respect to him and how he played. I have a feeling these 2 fellas will meet again soon.

Final week of June

Posted in motivation, road, running, shoes with tags , , , , , , on July 2, 2012 by afuntanilla

The last week of June has come and gone. I’m glad to see the month over as it was super busy and very challenging in just trying to stay healthy in all ways.

I got in 2 short runs this past week. Treadmill run – 3.5 miles at 8:45 pace – followed by solid strength workout. Outdoor run – 3.0 miles at 8:58 pace. Lately, I had been running Saturday and Sunday, but I decided to rest legs yesteday and go for it today. Sunday run – 8 miles at 9:04 pace. I was pleased with this effort. I just looked back in my training journal and saw that 8 miles is the longest I have run on any training day since last OCTOBER. wow. Yikes! Didn’t know it had been that long. And yet, my pace today for this distance was better than it has been in a LOOOONG time. SO, what this tells me is the interval runs and strength training is paying off. AND, it helps to live somewhere where the heat and humidity suck every once of enery you have…BTW, I saw it was over 100 degrees in Atlanta this weekend….YES, its safe to say I am glad to not have to face that weather anymore. Yikes!
Oddly enough, it was cool in Petaluma this morning, but there was some humidity….

I am still reading “Running on Empty” by Marshall Ulrich. I am thoroughly enjoying and recommend for anyone to read…not just runners. He writes simply, yet with a lot of depth and shows his humanity. His adventures are incredible!

As I write this late Sunday evening, I am still feeling good from the 8 miler today. The pace gives me confidence for my upcoming half marathon in SF. I still have work to do, but I am getting there, one step at a time. There were moments today in the early miles where I just had a hard time getting focused, but as I saw my splits on my watch as each mile passed, I became more and more intent. The last 2 miles, I just put my head down and ran. Breathing, running…great way to start JULY 2012

Make it count. Be brave. Be bold. Make it happen.

Week 7 Run Report

Posted in motivation, races, road with tags , , , , , on February 21, 2012 by afuntanilla

Week 7 had me continuing to feel some effects of sickness, but it’s gone now as I head into Week 8.
Sill, I was able to get in 3 running days. I ran Tuesday and Wednesday in Petaluma. 4 miles and then 4.7 miles. I’ve mostly been running the same loop with some slight variations. The route starts in quiet neighborhoods and at midpoint is downtown amidst all the cute little shops. Then, I wind through more neighborhoods back to the starting point. Most of the route is flat, only a few small hills along the way. Petaluma is actually not very big. I know when I start getting into higher mileage, I will literally be running all over the town and will have seen everything.

My last run of the week was a 6.10 miler on Sunday. I incorporated 3 good hills into the first 2 miles and it was flat from thereon. A good run. On purpose, I ran without the iPod…just wanted to be with the morning and listen to the natural sounds around me.

Should be getting a job soon and can then look at whether or not I can logistically run the Hollywood Half Marathon in April. I hope so!

Week 7: Total approx mileage 14.7

Week 6 Run Report

Posted in motivation, races, road with tags , , , , , , on February 19, 2012 by afuntanilla

Week 6 of running: hmmm…not so much running, as it turns out. I had been going non-stop since I got back to california and on Tuesday, Feb 7th, I was in the East Bay for an interview, the day before, I went for an good fast run in at the San Leandro Marina. Great memories there from Sept 2010 when I ran my 40 miles for my 40th birthday! Run felt great but then the next morning, as I was driving back to Petaluma after interview, I felt a sore throat coming on. And man, it came on strong! Full blown sore throat on Wednesday night. Felt better next day by midday; sore throat gone, but felt some other things coming on…achy, headache, etc…
Each day I woke up and could still feel something lingering. Tried to rest, but very difficult for me. So, I rested in between visiting with friends and applying for jobs. I felt good enough for a very solid 6 mile run on Saturday!
So, I oly ran 2 days for Week 6. Wish I could have run more and in hindsight maybe should nt have run at all cause I am still not 100%, but like I mentioned very hard for me to rest for days! I think I am now almost 100%!
I was looking at upcoming races and the Hollywood Half has peaked my interest! Early April! Will keep you posted on decision…

Until then, Onward!

Week 6: total approx miles 9.10

Palmetto

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, shoes, trail, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2011 by afuntanilla

Sometimes, a race, or even a training run, is simply about finishing. Yesterday, was one of those days.

Since my last race a couple of weeks ago in Clemson, SC, I had only run 5 days, with no run over 4 miles. Also since that time, I had traveled to the bay area and have been super stressed out from work. This was all not a good combination, but I took a gamble anyway and signed up for the Palmetto Half-Marathon in Columbia, SC.  I knew that my performance would be suspect given the circumstances outlined above. What I didn’t know is that it would be even more suspect given some extra circumstances;

1) I forgot my running shoes….my ROAD RUNNING shoes. (if you have seen my vast shoe collection, i’m sure you cannot imagine how I could have forgot the shoes, but i did. Instead of bringing any 1 of my many pairs of KSWISS running shoes, I ran in the only shoes I had. THESE TRAIL RUNNING SHOES

2) We left the hotel at 6:30am to get to the race start . Race started at 7am and I had totally miscalculated how long it would take to arrive at start line. I’m not sure why that happened. I woke up at 5:30am and my buddies were up too. I just fu&*&ed up. We get to the start at about 6:55am. I jump out of car while they go find a place to park. I get to start line, someone says a prayer and sings the National Anthem and we are off. No time to stretch, warm-up or nothing. I even had to scrounge around for a 2nd bobby-pin so i could attach my BIB # to my shirt. (i had only had 1 and an older gentlemen kindly gave me 1 of his, so at least bib was in tact w/ 2 bobby-pins)

And we are off….What was strange about the race was that the course was NOT held in downtown Columbia, which is so pretty and showcases the Capital, etc…The course was about 15 miles from there in a suburb. The route went along a couple of busy roads and then all neighborhoods. The course was almost entirely up/down small hills. A few flat sections. By as early as Mile 2, I knew this was not going to be a good day. My legs felt so heavy…likes someone had attached 50 pound weights to them and I felt incredibly lackluster, as If I had no energy at all. This could have been because

3) I did not eat enough the night before. All I ate at Outback was a small salad and a baked potato.

I saw my buddies at Mile 4 and ran over to their side of the street and told them i felt like crap (i really wanted to stop and just go to breakfast) but I said; “well, I’m just gonna see how it goes. maybe walk/run the rest of the course.”

I kept going. Slowly. Up/down/up/down. I thought to myself. “just make it to mile 6 and see how you feel.” Passed Mile 6. By this time, I had sucked down a GU Energy Gel and felt a little better. “Ok, just see how you feel by mile 9.” By 9.5 miles, I was back to seeing my buddies and I said, “Well, I will see you at the finish line.”

But, those last 3.6 miles were NOT easy. The race director must be sadistic. After a rolling course, they add in a STEEP, LONG HILL at Mile 10. Geez. THANKS. Then, some flat land until Mile 11. Another steep hill UP the freeway exit ramp. Ouch. Then some flat > downhill to the finish line.

For those of you who might recall, at my last race 2 weeks ago, my finish time was 2:02:08. Yesterday at Palmetto was 2:11: 21.

That might not seem like a big difference, but it is and even given the circumstances, I was disappointed. I was disappointed for many reasons, especially because most of what went wrong was me not taking care of myself. And so…I learn.

The good news is that I stuck it out. I could have had a shitty attitude and stopped but I didn’t and I am glad for it. Tasting Life. Still.

Hungry. Still.

Onward.

I’m thankful to Sharon and Parker who were there to cheer me on and cheer me up. Thanks, ladies!

Gear Worn:

Shoes: La Sportiva Trail Shoes ***by accident**

Shorts: Under Armour

Shirt: Nike Livestrong

Yellow Bandana

Watch: Origo Granite Peak

keep on

Posted in races, road, travel with tags , , , on March 14, 2011 by afuntanilla

trying to think of what i want to say.

for one, i want my hour back. damn you spring forward.

on my run today, i passed two ladies who were walking. one was in front of the other. the one in front said, “we keep walking. we don’t stop. that’s our motto. we keep on.”

sounds good to me.

A solid 9 miler on the Silver Comet to finish the week. looking forward to my next race which i believe will be a half-marathon in Clemson, SC; only about 2-2.5 hour drive from Atlanta. April 2nd.

I beat my secret goal…

Posted in motivation, photos, races, road, shoes, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2010 by afuntanilla

Here’s how  it happened.

After arriving in Las Vegas friday mid afternoon, me & my buddy, Lynn, walked around everywhere. Went to expo. Gambled. Walked. Ate. Walked. Saturday was more of the same. Gambled. Walked. Ate. Repeat. All FUN! We had a blast. I was trying to not be to concerned about how much i was walking around pre-race. This was to be a fun race and not super serious. Even so, I went to bed at a decent hour both nites and only had 1 alcoholic beverage on Friday nite. It wasn’t even very good, but that is besides the point.

Woke up on Sunday and I knew I’d have a good day. I felt good. Only place to get coffee at 5:30am was in the casino/hotel bar. It was um…drinkable. LOL I ate a Clif Bar and got ready to go.

I decided to walk the 2 miles from our hotel to the start line at Mandalay Bay. I figured that could be my warm-up. I have to say it was pretty darn cool walking in the middle of the stip, Las Vegas Blvd, at the break of dawn and seeing only other runners walking or running to the start line. The strip was all ready for us. I passed in front of Bellagio and a song was being sung in Italian. I don’t know…there was something about that moment…the cool air, the sounds, the way the lights illuminated from Bellagio…it was perfect.

I’m  glad I used the walk as a warm-up because by the time I arrived at the start line, it was almost time to go. I had to make one pee pit-stop and sorry to say, I didn’t go in the port-a-potty. I was in a rush and basically went on the side of the road. It was pretty funny. i could care less. you gotta do what you gotta do on race day.

At 7:10am, I was off and running. I took the first couple of miles very easy and just kinda wanted to see how my legs were feeling. I decided I felt pretty good and so I decided to push it and then see….well, I never stopped pushing. Lynn was a trooper AND my roving reporter. She met me at approximately 3 mile mark near the Wynn Casino. She took this pic of me.

She asked me how I was doing; “great”, I said. I think I gave her a hi-five and kept on moving. One thing I noticed was that the pack of runners was pretty crowded the entire way. I frequently had to slow down just a bit to find some room to maneuver. it never really thinned out. I think there were close to 30k runners. I had some Gu Energy Gels with me and was taking them every 30 min or so. The water stops were perfectly situated and there were lots of spectators. Before I got super focused, i was watching the spectators…it’s funny to watch their expressions. Some are cheering us runners on while others are simply looking at us completely dumbfounded. Their looks suggest these thoughts: “what are those people doing? They are running? Why?” But, the best spectators are the little kids who excitedly extend their hand for us the runners to hi-five as we run by. I love that.

As the miles passed, I kept looking at my watch to see how I was faring…I knew that if I could keep the solid pace up, I might have a chance at beating my PR of 2:01:44. Mile 10 came along and I was really starting to feel some fatigue. Legs getting heavy. Mile 11 was the slowest. I was surprised by the severe drop-off. Last 2 miles are back on LV Blvd and all the lights, people gave me some energy. I was telling myself, “just pretend you have JETS on your feet. JETS. JETS.” Well, those last 2 miles seemed to take a looong time. My face was pretty contorted the last mile. I can’t wait to see pics from that mile (if there are any). I was hurtin’ but kept pushing as much as I could.

Finish was 2:03:07.

My secret goal was to go under 2:05. Mission accomplished. Now, it’s on to really go after the BIG GOAL of breaking 2 hours. I know I am close.

My longest training run for this race was only 10 miles. That was the longest I had run since my 40 miler on 9/25. (Sorry, if i am repeating myself.)

I found Lynn under the F sign. (F is for Funtanilla, ya know!) I was so happy she was there to greet me and share in the experience. She was an excellent roving reporter and it was great to have her support.

Roving Reporter

Gear worn:

Shoes: K-Swiss K-Ona

Shorts: K-Swiss

Shirt: Long sleeve RUNATL shirt from The Big Peach

Hat: Adidas

Watch: Garmin 110