Holy smokes! The Saratoga Palio Half Marathon was back on September 18. 2011 and I’ve totally been slacking here on the blog. Time has really been getting away from me since I am back taking classes [boring] this semester, and the kids are both in school. Not to mention running, which I haven’t run but a few times since to be honest. I’ve been taking some yoga and fit camp classes. I’ll be back to training here soon…of course. *wink*
Anyway, The Saratoga Palio. My second half marathon of the year (and life!). I was really nervous about this one because I was having a lot of hip issues if you remember. That was spiraling into my muscles so my hamstrings and quads began screaming at me to stop the running. I put it on hold for a week did short run, and then rested again because I could still feel the pain deep down. I did a total of 3 runs the month of September leading up to the race. My longest being 5 miles, logging a total of 8 miles in September before the half. Crazy, right?
I was nervous about this race! 1. Dear Lord, I didn’t want to be in pain anymore. 2. Am I going to even finish this race?3. I really wanted to run it with the Team Sparkle/Running Chicks. So, I just decided slow as I go and to take it easy.
I did a lot of yoga, stretching, foam rolling and hit up the jacuzzi a few times to help with the chronic muscle pain. And, the Biofreeze is my new best friend. Oh, and we did end up getting a new mattress which made all the difference with the stiffness in the mornings!
Needless to say, I made it! I did it! Although I would have loved to beat my last (first) half marathon personal record, I was happy that I did it and was in very little pain after the race. I cautiously paced myself to stay around the 10:30 mark, and it went well! Wahoo!
Here are my stats!
Funny enough, I consider myself a cat runner. I run alone, train alone, and have done every long run… alone. I’m usually nervous that I will hold someone up or I will feel bad wanting to increase my pace, or not wanting to stop when they want to. Also, I’m totally anal about pacing myself, and taking it easy! I like to get those negative splits in races! Anyway, I ran with another member of the Running Chicks group, and she was great! Susan is training for a marathon (you go, girl!) and I ran the first 9 miles of the half with her. Headset-less, if you can believe that and we talked the entire time.
The Start…Watch for the sparkle!
It was a great morning for a run. There was six of us shiny girls, and we ended up just randomly pairing off. As you know you can totally get swept up in the beginning of the race but I quickly put the brakes on that , and stayed around a 10:30’ish pace and let people pass us. The day was beautiful and weather perfect for running! We received a lot of compliments on our Team Sparkle skirts, and it was fun seeing the Chicks sparkle as we ran. At around mile 4/5 we had a guy riding his bike through the park towing his kids behind him, and we got some lovely cheering and a couple of songs from the kids! SO cute! Sue joined in as well…ha!
Around mile 6 on the turn to head out of the park, my favorite fans were waiting for us! PS it was also Owen’s 6th birthday too!!
How stinking cute are my kids!
At any rate, nothing else too exciting happened until we got near the entrance of the racino on mile 7. Sue and I were totally ooohhhing and ahhhing about the gorgeous morning, and the beautiful horses in a field that I wasn’t paying attention to the road in front of me and I nearly stepped on road kill. A fresh dead squirrel! EwWWW! After that, we paid a little more attention to the road which, thank goodness. We ran into a few road -ragers. I mean seriously people, you want to cut off runners? We ARE pedestrians! Jerks.
Anyway, my legs were definitely warmed up and I did want to pick up the pace a little so at mile 9 I decided to push it a bit more while Sue held herself back (she had a few more miles to run after the race). The last hill at the end up to Skidmore was a little killer on my knees, oh and my arches. I never even mentioned I forgot my Superfeet insoles! The HORROR that morning, I was emotional and sad, and then relieved to realize that I had the original insoles in my gym bag. FYI though, my flat feet did not like them! I still can’t believe I forgot them!
So yeah, the hill was fine going up but coming down my knees stiffened up, and my arches got achy but then I was back into a groove and decided to just stay where was I rather than pushing it the last few miles.
It was a really fun race, and I soooooo enjoyed running it with Sue, and the rest of Team Sparkle! It was definitely a much more relaxing and enjoyable race running with them. My net time was 2:14:09. Not too bad considering I gave it about 70-80% and felt good after chugging a couple of Gatorades with some ibuprofen, and applying some Biofreeze.
We celebrated with mimosa’s after at Sue’s place after. Thanks, girl! And, it was soooooo great to meet everyone! Looking forward to the next run…. Stockade-athon. November 13th!