Saturday, March 6, 2010

2010 Alston-Bird LLP Corporate Cup Half-Marathon and Kristi’s 5k (its long! with a lot more typos than usual!)

The good, the bad, and the boob bop whoops!

Last night, Kristi and I had sushi with steamed rice (I LOVE sushi!). This morning, I felt a bit heavy but I didn’t care. I didn’t wake up this morning with the thought of running faster or slower than my last half. Goal one for this race…have fun. After all, it’s just a long run! In any event, I am being treated for my issues with my left knee and really needed to baby it a bit.

I wasn’t really interested in eating breakfast so I had a Cliff bar with water and I was out the door. I was in a great mood because there was no stress. No stress about times, whether or not I was going to finish, if my knee was going to hurt. It was freeing and I don’t usually feel that way before a run. I thoroughly enjoyed that feeling…or lack thereof (stress).

I didn’t wear my New Brooks sneakers that I bought about two months ago! Since I bought those sneakers they have given me NOTHING but issues. I decided to wear my old New Balances. They have a few more miles left in them! This turned out to be a great decision.

I made it to the meeting point and met my bf/gf (best friend/girlfriend) Kristi. She is totally not a morning person! However, to come out and support me she got up super early to meet me out there. I am so grateful for her unwavering support. She would seriously listen to me talk about triathlon all day. Then look at me as if it is all new to her and I didn’t talk about these exact things the day before. She is truly my best friend and I am so excited to share my life with her.

I met up with Kristi and she is dressed in athletic attire. Then this thought came over me. In four weeks she is going to participate in the Cooper River Bridge Run. This 5k would be a great opportunity for her! I knew she could do it!!! And for once, it was me encouraging her about something race related.

I simply asked if she wanted to do the 5k because she could still register. I wish you could have seen her face! She had this look of shock!!!! I saw the color leave her face and then return. I never did get an answer. I grabbed her by the arm and led her to the registration booth (translates to dragged her to registration). Kristi, still in shock, stood there while I filled out the registration card. Then she immediately handed her bib and safety pins to me and said, “Here honey do this!” At which point, she took over filling out the registration.

We went to the YMCA to place KP’s items in a locker. As we are standing there, I spin around to point toward the men’s locker room just as a young lady is walking toward me. The result, an awkward and embarrassing bop on this lady’s person! Ugh how embarrassing!

It was too funny! Kristi had this look of intent about her. She was clearly out of her element and wasn’t sure how to feel about it. It was too cute! We got her registered, got the bib and timing chip on, and we were ready to go. We walked back over to my running group and KP (Kristi) asked if the 5k’ers and half marathoner’s were going to start together. PANIC! I don’t know!

KP ran over to find out and immediately got lost in the crowd. My group was leaving and before she left she told me to stay with them; so I did. As soon as she left, I had the answer to our question. Both races started at the same time. I ran to find her but she was lost in a sea of bodies. I felt horrible. We would be able to start this race together and now we were separated :(

I would not have been as motivated if I didn’t find her. I decided I needed to go find my run group and ran into KP! WOOHOOO!!!!!!!!! I gave her the biggest hug!!! Seeing KP led to the best part of the day! Starting this race with her!!!!! That was honestly the best part of the day for me! I was so excited to be part of her 5k. We held hands as we crossed the start line and it, for me, was awesome!


They had the opening prayer and Kristi and I bowed our heads. I couldn’t help but notice how much chatter there was in the crowd. So much so I could barely hear the prayer. This was followed by the playing of the Star Spangled Banner and there was complete silence! I didn’t get it! Don’t get me wrong! I am a HUGE, HUGE Patriot! 4 years in the Army and 8 weeks of singing that lovely melody every night before I went to bed in basic training. I love my country and am still willing to die for it! However, have we lost respect for our Heavenly Father?

The first few miles were uneventful; a couple of rollers but no real climbs. I was chatting with the people in the group and it was really cool to finally run with people again. I forgot how much I missed that! Mile 6, I started to feel a little pain in my left knee. I worried about it a little but not too much. At about mile 7 or so, we hit Providence Rd. I hate that hill! You can see it coming for about a half mile away and it looks looooooong! Once you actually get on the hill it’s not too bad but looking at it hits on your spirit a bit.

At mile 9, I did a mental body scan...NO PAIN IN MY KNEES. Then I had to check in with my heart. I was 9 miles in and I didn’t feel like I was pushing myself. At this point, I had no reason not to. I did what every other person with the desire to push themselves (i.e. the people whose blog I read) would have done! I stepped it up! I prayed and recited, “I can do ALL things through Christ!” I pushed it out and started MY race! It was so awesome! I looked at my trusty Garmin and KNEW I was on course to get a personal record! I knew it. And I was going to break into the 2 hour and teens. (2:13 to 2:19). That’s a big jump from the 2:20s which is what this slow, steady missile is used to.

Man I was trying to get it done! I was casting away the fears that maybe I turned it up too soon and I just kept going! Then, I hate to admit this, but I hit mile 10 and I just lost it. Seeing that number just brought on the pipe works. Thank God! I was wearing shades and no one could see those tears of joy coming down my face. Not because I was going to PR, but because I was silencing those demons, just for today! And all I have to do is keep them quiet one day at a time! Today, it was at mile 10!

Just a 5k! That all I have left is just a 5k! “One foot in front of the other,” is what I keep telling myself. Then it hit me! I remembered the course! Mile 10-13 was uphill! I was still running with all my heart. I had to know that if I was short of hitting the teens it wasn’t because I didn’t give it my best effort. Thank God for these shades! No one could see how badly I was grimacing at this point. In fact, I bought these shades with the purpose of covering my frown when I’m running!

Incline after incline and my dreams of hitting the teens were slowly fading away. I didn’t care because I didn’t wake up today with that on my mind. I was grateful to be so late in the race with no knee pain. We head downhill for a tenth of a mile and then uphill for the last tenth of a mile.

As I began my effort uphill for the last time, I looked up to the Glory of God! It is ONLY because of his Grace I am here today. Two years ago, ALL I wanted to do was die. Today, all I want to do is LIVE. That is what mile ten is to me. That is what this Half Ironman in New Orleans is to me. It is about living!

Hard to get a sprint finish at the top of a hill! I tried! On My Garmin I saw 2:19 become 2:20 and my hope for teens was put off until another day. At 2:20, according to my Garmin, I crossed the finish line. I couldn’t help but shout, “Yeah!!” Why? Because although 2:20 may not be a stellar time by some peoples’ standards, it is a time I never thought I would see. It was 5 minutes faster than my Thunder Road Half Marathon 3 months ago and 16 minutes! faster than my time for this race last year.

In defense of that time, I was dehydrated and had the worst cramps in my groin at mile 11 last year. I was in SOOOO much pain! The only reason I continued was because my children worked so hard on their signs for me! I had to finish! I could barely walk when it was over. Unfortunately, my children were at this race physically, but I carried them in my spirit. I learned a lot from that race last year. I started carrying a Fuel Belt and learn about Electrolytes.

What was disappointing about this race?

The finishing medal was THE SAME as the medal last year! HOW LAME! I will be sending an email on that one. That was EXTREMELY disappointing. I don’t care if the medal is the same design but can it at least have a different year so I can distinguish between the two. To top it off, my name wasn’t on the results list! UGH!! That was really, really disappointing!

What worked?

Hammers Gels every 3 miles continues to work.

SaltStick capsules every 3 miles. This was my first run with Salt Stick Capsules

LOOOOVED the salt stick capsules! A LOT better than Hammer Electrolytes!

What to consider changing?

I was drinking a lot more water than Heed on this race. This was likely do to Salt Stick capsules and increase in sodium. I should consider carrying two water flasks and two Heed flask on my Fuel Belt

Pictures will be added in a few days.


  1. Congratulations on the new PR!

    How did Kristi do on her 5k?

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