Monday, October 14, 2013

Half Mary Round 2

Last Sunday, October 6th, I traveled 2 hours to Hampton, Virginia to complete my second half marathon.

I only slightly mentioned it on the ol' blog here.
Ok, lezzzzzzzzzzzzbehonest...I haven't mentioned much of anything on here cos I'm too busy being M.I.A.

It was kind of a last minute decision on my part anyway.
(meaning I only signed up for it the Monday before!)
A couple of the girls I run with were doing it and I'd heard them talk about how it was a fun race.
Not to mention, I had "liked" the event on Facebook and all their posts got me super excited.
So, I signed up.

I felt good going into it.
I haven't been training for anything specifically but I have been keeping up with 2 easy runs, 1 speed work session and a long run each week. (#trainingforlife)

And just the week before I ran my farthest distance to date...14 miles.

(you may have seen this on Instagram @kbeavtann, but the back story on this is that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. My 14-year-old cousin was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2010. Orange is the color for Leukemia, so I dressed in orange and ran a mile for each year of his precious life. He is a fighter, so I took on his mentality for those 14 miles!! Meaningful runs make me happy!)

So, the Half...
Saturday, October 5th, the hubs and I dropped the bambino off at my in-laws and we were on our way.
We got to the expo around 4pm and picked up our bibs and swag.
(My husband had signed up for the 5k race they were also having...more on that later.)

We had some time to spare before meeting up with my running buddies for dinner, so we went to the city's local running store.
I was desperately on the search for the new Salted Caramel GU gel.
I don't know if you've heard of this new gel, but it is out-of-this-world-amazing!
I had a friend that ordered some and she let me try one and I've been on the hunt since.
The store had some and since they didn't have a case that I could buy, I bought the last 14 packets they had in the store.

My husband then said he wanted to buy me a new pair of running shoes!
I am, for sure, in need of a new pair, but for whatever reason, I didn't want to take him up on his offer.
"We need to save our money". "I don't feel like trying any on". "The store is way too busy". "This lady is talking out of her ass about how she knows so much about running and I just want to get away from her".
BUT then...I saw the newest Brooks GTS 14 on the shelf!

What?!?!?!? How did I miss that they released a new series of the GTS??
The little sales guy must have seen my excitement and asked if I'd heard the new improvements they've made.
He then informed me of the changes they made to the bottom sole of the shoe as well as taking out the top stitching in the toe shoe bed.
I had to get an 8.5 in the GTS14 and an 8.5 in the GTS13 (the current pair I have) to test the differences out.
Oh. Mylanta!
The 14s felt like heaven!!

I was sold!
(Thank you, hubby!)
The only thing I didn't love was the color combo.
It's a little off, but yet still very interesting and appealing at the same time.
Little salesman guy told me they'd release the second color some time in November.
I cannot wait to see them!

We left the store and I had to talk myself out of wearing my new shoes in the race the next day.
"Oh, but the new ones feel so good!"
"Kyra, snap out of're smart enough to know you don't wear new shoes for that long and in a race. Wait till you can wear them in."

But once we got to Bonefish Grill, all I was thinking about was eating!!
I'd never been to Bonefish Grill, but I quickly became a BIG fan!
After a delicious pumpkin beer, fish tacos, pumpkin ravioli and fun dinner mates, I was ready to settle in for the night.

My husband and I drove back to where the start of the race would take place so we could clock how far away we were staying from the race.
His cousin lives there and was out of town so he let us stay at his place.
We were just a little over a mile away so we decided that would be a nice warm-up walk the next morning.

I laid out my running gear, got ready for bed, and then fell asleep about 10:30.
And back up and at 'em at 6:15 am.
I had my typical long run breakfast of toast, peanut butter and banana.
Then proceeded to get all my gear on
(And go to the bathroom about 5 times...I ALWAYS try to get as much out as I can prior to a long run...know what I'm saying?!?!)
Rocked some pink shoelaces and socks to honor my Aunt who was just recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer :)

The plan was to leave the apartment at 7am.
My race time was 8am.
It was about 7:15 till we were walking out the door.
Only to have my husband walk right back in.
And proceed to take for-freaking-ever.
He couldn't find his safety pins for his bib.
When I'm late for something and it's not my fault, I get immensely impatient.
Homeboy was not on my good list.
I finally yelled that he could get some at the expo center when we got there.
(Basically my way of saying this is not my problem and you're making me way late!)
So we were finally on our merry way!

By the time we got there, I felt the urge to pee (again) so I waited in the long freaking line to empty my bladder one last time.
I was finally headed to Corral number 3 where I found one of the girls I run with waiting for me at the front of the group.
But the man with the rope would not let me enter there.
I had to go in at the back of the corral.
That's fair.
But I didn't like it.

So, I proceeded to walk back, only to have to stop because the National Anthem was starting.
No disrespect, America...but this lady ain't happy, calm and peacful until she's lined up, ready to plenty of time.
I finally arrived to the back of my corral and politely weaved through the crowd up to the front with my friend.
It was now 7:58 am.
I don't do well with being rushed, but I internalized all my inner demons and just told myself to calm the F down and enjoy the race!
Pretty darn proud of myself for getting past that potential mental road block!

We said farewell to Corral 1 at exactly 8 am.
Catch ya on the flip side, Corral 2 at 8:03 am.

At this point, I was in full on excitement and ready mode and they were playing my jam, getting my all pumped and stuff.
("Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father. Run for your children, for your sisters and your brothers...")
And we were off at 8:06 am.
"Timer Started" and "Bezel Locked" on the 'ol Garmin and falling into pace...
at an 8:12 minute average!
My friend and I reigned that shit back in and slowed it down.

And, let it be known, that this girl will now be lining up as close to the front of any and all races from this day forward.
I really loved the fact that I wasn't weaving and bobbing between people.
(they were doing it around me...SUCKERS!!)

A local high school band was right out of the start getting down to playing some JT " feel's like something's heating up, can I leave with you?..." Yeah, I was digging it.

Miles 1-3 were a breeze.
I was enjoying my pace (about a 9:30 pace) and all the sites and other runners around me.
I lost my running friend about the 3 mile mark.
I wanted to run with someone...for sanity, fun, moral support...but I also wanted a PR! :)

Honestly, miles 1-7 were pretty much a breeze.
I kept my pace anywhere from 9:18 - 9:45 minute miles.
I loved thanking all of the police and volunteers (just makes me smile!)
I was just taking it all in and enjoying my long run on a Sunday morning.
I would take the water and occasional Gatoraid at mostly all of the aid stations...getting into the habit of taking 2 to drink and one to pour on me.
The day was a 96% humidity, but I wasn't in total despair entirely!
And I didn't have to walk at all...even through the water stations...I could just slow down enough to grab the cups, drink or dump and throw the cup in the trash!

Miles 8-10 were a little tougher, but still not death row!
Mile 8 was where we ran along the water so it was pretty and refreshing to take in that site.
Mile 9, my pace slowed quite a bit to about 10:40.
As I was creeping up to Mile 10, I kept telling myself that all the was left was a 5k.
I was going to pick my pace up.
Never letting it get about a 9:30 minute pace.

I crossed that Mile 10 banner and picked up the pace.
Only a 5k left! Come on! Let's go!
And then I'm walking at mile 10.5!!
The first time I had to stop and walk.
I was a little annoyed at myself for amping up about "only a 5k left" to then be walking half a mile into that 5k portion!!
But I just could not push on!!

Between mile 10.5 - 11.5 it was a constant run then walk.
I was experiencing being super hot to then chills.
I had to push the thoughts of overheating out of my head or otherwise, I would have psyched myself out.
I mean, I for sure was...remember that 96% humidity I mentioned?!?!
But I didn't want to focus on it and let it get the best of me.

Just before mile 12, there was a hill...nothing like the hills in my first Half, but a hill noentheless.
The course had been pretty flat, so I can't complain, but I knew in my heart that I wanted to put the pedal to the metal at the 12 mile marker, so I walked up that last hill so I could save my energy for going down it and then finishing strong!

Mile 12 and it was go time!
I took off running.
Not super fast quite yet, but I knew I was in the home stretch!
1 more mile.
That's it!
That's nothing!

There was another slight hill, that when I first saw it coming, it broke my spiri.
But I said I wasn't going to walk any this last mile, so I tackled that hill and it actually wasn't that bad.
Just down that hill and around the corner was the finish line and I couldn't wait to get there!

My husband was standing on that corner with his phone held up ready to snap my picture!
I was happy to see him and he rassured me that I was almost there!

Once I turned the corner, I knew I had about .2 miles to go till I crossed that line.
I picked up my speed and sprinted those last 2 tenths strong.
My left knee was pounding with every stride, but I knew once I crossed that line, I could stop for good.
And I wanted that more than anything!!

I believe in a strong finish and that's what I gave!
(even if I looked an absolute hot mess in those finish line chute photos!!)

I was immediately bombarded with my finisher's hat, medal, water, banana, and my ice cold wet towel to put around my neck!

I stood off to the side and waited for my friends to finish

And for my husband to make his way to me.
Where he happily told me that he PR'd in his 5k. BIG TIME!!! 26:33.
1. He wanted to get under 30 minutes.
2. His last 5k PR was 32:something
3. That beats my 5k PR of 26:46 :)

I was pretty proud of him but also secretly vowing to get the family 5k PR back!

And, oh yeah, I PR'd my half time!

All in all!
It was a great race.
Leaps and bounds better than my first Half.
I just felt so much more prepared for this one.
Cooler temps would have been nice, but I enjoyed it anyway!
And beer after a race makes it 10x better!

And I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to my boo, Hines Ward (retired Steelers player) who competed and finished in the Kona, Hawaii Ironman 140.6 mile Triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run)

So freaken Bad Ass!! And what a huge accomplishment!!!!

Man, this post makes me want to just go all out and kick this Monday in the teeth!
Have a good one!!


  1. Congratulations on both of your PR's! There is nothing worse than having to walk in a race... it makes you feel so defeated! However, it doesn't look like it slowed you down too much, that is an incredible time!

  2. What a race!!! It sounds amazing and how you pushed through in that humidity is beyond me!! I still have yet to find the Salted Caramel GU. May have to order online I guess. I also trained with some NUUN this past weekends long run- have you tried it?

  3. What What - you guys kicked bootay in your races, CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!

  4. That sounds like a fabulous race girlie!! I'm glad it was just what you needed. You are a rock star!

  5. that's awesome!! and I love me some Hines!!

  6. So awesome!! I have tears in my eyes WAY TO GO!!!!!

  7. Awesome job!! I love reading recaps :)

  8. OH MY GOSH!! That time is so awesome! Way to go Kyra!!!