Some photos from Sunday’s Rock’n’Roll half marathon. Lots of fun, and I took these with my iPhone.
I signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon on February 27, 2011. I’m running with two girlfriends from Chicago for what may be our first destination race! I’m super excited and it will be a motivator to continue running and training throughout the winter.
Anyone else running this race? How else do you stay motivated for running/fitness in the winter time?
It was a gorgeous day outside, and I’m very proud of myself for getting out to run, even though I was tired and a bit stressed after work! I went out for a run in my new running top (an ocean-blue Nike tank) to show off my shoulders!
According to my Nike+ Sports Watch: 4.01 miles at 11:13/mi for a total of 44:59. Not too shabby for a late afternoon run!
I also made it a point to run down a street I hadn’t been down before. So most of the run was on familiar territory, but I got to explore Armitage, which I haven’t spent too much time on recently. Lots of fun to speed past stores (although i may have to go back sometime to get something fun!) I think I may make a “new route” day a regular day on my training programs.
One thing that I have been fine-tuning this year is how I eat in the day before & day of a race. It’s important to fuel properly when you’re running an endurance event like a half marathon. Here’s what I ate this weekend:
Breakfast: The usual (greek yogurt, oatmeal, berries)
Lunch: Veggie Burger w/ bun, baby carrots & Cheez-Its. This is more than I normally eat at lunch on the weekend. I’m normally much more snacky, but I have been hungry due to nerves and also wanted to make sure I fuel my body well enough.
Snacks: normal amount of weekend snacking. Guacamole & tortilla chips in the afternoon, a few fruits throughout the day.
Dinner: I made sure to eat a non-whole wheat pasta this night, with red sauce, onions and olives. Normally I’ll have a whole wheat pasta, but the night before a race I want to slightly reduce my fiber intake in order to reduce the bathroom breaks.
Sunday 8/1 Day of Race! Race Time=6:30 AM
@ Home: Munched on a Clif Bar. I didn’t eat all of it.
Before the Starting Line: A caffeine GU with a tiny bit of water. Caffeine GU helps give a little more energy right before the start line.
During Race: I stopped/walked for water & Cytomax approximately every 1.5 or 2 miles. Cytomax is an energy drink similar to Gatorade, but is more diluted. I liked that part about it much more! Also had a Vanilla GU at the GU stop around mile 10.
Post Race: Immediately after crossing the finish line they offered bottled water, POPSICLES! Cytomax, and orange slices. The popsicle was great to cool off, and the orange slices were sooooo good. I don’t think I’ve ever had orange slices that I appreciated more.
A little while later (once I cooled off, stretched, and changed out of my shoes and sweaty damp shirt), we went to redeem our beer tickets for a cup of MGD64. Very refreshing, although at this point (10:30 AM) it was very hot out and my stomach was starting to growl.
The BF (who ran the race too) and I headed over to the PF Chang’s tent to get some delicious food. We had signed up to receive promotional emails at the R’n’R Packet Pick-up and got some bracelets to get some freee PF Chang’s after the race. Best decision ever. I had a little bit of some Chicken Lettuce Wrap, an Edamame steamed potsticker, and a little bite of chocolate pudding/cake. They also had icy cups to pour my Cytomax drink into. we had a nice few moments sitting on a grassy knoll, munching and refueling.
Later that day:
Once home (now 2-3 hours after the race), I had some more protein snacks: a bit of egg, a Babybel cheese. Then we did some errands and napped.
Late afternoon I made some guacamole & ate with tortilla chips, then we went out to get some pizza at Piece! Delicious pizza and also a refreshing glass of beer. On the way home we stopped and shared a fro-yo. (I think Self-Serve Fro-Yo is taking over the world!)
Overall, I try to eat a little more consciously around races, but not too far off from my normal eating habits. By Monday I am trying to stick to my normal dietary plans.
What do you eat before a race? Any particular rituals or common foods? How did you figure out what your body liked?
Even though most training resources say to take off the day after a long run (and I think R’n’R Chicago qualifies, don’t you?), I couldn’t resist coming to the White Trash Hash that the Chicago Hash House Harriers were holding on Monday. I had met up with some Harrierettes at the race Sunday, who told me about the Monday hash.
Hashing in short is a run with beer during & after, where everyone has code names. When you run, you’re following a trail that someone laid for you with chalk. That is hashing put into 29 words.
Monday’s hash had the theme “White Trash Hash” so we all had to wear some sort of themed attire on our run. I pulled off (due to last minute planning) a ratty red tank top and shorts. The BF wore a cut-off muscle tee and also made cut-off jorts (see definition #2). Someone ran in his overalls, with his dog. There was also another jorts runner too.
My quads & hamstrings were still pretty sore the day after a half (but not my calves – I wore compression socks after the race on Sunday!) so the run was a little brutal. But among the hash, running is not a race and you’re not hashing to get another training run in. So even though it took a while to get to the beer stop, after we finished with the beer I was able to be first in running back to our starting point.
After everyone is good and lubed up at the local bar we started at (Weeds, anyone?), we held ceremonies. It’s basically a way to call people to drink more. But after a hot run chasing chalk marks in 80 & humid weather, who doesn’t need some more beer? It was good, but you do have to ration yourself: not only will you drink what you willingly drink, they will call you in to drink some more.
Overall it was a good run, good to get out and stretch my legs (crazy!) after a race, but we’ll see how I’m feeling later today!
I ran the Rock’n’Roll Chicago half marathon out of Grant Park yesterday. Overall it was a good race, although I struggled to make my goal time.
What I liked about the race:
- Well organized – lots of information about the race and course included in the Event Magazine at packet pick-up.
- Course was interesting enough — not just an out & back but got to see various parts of downtown.
- Lots of water, beverage & food both before & after the race (I ran 1 1/2 marathon in May where they ran out of water by the time I finished — all they had left was concentrated gatorade! Now I have trouble drinking gatorade at all).
Looking back at the Course Map I liked that we went through multiple parts of ddowntown, not just along the lakefront. There were aid stations almost each mile throughout the course, so we stayed well-hydrated. Also — there were a lot of bathrooms along the course! For someone with a nervous bladder like me, this helps to ease my nerves, although not necessarily make the going-during-a-race process much quicker.
Before the race they had lots of water, Cytomax (the sponsored energy drink, more diluted than Gatorade so I liked Cytomax a lot) and bananas out. Also, there were a lot of bathrooms at the start. When BF & I first arrived (@ 5:45AM!) we didn’t have to wait in line for bathrooms at all! Closer to the start, there were lines, but they moved quickly.
The race started out well. I was trying to acheive a 2:30 finish time, so I started out with that pace group. Went well for the first 3 miles, then I sped up to go use the port-a-potties at the next aid station. As I was waiting for a bathroom, the pace group passed me. I spent most of the rest of the race trying to stay on pace but also hoping to catch up with them. I never really found them, although I did see and pass people who had started around me.
Some of the aid stations I had specifically planned for before the race, for example the Gu station. I usually take Gu around Mile 6 or 8 and so I wanted to know exactly where this was offered on the courser. According to the map, it appeared to be around mile 7. That’s also where the water station folks were saying “Gu Station Next!” But then we kept running. And running. I was starting to wonder if I had missed it, when I came upon the Gu Station around mile 10. 3 different flavors of Gu, althought it was a little hard to find the one I wanted. They should have a Menu up at front with each flavor listed in the order you can pick it up. I picked up my Vanilla Gu, had most of it, and continued onward, looking for water to wash my mouth with from the sticky Gu.
Throughout the race there were some other unique stations that I hadn’t seen officially marked in previous races: 2 Misting Stations (think running through the sprinkler!) and a Sponge Station where they offered sponges soaked in ice-cold water to help you cool down. I loved the sponge station — gave me a great boost of energy from cooling my body down around mile 11.
I kept running and running, and I came upon the finish line! This was definitely my strongest half marathon of the season, since I didn’t cramp or have a mental block that forced me to walk parts of the race. I would like to practice ending strong since I was mentally worn down at the end of the race. But I finished as strong as I could muster, and kept walking.
My legs wouldn’t let me stop walking for a while. I got some water, and a ice-cold wet towel (it felt so good on my neck, and arms, and legs), took an official finish photo, got a popsicle! and also had the most wonderful orange slices in the world. I haven’t had better orange slices. Just pure fruit juice.
I also got a medal, which was super heavy! My back was already really tired, and this made it start to ache! So BF helped me to change out of my sneakers and into Flip Flops, carry my bag, and we went off to find some free beer & PF Changs. We had an MGD64, adn then found the free PFChangs food that was only offered if you signed up for their mailing list at packet pick-up. I was so glad we did that, the food tasted so good. We also found some fellow hashers at that point and compared notes on the race at that point.
Once we were done we did a quick walk back around the post-race party to see if there was any swag offered, and then headed home on the CTA to partake in rest & more refueling throughout the day.
Overall, I am pretty happy with my race. While I did not make my goal time of a 2:30 half marathon, I feel that I ran this one stronger than my previous races, and I hope to use the experience to make some more specific goals for me to help with training.