It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

April 28, 2014

Garmin Half Marathon - Wickedly "Fast" - Race Review

It seems like life has been a bit of a roller coaster lately and this weekend was no exception.

We've been on "baby watch" for awhile in the Weatherly household.  My stepdaughter Madi was due to give birth to her first baby on April 16...but she wasn't quite ready to say hello to the world yet. A week after the due date Madi started having some contractions, and on Thurs evening we got the call they were heading to the Birthing Center...only to be sent home telling her she was having false labor.

Friday afternoon we get the call again that she was heading to the Birthing Center.  This time it was the real deal, she was in labor.  A few hours later sweet little Savannah Grace arrived, weighing 6 pds 7 ounces with brown hair and brown eyes.  She's amazing.  Mom and baby did great!
Madi & Savannah

Jim and I were both planning to run the Garmin Wickedly Fast Half Marathon the next morning.  We knew due to the delivery we might not get to race, but it really didn't matter.  The birth of our second grandchild was the most important thing going on. 

Well, we ended up getting home about midnight and decided we would race. We would probably be a little tired with only about 4 hours of sleep, but we could do it.

We woke a little groggy but ready to race.  The weather seemed almost perfect.  It was 55 degrees with about 12 mph winds, but there was a chance of thunderstorms and the winds were supposed to pick up, so we knew the end of the race might not be great.

We showed up a little later than we normally would and it was a mistake.  After getting off on the exit to the race it took about 35 minutes to get through traffic and park.  By the time we got parked we only had about 15 mins til the race started and we were parked quite a ways from the start.  I had to go to the bathroom before the race started.  We both quickly left the car and headed for the porta pottys. Based on the line, I knew there was a good chance I wouldn't be through before the race started. 

Race start
I finally made it to the start line just as the National Anthem was finishing; with literally no time to spare.  I took a quick selfie since we had taken no pictures.  And then I was off.  After just a minute or so of running I looked down at my Garmin and dang it I was on "bike" mode.  I had to switch over to run, but hated that because now my Garmin time and distance would be a little off and I wasn't quite sure by how much.  Turned out to be about a min and a half.

I had originally planned to try to set a PR at this race.  But with the bad winter and spring we've had, I just haven't been able to get in the kind of outdoor training I needed to make that happen.  That said, I've been working on speed quite a bit over the last few weeks.  I decided to shoot for a 2:25, which would be 2 mins slower than my PR, but still a bit of a stretch goal for me right now.

The weather was really pretty nice when I started.  It was about 55 degrees with light winds.  I started running and felt pretty good.  My first mile was too fast, as usual, but I tried to slow down a bit and get in a rhythm.  The course was a little more challenging than I had originally thought.  It is claimed to be "wickedly fast" and flat.  I have found that in the Kansas City area "flat" is a relative term.  I have ran a few flat in Indianapolis and Florida - those races are flat, this race was not flat.  It has several steep inclines and rolling hills. As a matter of fact, the last 5 miles are pretty much uphill...and there is an uphill uphill finish??  The climbs are never more than about 100 feet, so they aren't huge, but they are enough to slow down your pace.
The "flat" course from my Garmin
I felt like I was running a pretty strong race for the first 9 miles and I was on pace to be right around 2:25.  But just as you made a sharp turn around mile 8, I looked up and the sky was as black as night.  There was definitely a storm moving in any second.  Some light rain began to fall which actually felt pretty good.  But by mile 8.5 it was a torrential downpour.  Somewhere around mile 9 you run on an asphalt running trail which was quickly flooding.  There were ankle deep puddles in some sections and water running all the way across the small trail at least a few feet wide in other sections. There was nothing you could do but run through the water.  My feet were heavy and wet.  It was getting colder.  It was coming down in sheets and it was thundering and lightening.  I was waiting for the race to be cancelled and pulled off the course at any minute.  It got really hard to focus on pace.  But at the same time I kinda just wanted to get done, so I kept pushing as hard as I could in the conditions.

Can anyone tell where I started to fight the weather and fatigue?

We got poured on for about 30 minutes.  From roughly mile 8.5 and to 11 or so.  Some people said they got hailed on, but I never felt any hail. 

The rain let up in those last couple of miles, but the wind grew stronger and suddenly I was freezing!  55 and sunny and light winds is great.  50, soaked and windy is cold!  Mile 11 was my slowest mile.  I was fighting the weather and tiredness was setting it. It was then that I realized I wouldn't make 2:25, but I knew if I pushed hard I could still have a strong race.  So, I pushed with all I had left in me and crossed the finish line in 2:28:38.  It was my 27th stand alone half marathon (28th if you count the half I did as part of my Half Ironman) and it was my third fastest ever.  So, I call that a good day.

I found Jim at the finish and he had luckily grabbed my jacket and brought it to sweet.  I grabbed some food and we quickly headed to the car.  I was freezing.  I was shaking the entire way home. 

In the end we both had pretty good races.  Jim luckily didn't have the weather to contend with as he was finished before the downpour (lucky for being so dang fast) :)  He came in just shy of a PR and 2nd in his Age Group.  He always amazes me! 

Race medal..which also glows in the dark
Did you race this weekend?  Any weather to contend with?

April 22, 2014

Tons of Stuff Tuesday

Man, blogging seems like it is becoming harder and harder.  I have stuff to share, I just can't seem to find the time to sit down and write it.  So here's what's going on with a nutshell.
The dress I finally decided on

1.  I turned 40.  Yep, the dreaded 40.  I had a lovely Birthday party surrounded by friends and family.  It was perfect.  I had wanted to do something "epic" for 40...but just never really got around to planning some big thing.  No big deal, the Birthday party was really quite perfect.  I stressed over my outfit for weeks.  I bought four dresses before finally deciding on one.  We ended up getting some bad news shortly before the party, and then Jim had a flat tire on the way there and I was late to my own party.  It was stressful and I was having so many mixed emotions...but everyone was so great.  It's times like these that you realize just how important family and friends are.

2.  I ran a half marathon a week and a half ago.  Nothing big to report.  It's the Rock the Parkway half marathon here in Kansas City.  It is my half marathon PR (3 years ago)....and I haven't been able to touch my time since.  In 2012 I ran a 2:23 (PR), 2013 a 2:34 and 2014 a 2:32.  So I guess I was 2 minutes faster than last year, but still my finish time is somewhere around my "average" for a half.  I'm usually between 2:30 and 2:35.  The weather was nice though a bit warm at the end, and we did have some strong winds, which you had to fight the entire 6.5 miles back.  I went out to fast.  I had a good 8 or 9 miles and then totally crashed at the end.  But it was always.
The finish line at Rock the Parkway
3.  I have another half marathon this weekend.  This is my 2nd in a series of 3 over 5 weeks.  It's called the Heartland 39.3 series.  It includes Rock the Parkway, Garmin, and Running with the Cows.  All fairly local though different areas of the city.  You get a special shirt for running the series and then *I think* you get a special medal at the end.  They've been doing the series a few years, and the stuff you get only gets better if it's your 2nd or 3rd year or whatever.

Me & Jim at my Birthday
4.  I withdrew from the Boulder 70.3 race last week.  As I said above, my family got some bad news about a week ago.  I was in the critical part of my training with only about 8 weeks to go and I knew I couldn't miss a workout and needed to be mentally "fit".  With everything going on, I realized it would just be too much.  Plus I'll probably be taking at least one or two week long trips over the next month or so that would keep me from being able to train pretty much at all.  I've had to drop out of races before and I've always been pretty upset by it, but this one I'm totally at peace with.  It's the right thing to do for me and my family right now.

5.  I finally rode my tri bike again.  If you've been following my blog for awhile, then you know I purchased a new tri bike last May.  On basically my first ride I had a very near miss with a car and threw myself over the handlebars of my bike breaking my wrist (among lots of other scrapes and bruises).    I have been a big chicken about getting on it again.  Honestly, I have felt so dumb, but I have been scared to death. On Sunday, I finally put on my big girl pants and went for a ride.  I only rode about 30 minutes, but I survived.  It will take a little getting used to but I know I'll be fine.  I just need to get over the mental part of it.  Now that we are finally having warm weather, I should be able to get out for more rides this week.
Jim took this picture this weekend of one happy dog enjoying the warm weather.  I guess we all love Spring!
That's probably enough for now.  How are you????  Anything new and exciting going on in your world?

April 03, 2014

Vacation...and other stuff.

The beautiful resort
Well hello there!  Sorry I’ve been away awhile.  Work was insane there for a period, and then last week I was on vacation…ahhh….magical vacation.

So this post will be about lots of random things and updates.

·       I lost 11 pounds in 4 week on the Ketogenic Diet.  I ended up gaining one back.  When I got back from vacation I was up 2 more pounds, but that is gone now.  So I can officially say I’m down 10 pounds and that makes me feel great!  I still have 10-15 more that I want to lose though.

·       I did not do the Ketogenic Diet on vacation.  We were at an All Inclusive Resort…so I ate what I wanted.  I tried not to go crazy, but it was hard.  They had amazing home made bread that was just the best bread I've ever eaten.

·       Am I going to continue the diet or stay on it full time?  No, I don't think so.  It is very restrictive, and I never really got to a point where I felt great.  I was really tired through alot of it.  But in alot of ways I loved the diet.  I will incorporate many of its ideas.  I like doing a better job of eating lots of healthy fats and far fewer carbs.  I will use it for periods to help boost weight loss until I get to where I want to be.  I am planning to do the diet for a couple of more weeks now that I'm home.  Then full time, I’d like to do something more like Paleo/Whole Foods.  I miss my fruits for sure (even though I still ate a small amount daily - 1 serving).
My friend Michelle, her Mom & Me
·       I wore my FitBit on vacation.  From Wed-Mon I logged 44.76 miles - and that included travel days on Wed & Mon.  I ran 3 times while I was there on the beach- so wonderful.  We were only there 4 full days, so I was happy with that.  But of course, I walked a ton!  I have to say I was still surprised at the total miles.  I really was active and that made me happy!  I had hoped to swim more, but the weather was a little cool, and the ocean was pretty cold.  We still got in two days though.
Junkanoo parade.  I love all the bright colors

·       I turn 40 in 10 days.  I can’t believe it.

·       I have a half Ironman in 10 weeks!  I really need to step up the training.  I have to get outside to ride.  I haven't ridden outside once yet.  This miserable weather is going to have to go away!

·       I vacationed in Nassau, Bahamas.  It was amazing!  It was for my 40th Birthday.  The original plan was to go on my Birthday, but we are expecting our granddaughter just a couple of days after so it was just too close to be out of the Country.  I went with a friend and her Mom (since Jim hates vacation - crazy man I know).  We had a blast.

·       I’m including lots of vacation pictures.  I wish I was back there now.  I love the beach and warm weather so much!!  Hopefully this will help some of you feel warm inside.  Summer is just around the corner right????
Love the guy in the

       And last but not least.  I danced and sang on vacation - on stage!  Oh my.  There was a live band one of the first nights and they were playing really fun music, so we were up dancing.  They called 4 people up on stage to do some crazy Bohemian song.  I was one of them.   I decided I could be timid and scared (which I was) or I could just go for it....I went for it and had a blast.  After several people said I was the "best" dancer...and one called me the booty girl (it was part of the song).  Anyway, after that I was "booty girl" and "won the booty contest" according to Michelle's Mom.  LOL.  Then, later in the week, we were in the lobby bar and they had a guy singing.  Michelle's Mom told him it was my 40th Birthday and that I needed to come up an sing a song with him because I love Jimmy Buffet.  So yea, he called me up on stage.  Dancing was one thing, but I can't sing a NOTE...just ask Jim...he tells me to stop singing all the time.  I was super nervous, but just had fun with it and did my best Margaritaville.  Hey, I was on vacation, I'm never going to see those people again right?  What a wonderful, wonderful trip. 

My dance debut