Beginners and Beyond

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I got Lucky @ the Little Rock Half Marathon RR (Read 110 times)


Anomalous

    This is my RR to share my experience and my joy for the journey. I tend to keep mine a bit short, with less technical information, and a bit of humor tossed in. Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors. 

     

    On Sunday, I ran the 2013 Little Rock Half Marathon held in Little Rock, Arkansas. This was my first time traveling by plane to a race and it was a pretty cool experience. It seems like the flight on Saturday morning was full of nothing but runners heading in to participate in the Little Rock Marathon events. This year’s theme was “Get Lucky” with more of a western flare. I wanted to wear a little cowboy hat for the race, but the weather was a bit questionable for the weekend and so I opted to leave it home. 

     

    This wasn’t my first time in The Rock. I have traveled here numerous times when my brother was stationed at LRAFB. It was really nice to return to this great city, after a few years, for an awesome race. I didn’t do any real sight seeing, but I did take a few photos of some buildings in the downtown area that I didn’t take in previous years. I've been to the President Clinton Library before, but I thought it was cool to take a photo of it at night. The rest that follow are, the Old State House, the Joseph Taylor Robinson Memorial Auditorium, and Little Rock Union Station. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I arrived in Little Rock around 9 a.m. on Saturday. The next flight out of ATL would have gotten me there around 3:45 p.m. The expo hours ended at 5 p.m. and I didn’t want to take a chance at missing the final packet pick-up time due to a flight delay or time wasted getting my rental car. Getting there early was a good idea. I was able to do some running around after leaving the expo and before it came time to check-in at the hotel.

     

    Getting to the hotel was a bit of an issue being that I decided to stay in one that was located downtown and right at the starting line. Some of the roads were blocked, but I was finally able to find the hotel, park in the garage, and get myself settled in.

     

    Okay, enough of the fodder. Time for the race stuff...

     

    General Info:

     

    Race start: Sunday, 8:00 am for the 10K / Half Marathon / Marathon. There was a 6:00 a.m. early start for marathoners requiring more than 6 hours to finish the full. There was a staggered start for each corral. 

     

    Temps: Around 26* with mild winds. On Saturday, there was snow flurries. Those who ran the 5K and the Kids Marathon had a treat. Glad I came prepared for the weather here.

     

     

     

    My Experience:

     

    After a quick warm-up run and stretch. I went back to my hotel room to empty the bladder again. The lines to the porta-johns was too long and I didn’t see the point of waiting. I’d have to abandon that way of thinking sooner than I thought...

     

    I found my way into the Open Corral on President Clinton Blvd, and situated myself between the 5:10 and 5:25 marathon pace teams (there were no pace teams for the half). I didn’t want to go out too fast and knew that by running the first mile or two with the groups I would be on target. I also wanted to know how this pace felt, being that my predicted marathon finish time is currently 5:10 based off my fastest HM time. 

     

    Song playing right before our corral took off: “Country Girl (Shake it For Me)” by Luke Bryan. I’m from the south and was raised and still live in rural SC. I consider myself a Southern girl and not a country girl (sometimes it gets confused), but I have to admit, this tune was right on time. LOL!  I think I found another song to add to my collection of music. I’m very eclectic.

     

    Miles 1- 3: I don’t know if it was the extra cup of coffee I drank that morning, the dancing at the start, or some hidden nervous energy that irritated my bladder, but sometime before mile 2, I felt the urge to take a leak - AGAIN! It was a strong urge. I figured if I kept running and not think about it, I’d be okay -- the urge would go away. But I just couldn’t shake it! I knew that if I didn’t stop soon, this would turn out to be a miserable run. Dead  I’ve never had to stop during a race to use the portables and was a bit taken aback by this experience. I wasted about 5 minutes doing the pee-pee dance in line while waiting to use a stall and I knew at that moment that this would probably not be a PR race for me. I would be cutting it really close. With that in mind, I decided that my new goal would be to at least catch up with the 5:25 pace team. I knew that if I caught up with them, I could get ahead of them and would finish the race at a more acceptable time. For me, anything is acceptable as long as I finish it faster than my slowest. 

     

    Miles 4-6: Wow! There go the first of the Elites! It’s always an awesome site to see the fastest men and women around, blaze by you in record time. Finish times most of us only dream about. But honestly, I’d be happy with a conversational 10:30 pace. 

     

    Okay, back to me...(brace yourself), somewhere around mile 4 someone lost their gallon zip lock bag full of fried chicken. LMAO! I kid you not! It was right there in the middle of the road. I don’t know if it was a joke move or a marathoner lost his fuel along the way, but it was the funniest thing we had seen during the entire race. I wanted to go back and take a photo so bad, but I was just too determined to catch back up with the pace teams at this point. I hope no one tripped over it. Can you imagine that? LOL!! Somewhere right before the 10K split and crossing over the Broadway Bridge I was able to meet and get ahead of the 5:25 group. The 10K runners broke away shortly after we crossed the bridge.

     

    Miles 7-10: We’ve made our way into the residential area of the course. Several of the residents were giving some crowd support to us. One guy decided to play his guitar and sing to us from his front porch. [There was some musical entertainment provided by various groups at every mile for the race]. The Governor was also along the course at this juncture. Many runners stopped to take pictures with him. I would have if I didn't have that earlier delay. Undecided The half marathon and marathon split right around mile 10.

     

    Miles 11- Finish: There are quite a few hills in the course, but I was still able to keep running close to my target pace, despite the elevation changes. It wasn’t until around mile 12 (after the beer stop), that I began to feel some tightness in my left quad. I kept running, but when the muscle started to spasm shortly thereafter, I stopped so that I could rub it out a bit. I walked for about a minute or two before picking up more speed to finish my race. Maybe I should have downed that free cup of beer at mile 11 instead of taking the free Loreal lipsticks. Beer is good for muscles, right? LOL! 

     

    I made it through the finish line, received my medal, took a picture, ate a few items provided as fuel (they had chocolate milk on tap) and made my way back to the hotel. 

     

     

     

    End result:

     

    Offical Chip time: 2:35:51 my PB is 2:28:54

    Garmin data: 13.29 miles in 2:35:47

    My 8th Half Marathon and 6th in less than 6 months. I leveled up in the Half Fanatic Asylum and now have two moons. Big grin

     

    Final thoughts: This was a great race. I really enjoyed myself and look forward to returning in 2014. My goal is to make the Little Rock Marathon my #2 if all goes well with my debut this November. I MUST get my hands on one of those ridiculous marathon medals! It’ll all be worth it. Shocked

     

    Thanks for reading. Happy Running!


    Nikki

    Half Fanatic  #3091  ~   Marathon debut: 11/16/13 Anthem Richmond Marathon

    "Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." - Rumi

    Pinktastic


      Congrats!!   Sounds like your bladder didn't think you should try for the PR, but you made the best out of the situation anyway.  Way to stay positive and reset expectations on the fly!   Love the bling from this race!!   Thanks for sharing your story, and again, CONGRATS!!

      But The Smile That I Sent Out Returned With You.

      TWHgal


      Stress fx Queen

        You chose lipstick over beer!?!  We need to have a serious talk! Wink

        Congrats on what looks like a fun race with beautiful bling!

        Cindy 

         

         

                                     


        Anomalous

          Thanks!!

          Half Fanatic  #3091  ~   Marathon debut: 11/16/13 Anthem Richmond Marathon

          "Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." - Rumi


          Anomalous

            You chose lipstick over beer!?!  We need to have a serious talk! Wink

            Congrats on what looks like a fun race with beautiful bling!

             

            Cindy, I was scared!! If I didn't have that potty incident at the beginning of the race, I would have taken the beer shot. LOL!!

            Half Fanatic  #3091  ~   Marathon debut: 11/16/13 Anthem Richmond Marathon

            "Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." - Rumi


            Bad Ass

              Great job, Nikki!  The bag of fried chicken was just too much.

              Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

              Next:  RnR Country Music Half Marathon

              Blog

              "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."

                Nikki, I'm from Arkansas and have done some stomping around in LR. I want to come back to do this race. I'm surprised you didn't mention more about hills. Congrats on a good race, maybe I'll see you there next year.

                happylily


                  Nikki, coffee and cold are evil for the bladder!

                   

                  Congratulations on your 8th HM, and 6th in less than 6 months! Wow, that's a lot of halfs in such a short time!!! I'm glad you enjoyed yourself and what a cool and pretty medal!

                  PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                          Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

                  3 years, 13 marathons, 13 BQs     


                  Anomalous

                    Thanks, Damaris! It was funny. lol

                     

                     

                    Nikki, I'm from Arkansas and have done some stomping around in LR. I want to come back to do this race. I'm surprised you didn't mention more about hills. Congrats on a good race, maybe I'll see you there next year.

                     

                    The hills for the half weren't that bad. South Carolina is very hilly too and so I was a little used to that. However, I got some feedback from some friends who ran the full and they reported how tough those hills were, especially going down. I have been warned and told to train on steeper inclines if I want to make it through the full unscathed next year. lol

                    Half Fanatic  #3091  ~   Marathon debut: 11/16/13 Anthem Richmond Marathon

                    "Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." - Rumi

                    Robert31320


                    Running for TJ

                      Great job, Nikki!

                      You have to run through the valley if you want to get to the mountain top!

                       

                      Next goal:  Mad Marsh 50K (November 2014)

                        Nikki, great job! Fried Chicken???


                        Anomalous

                          Thanks everyone!!!

                           

                          Nikki, great job! Fried Chicken???

                           

                          John, I kid you not!! It had to be a joke and placed there on the course by someone. LOL!!

                          Half Fanatic  #3091  ~   Marathon debut: 11/16/13 Anthem Richmond Marathon

                          "Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." - Rumi

                          LRB


                          Dreamer

                            When I saw that cold brewski at mile 24 of my marathon, not only did I take it and drink it, I almost went back for another!  That was easiest the best beer I have ever had!

                             

                            I have been to Arkansas once, but my flight took me to Nashville, then I drove over.  Those peeps were not in a hurry to do anything, or go anywhere lol.  Such a stark contrast to the big city, fun trip though!

                             

                            Flying to a race is taking it to another level.  As much as I loath the thought of flying, I would actually do that!

                             

                            Congrats on your second moon and some really nice bling to boot!

                            "Training is not always fun, but it should always be rewarding."


                            Anomalous

                              When I saw that cold brewski at mile 24 of my marathon, not only did I take it and drink it, I almost went back for another!  That was easiest the best beer I have ever had!

                               

                              I have been to Arkansas once, but my flight took me to Nashville, then I drove over.  Those peeps were not in a hurry to do anything, or go anywhere lol.  Such a stark contrast to the big city, fun trip though!

                               

                              Flying to a race is taking it to another level.  As much as I loath the thought of flying, I would actually do that!

                               

                              Congrats on your second moon and some really nice bling to boot!

                               

                              Thanks! If you do decide to fly to a race, I think a revisit to Arkansas may be a good idea. It's well worth the trip IMO Smile

                              Half Fanatic  #3091  ~   Marathon debut: 11/16/13 Anthem Richmond Marathon

                              "Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." - Rumi

                              Gustav1


                              Fear is a Liar

                                Great job on your race and a nice report too. Did you say that they had chocolate milk on tap?!! Woo hoo!

                                I'm so vegetarian I don't even eat animal crackers!

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