Saturday, November 14, 2009

Run from the Sun 1/2 marathon

I'm not in love with this picture of me... but I wanted one of me with my race shirt, bib, and medallion on.

This is quite a long post. I don't expect you to be interested in it at all. I wrote the long version for me. Kind of a journal entry, so to speak.
But here are the highlights for everyone else:

  • Expo was smaller than I expected. Food was a little lame. (But it was their first year doing this race. You're thinking, 'Take it easy on them!' , aren't you?)
  • I beat my 2:20 goal by 10 minutes!
  • I got sick the night before the race and gargled w/ salt water. It helped. I was okay for the race.
  • My wonderful family was there to cheer me on!
  • My kids loved the kids party and junk food that was provided
  • I got a free massage! (only my legs. I'll take what I can get.)
  • It was cloudy and rained for a bit.
  • It was a fun race and fun family event.
Now, to skip the long version, scroll down. There are pictures at the end of this boring, long post. :-) The pictures are more interesting. (I think)

The long version:
The Run from the Sun event was fun, today! The expo was last night and I hate to sound ungrateful, but I expected more. More booths, more freebies, more food! There was a free pasta dinner provided by BJ's (okay, really I paid for the race, so... ya know. I guess it really was pretty nice of them, though). I guess I just expected a little more from BJ's. I was a little disappointed because it was rotini with spaghetti sauce, a caesar salad, and a little crust of garlic bread. I could have easily made it at home. I also went away still hungry. (Grant and I went on our date after this and we ended up going through the drive through at Panda Express, for rice, right before we went home.)

Last night I started feeling really sick with a sore throat, headache, and stuffy nose. Man, that scared me! I was so worried about how I would feel while running. I had some vitamin C and throat lozenges before jumping in bed. Throughout the night it got worse. I woke up at 2:30am and gargled with salt water a few times. Yuck! I've never tried that before. {I TOTALLY SWEAR IT WORKED!} My throat felt quite a bit better immediately. I then took Umcka cold medicine. That helped too! When I woke up at 5:30 to get ready, my throat felt a bit better. I gargled with salt water again. Took more Umcka, then put some Ricola's in my pouch for the race.

I was feeling only a bit sick by the time we started the race. I wished I had taken some Tylenol right before the race, because I had a headache for the first half of the race.

This race I only stopped once at a water station to grab a sip of some electrolyte drink. I was so grateful to have my water bottle belt (I know... I had that on my Christmas wish list... I'll probably still wrap it and put it under the tree when it gets to be a day or so before Christmas. Just to remind me that it was for Christmas). I think that helped me with my time and helped me not lose momentum (or whatever... you know what I mean).

I was getting really tired and sore by the 1oth mile. I had to make it into a mental game at this point. Really I was breathing fine and not too exhausted. Just my legs were tired and telling me to stop. I told them to keep going. I even felt like I was going faster at that point. I may not have been going faster but it just seemed like that because I was starting to pass quite a few people in the last three miles. That was really enjoyable. Such a motivation, for sure! At abut the half way point I came up on a guy that I could never really seem to pass. After awhile I decided to just keep up with him. I did that until about the last mile, when he started going much faster and I lost sight of him when we got to the stadium at the finish line.

Pacing myself was hard. I knew I should start out slow so I wouldn't get worn out too early and end up slowing down during the second half. I didn't pay much attention to the time until I realized I was at the 4-mile marker. I looked at my watch and it had been 40 minutes exactly. I was excited at the prospect of finishing with a 10-minute-mile. I know that's slow for most people. But for me, it's something I have to work hard for (at this point in my running career). I had originally made a goal of finishing in 2 hours and 20 minutes. When I saw myself running a 10-minute-mile mid-way through the race, I changed my goal to 2 hours and 10 minutes, with always trying go faster, to try and beat that goal too.

I thought there were advantages and disadvantages to running a 1/2 marathon that is a two loop course. By the time I got around the first loop, I was tired and didn't know if I could finish the whole thing. I also thought it was hard when I was running the 2nd lap and I would see things for the 2nd time but remembering how much farther I still had to go. It was helpful when I was getting to the last few miles and I would see things repeating and it felt like I was so close. Kind of weird...

It was a fun race. A flat course. I passed the temple twice (that was fun). It rained a bit. My kids had fun. They loved the kids party and junk food. I loved the massage after the race. I was happy with my finish. Not too many participants, not too few. I ALMOST got hit by a car, twice. I bought two new pairs of running shoes ($50 each - Road Runner Sports was there selling all shoes for $50). We got lots of free stuff. Great volunteers. Fairly well organized (besides the fact that they didn't have a place to keep your purses and bags). All in all - Very fun time!

My sweet husband cooked a very yummy Pad Thai dinner for me tonight. I was in heaven!

I wasn't with my family when they were driving to the race, but they snapped this nice picture on the way. Are there really two rainbows?? Isn't it beautiful?

My awesome kids waited for me at the corner where we started our second lap of the race. That was such a great motivator, to see them there, cheering me on! I am so grateful for them!

I believe this is me right before I saw my family at the start of the second lap.

My kids, enjoying very non-healthy snacks at the event. (Why are they feeding our kids junk? Aren't they supposed to be promoting health??)

My kids had a blast at the kids events. They had bounce houses, bracelet making, face painting, junk food, etc. (They were going to participate in the Family Fun Run, but I had just finished my race and ... it just didn't work out.)

Minutes after I finished... drinking a protein enhanced chocolate milk. It looks my kids enjoyed these, as well!

I liked this photo because it's my awesome, supportive husband, my messy-faced (red licorice) baby, and the gray, cloudy sky!

This little guy was so cute. He just came up to me and hugged my legs, looking up and smiling at me. He said, "Hi, Mom. I love you." Then, we lost him for a few minutes. What a scary feeling! After we found him again, we moved the GPS tracker from my water belt pouch, into his shorts pocket! When we lost him (that first time), I also was separated from my friend whom I went with and whom I run with a few times a week. I never ended up finding her again and therefore have no pictures of us together at the race. :-(

Getting ready to leave the race.

It was a good race, good event! I hope they do it again next year!


  1. Goodness you are so photogenic. Especially for just having run your butt off. No fair.

    Yes that salt water trick works well! It almost makes me gag cuz it tastes not-so-good, but oh how it works.

    Great job, and once again, you make me wish I were in shape!

  2. I'm with Amy, you look great for just having run a 1/2 marathon!! Wow! I'm so impressed with people who can do things like that. Congratulations Alena!

  3. Yeah!!!!! I'm so excited for you!!! I wanted to text you to find out how you did. Your time is great! I'm so happy for you and a little jealous. . . you make me want to get out and run a half marathon right now. I love the long t-shirts they gave out. Plus, when I saw pictures of your family cheering you on I almost got teary-eyed. I remember how much that means when you are tired and running. You have a great family. Way to go! I'm so happy for you.

  4. Way to go Alena! Be proud of yourself mamma. What a bummer that you had to run while not feeling well. but the weather looked like perfect running conditions. And I enjoyed reading your long NON boring version.

  5. Love all the pictures! What a fun event. You continue to inspire us all!

  6. You do look great! That is awesome you beat your score. You almost have me wanting to run. Those are great pictures. I was thinking that is so not AZ weather.

  7. You are all so nice! (Which is one reason I love you guys so much!) But I just have to say, "Wow!"
    You're too nice to say I looked good after the race and that I'm photogenic. Blaaah ha ha! I actually looked pretty gross. I didn't post any close-ups (that my 8-year-old took of me)!

    Thank you, Julie for training with me and for inspiring me to run! I wish you could have run that 1/2 with me. There will be others in the future, I'm sure!

    Thanks for being my supportive, loving friends! It really does keep me movtivated! Thanks! :-)

  8. Oh... and... Thanks for the "finishing time" praise. But, I am well aware that even though it is a PR for me, it is still fairly slow. I want to continue to work on speed. Someday when I do a marathon, I won't care how fast I go (I'll just try to finish, uninjured). Thanks anyway. It does feel really good to beat my goal!