Half Marathon #48

Triple D Half Marathon – Race Recap

On Saturday, January 13, 2018 I hopped into my car and made the drive to Durango, IA. It was a cloudy day and temps near the 10 am start were “feels like -6 F.”

Ok rewind…. yes, that is the temperature and yes I was going to run 13.1 miles in it. I should also let you know that I have been running in this cold and am acclimated to it. I think my last run indoors was almost a year ago.

Gear: Orange Mud vest pack 1, XX21 France 2, Spibelt, Pearl Izumi gloves, BUFF(R) ThermoNet, Garmin Forerunner 935, Zensah compression socks, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Craft Storm pants, Adidas boy shorts, UA Horizon trail shoes, B1G hat, Champion sports bra, Danksin tank, Lululemon t-shirt, Nike thermal turtleneck, Orange Mud pullover.

The event is small, but hosts quite a few events. There is a bike event and poker ride that starts earlier in the day. Along with the half marathon at 10 am, you could run a marathon or 50k. A 5k was on the schedule 15 minutes after the longer running events. If there were snow on the ground, cross country skiing was encouraged.

I still needed to register, and reading the website I knew that it was possible on race day. I parked, for free and easily in a gravel lot close to the start/finish and the bar that was hosting the event.

I walked in, wrote a check and in return I received a bib, unisex cotton t-shirt, 2 stickers and 2 Hammer gels. I used the indoor bathroom before returning to my car.

Back to my car I continued adding all my layers. The key to winter running is wearing the proper layers, but to still be able to move. Also, I didn’t want to stand outside any longer than necessary, this is where I get cold, I need to be moving and I am fine.

At 9:45 I made my way to the start area for announcements, and of course we had to wait. I tried to walk around or run in place, I could feel my toes getting cold… I knew I just needed to get moving.

Announcements were made about the event. The entry fee went to maintain and create new trails in the area. I also assumed it went to the user fee too. There was mention of the turnaround spots too, the half and full were out and backs. I was glad I was not running the 50k, it was the marathon course, but when you came across the marathon finish, you went out and back the other direction to make up the distance.

We were reminded to make sure our bibs were visible when we finished as there was no chip timing.  Then it was time to run.

All that standing around, my toes were cold, well it was getting to the point where I couldn’t feel them. It took a mile or so until I was comfortable with the temperature and could feel them again.

The race did not have a lot of participants. Maybe 50 people, I am not good with guessing crowd size. The runners thinned out fast. I fell into my pace and could just see the guy ahead of me.

I mentioned this is a self supported event. This should not be overlooked. Bring everything you need, no matter what distance. There is NO ONE on the course, no spectators, no volunteers, no law enforcement, no mile markers….NO ONE! Which is also just fine, it’s a flat, crushed limestone trail and this is advertised. The one thing you want to make sure is your hydration doesn’t freeze. * I did this by adding electrolyte to my water.

After mile 3 ish I could see a chair lift, and as I got closer, I could see I was running at the base of Sundown Mountain, which is a ski “resort.” Yes, you can ski in Iowa. All these runs on this trail and I just realized this.

Just before the half way point, I started seeing people coming back. It was nice to see some humans. I made the turn around and made sure to drink and eat some Nutter Butter bites.

During this race I thought of the first half as adding miles and the last half it was a countdown of how many miles I had left. I looked forward to seeing the ski resort again, and then I knew it was just a few more to go.

I listen to music when I run races, usually on shuffle. Just when I needed it one of my favorite running songs came on. Eminem’s “Til I Collapse” and all the sudden I was passing the guy I had been trailing… “Music is like magic, there’s a certain feeling you get….”

That song got me pumped so after passing that guy, I came upon another guy…it feels to pass guys, lol. I made sure he was ok and was going to keep going…but he asked me what mile we were at, then we chatted for a bit. I thought I was ahead of him and out of no where we were running together again. This didn’t last long and I pulled ahead..woohoo!

I crossed the finish line with a Garmin time of 2:21 and a distance of 13.1. I claimed my finisher medal, which is a cool hand cut design of the logo and doubles as a bottle opener.

I walked the 50 feet or so to my car to get a change of clothes. The key to staying warm is to get that sweaty layer off. I talked to the RD about the post race awards and raffle. He said they were waiting for everyone to finish, but I think he meant the half distance. There were still some longer distance runners out on the course.

I wanted to stay for the raffle as I heard there were skiing passes, but I needed to get on the road as I was going to an Iowa wrestling meet and it was supposed to snow.

I grabbed some post race pizza. Usually I hate pizza after a run, for my pace it’s been sitting there and tastes like cardboard…. however the bar provides HOT, FRESH pizzas, it was delicious!! I also had a bottle of G2. There was water available, and I am not sure if beer would have been provided too.

As luck would have it the awards started while I was still eating and then it was time for the raffle. I did win!! Ok, with the amount of prizes and the number of people present it would have been weird if I didn’t. However, I won some Hammer gels…. I took them, but I shared them with someone who would appreciate them.

It was getting close to 1 pm, so I departed and made the trek back to Iowa City.

I really like the Heritage Trail, so I like the opportunity to run on it when I can. It’s also nice to have a longer distance event in the middle of winter in Iowa, those are very rare. However, I paid $60….. yes, it was race day and I did get a shirt and stuff, but there is no chip timing and no course support. I am sure I will be back though, just need to sign up earlier.

If you ran don’t forget to write a review at bibrave.com or claim your results at Athlinks.

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2017 Recap

You know you’re old when you find yourself saying “That year went fast!”

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I feel like I was just telling you about running a marathon a month, and that was over a whole year ago. 2017 came and went, and while I didn’t have any huge goals, I guess I accomplished a few things.

  1. I ran 100 miles per month, so I have now done that for 2 years!!
  2. I ran in a new state – Michigan
  3. I completed 32 races (I think?)
  4. I ran 1700 ish miles.
  5. I joined the Zensah Ambassador Team
  6. I have a total of 161 BibRave reviews
  7. I joined the Shokz star program with Aftershokz

January – The year started in Florida, wahoo!! I really need to find out how to be a snowbird. Before a not so great Outback bowl, I ran the Spring Hill Half Marathon, only to return to Key West weeks later for another half marathon, I am still dreaming about the key lime pie. I came back to Iowa for the Amana Freezer race, it’s a must run.

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February– The weather was all over the place for February, I volunteered and ran the Freezefest 5k in Iowa where temps topped 50 degrees. Then a week or so later headed to Chicago for a 10k with freezing temps!!

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March – The weather stayed really cold for March, but I was able to help with the Shamrock Shuffle and run the inaugural 6.34 km.

April – This was a big race month for me. I ran the Easter Egg Scramble in Davenport. I was gifted an entry to the Hawkeye 50k – and it was unseasonably HOT, I managed a good fall and found a friend to chat with during those miles. I then ran the Illinois Marathon a couple weeks later with my BRF Heather!! I wasn’t done with April, I closed out the month with a half marathon as part of the Drake Relays– where is was cool and rainy. I guess I remember the weather.

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May – I love to race… so I started May with the Ganzo’s 5k and the Red Shoe half marathon, just a week after the last half, and 2 weeks from my last marathon. I then added some 10ks to the month with the Bear Stampede and Madison Twilight event.

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June – I started the month off with a 5k in Blue Grass, where my niece ran her first ever mile race and kicked butt!! Then it was time to focus on Grandma’s Marathon – my 3rd one there, will it ever be cool again? I rounded out the month running a marathon relay with Josh on our 10th wedding anniversary. We then took some time off and ventured to run a trail or 2 in NE Iowa, which lead us to the Interact 5k .

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July – I started the month helping with the Fifth Season Race and presenting at the expo – I still make and sell my headbands. We then traveled to Chicago for the Big Ten 10k, which is always a fun event to represent the Hawkeyes and meet all my Chicago friends.

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August – I ran a hometown race to start the month, then listened to the RunIowa podcast with fellow Corridor member about a race in a quarry, so of course I had to run that too! Then it was time to bring back the crazy, 2 races in one day- the Madison Mini and the Dam Backpocket 7 miler – which is always on the warmest day of the year.

September – This month brings football, so I was able to squeeze in some races between tailgating. NewBo was Labor day weekend as well as Run With Carl. and then I ran 2 races in the same weekend – The Pleasant Creek 30k and  then my 45th half marathon, The North Face ECS.

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October – This month put me on the road with a 10k in New Lenox, IL to kick things off. Then I put on my volunteer hat and worked the starting area for the Chicago Marathon. After that Josh an I hit the road to Detroit, for my first ever race in Michigan. Then I went to Louisville for maybe, one of the most fun post race parties ever at the Urban Bourbon. This race even had me experimenting with cooking with bourbon.

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November – For the first time ever, I switched from a full marathon to a half marathon at the Madison Marathon. I also couldn’t resist the event as the Hawkeyes unsuccessfully played a football game the day before. I wrapped up the month with one of my favorite “turkey trots.”

December – I ran 0 races – GASP! I did however jump on board to organize a fun run in Iowa City. Then I went to my first ever trip to New York for the Pinstripe bowl and I made sure to run in Central Park.

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Looking ahead to 2018, I already have some things on my agenda:

  1. Log 2018 miles – running and walking
  2. Run CRANDIC – I plan to run this, I am also part of the committee putting this event on. I love the new challenge
  3. I am the new co Vice President for Corridor Running
  4. I will be running Grandma’s Marathon (& 5k)
  5. I have returned to BibRave as a Pro and a regional Captain. I have been with them since April 2014.

I hope to add more things for 2018, I really love running all the races, so in a way the goal is to find a way to be able to do that again.

I really don’t set goals, but rather what is the next challenge. Do you set goals?

If you want to follow me into the new year, I am on Twitter, Instagram , Bibrave, and Strava, oh and recently Athlinks.

 

Bibrave Partners with Athlinks

BibRave has a new partnership with Athlinks.

“Disclaimer: I am promoting Athlinks as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

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What is Athlinks?

  • An online collection of your race results. Find, share and claim your race results up to the last 10 years
  • Connect with friends – meet at a future race, have a friendly competition or cheer each other on.

I have been an Athlinks member since 2009 – it’s cool to have your race results all in one place. However, when I originally joined, I found myself having to add all my races to the database, and due to so many races, I gave up, it was a lot of work to search websites for results and wait to see if they were added.

Periodically since that time, I would check in and some of the bigger races would show up on my profile to claim. That is easy, the system recognizes your name and you just hit the “claim results” button.

Now, I am willing to give the website another try. There have been many changes to the site to make it more of a community.

You can follow friends, when you follow them you can see if they raced the same events as you. This stat also tells you if you won or lost against them in that event. It’s a nice friendly competition, but when you are a slow runner, seeing all the losses on your profile isn’t a great feeling, ok so maybe it’s a little motivating.

I also am having an issue following accounts that are private. They can follow me, but I can not follow them back. I can also not see who my followers are, unless I go through my emails. *Maybe I am just missing something?

You can also add future events to your profile to see who will be there, complete with a countdown. This allows you to put in your time goal as well.

There were a few other things I am still struggling with:

  • My PR’s are not accurate. I have a couple marathon relays on my resume and they are counting that as my marathon PR.
  • I signed up 9 years ago, I can not change my email address to the one I prefer to use today. *I am working on getting this changed

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Moving forward – I am curious to see what incentives and discounts will be available. The website has grown, and in fact before January 8, 2018, those who sign up for a new Athlinks account or existing members who claim a new race result are eligible to win great prizes – from race entries into the Leadville Race Series and the Life Time Tri Series, to a one-year premium TrainingPeaks subscription. To learn more and “Win 2018”, visit https://app.athlinks.com/win2018/

As I continue to get email notifications, I will keep up with my Athlinks account just as I have in the past. Who knows maybe a giveaway will entice me to actually add the races that are not in the database.

You can get your free account online at Athlinks.com or get the app on your phone. If you want you can follow me too – https://www.athlinks.com/athletes/114826986

 

 

 

A Marathon in the Corridor

“Disclaimer: I am promoting Run CRANDIC as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check outBibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Have you heard?

There is a marathon coming to the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, IA area. Run CRandIC will be held Sunday, April 29th. There will be a marathon that starts near the NewBo area of Cedar Rapids and finishes at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. In addition there will be a half marathon that starts at the UICCU (University of Iowa Community Credit Union) in North Liberty and finishes at Kinnick Stadium, and a 5k starting at NW Junior High in Coralville.

To say that I am excited, is an understatement. A MARATHON IN MY TOWN!!! I have traveled a lot of places, just to run a marathon. There is a 50k about 10 miles away ( I need to register for that)…but the closest marathon is one hour away.

Crandic – if you noticed, those are the letters that make up “C”edar “R”apids and “I”owa “C”ity. You also see this train image, what does that all mean? Well, here is some information from an article in the local newspaper:

“There’s so much history in the name CRANDIC, and for a good chunk of this run you’re running immediately adjacent to the tracks,” he said.

According to the CRANDIC website, the first electric cars began carrying passengers between the two cities in August 1904 over what was known as the “interurban.” Ridership began declining in the early 1950s as cars became more affordable, it said, and the last passengers were carried on the rails in May 1953.

Its freight business continued, the website said, and now operates “60 miles of mail line track and nearly 40 miles of industry track and switching gears,” carrying over 90,000 carloads every year. “

The Crandic railroad was the link between to the 2 cities, and so the name was born. However, and if you read the article…. (please ignore the 26.6 mile comment – we all love Josh S…but he is not a runner, lol) this race has been years in the making. There was always the obstacle of getting from point A to point B.

Enter – all the parties involved. This is a HUGE event, so in addition to the economic development groups and the CVB (and everyone I am missing) – Corridor Running was asked to help with the inaugural event.

You already know I was excited, but now my running club was asked to help.  After I stopped doing cartwheels, I stepped up to be one of the club members to be part of the planning process. Squeeee!!!

I will not bore you with planning details and all the meetings… so many meetings… seriously… there are a few meetings involved… oh and some emails. I am kidding, I am loving it. I have already felt the pressure to make sure this is a great event, getting the route planned was a feat, but it’s something I know we will make great!

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The website has more specific details provided, I just felt the need to share my excitement!

If you have been perusing the website you might have noticed the first price increase is Dec 16th. If you want the best race, I encourage you to sign up before December 15th, 2017 at midnight. http://runcrandic.com/registration

My current plan is to run this as my 25th marathon (we’ll see if that happens,) so if you are in the area and want to “train,” look me up. I may not be as familiar with the Cedar Rapids area, but I have run the half marathon course, and there are some hills!

Luvo Meals – Order Anywhere, Anytime

Luvo – Order Anywhere, Anytime

“Disclaimer: I received Luvo Mealsto review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check outBibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

If Luvo sounds familiar to you, you are remembering when I tried the meals earlier this year. While I enjoyed the steam pouches and bowls, it was tough to find them locally. Why try them again? This time I could order online!!! Plus, it makes my life so much easier, not having to worry about cooking when I am busy.

I sat down at my laptop, typed in www.luvoinc.com and began the ordering process. It was easy, I clicked on the “store” page and could see all the options available to me. Next to each meal is a small description, but underneath is a button to see the complete nutritional value information, and a button to add the meal to your cart.

I started clicking on my favorites to fill my cart with first. A pop up menu appears on the left of the screen, and gives you an option to return to shipping or checkout. There is also an option to change the quantity. I continued with this process until I was done. Easy and simple to walk through or edit.

When it’s time to checkout you do so by clicking the appropriate button. This is where I had a little difficulty. I wanted to use paypal, as it is one of the options. However, I wasn’t sure when or where to enter a discount code (BIBCHAT will get you 10% off.) I wasn’t sure if I logged into my paypal if I would be charged before my discount.

I eventually figured it all out, by being “logged” into paypal, I could enter my codes and I just proceeded to pay that way. It was a lot of back and forth, but I figured it out.

I received an email that my order was received. I kept receiving emails to notify where my meals were in the shipping process, along with tracking information. Then in 3 days, there was a styrofoam box filled with my meals, complete with dry ice, on my doorstep.

As I mentioned, these meals arrived at a busy time for me, it makes meal planning sooooo much easier. I do not care for having to prepare my lunch to take to work, I can just grab a meal, throw it in the microwave at work, and it’s done.

The meals themself are full of nutrients and maybe things I wouldn’t normally eat. They are also light in calories too, so depending on your needs you might need to add some eggs or eat 2 of them at once.

Another perk, the Luvo bowls line is already in a serving dish, no need to plate them. I found myself taking one on the go, in my car!

I thought the ordering process was comparable to any online ordering system, the paypal problem could have just been because I wasn’t logged in correctly. The meals arrive quick and are easy to prepare.

You can save 10% with code BIBCHAT  – simplify your holidays, let Luvo do the work – check out their store today! You can also find Luvo on TwitterFacebook – or Instagram. They have many informative articles about healthy eating too.

Check out these blogs: JessicaJenna

Trail Trot

Legend of the Fall 2017 – Race Recap

I think I have been running this race for the last 5 years ish. Nothing much changes, but if I don’t add it to my blog, did it happen?

I have added another review to Bibrave.com as well. I am the only one with a review, but really it’s one of my faves in Iowa City.

This race is always the morning of Thanksgiving. It’s our area “Turkey Trot,” yet it’s a difficult event, covering the trails through Hickory Hill Park. This year the weather was probably the best it’s been in years. It was about 40 or so degrees at the start, and there had been no precipitation leading up to race day, leaving the trails dry.

I registered online a few weeks before the event, so on race day I just needed to grab my bib. I am just about 2 miles from this race, so I always run to and from Regina High School, where it starts.

Gear: Black Sparkle Athletic Skirt, Zensah Compression socks, Chicago Marathon hat, Grandma’s 5k tech shirt, Orange Mud Pullover, Spi belt, XX2i France 2 sunglasses, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Under Armor Horizon shoes, Garmin Forerunner 935, Road ID, Buff(R), Pearl Izumi gloves

I arrived to discover they had moved the packet pick up and race day registration to the outside of the lunch room area. This was slightly congested. I had to wait in a line. I also think there were more participants than normal because the weather was so nice. I didn’t have to wait too long, and I receive a bib, timing chip to attach to my shoe and my long sleeve, cotton, unisex shirt.

I put my bib on my Spi Belt, attached my timing chip and looked for a place to stash my shirt – since I didn’t drive. I was then out the door, and waited near the starting line.

The start is on the track. Everyone waited around, and then was encouraged to move to the starting line, which was just a cone on the track I believe. People just jumbled up together. There were some announcements and then it was time to race.

The race went about 3/4 away around the track, allowing people to thin out before heading down the hill, into the woods and trails of Hickory Hill Park.

The area to run is narrow, so it’s hard to first get a position, so you just wait patiently for a place to pass. There is a hill within the first mile and people start walking, so if you wait it out, this is a good time to pass.

The trail twists and turns and goes up and down, over roots and leaves – your typical trail surface.

There are no mile markers out there, but you follow small yellow flags, which are easy to navigate. Close to the end there is always the short cut, or as they call it in this race – “the spicy way.”

I always take this cut, it’s on unmarked trail, through some trees and then a small creek crossing, with a steep climb out of the ravine. I always laugh at everyone hesitant to cross the water, and I always dash right though.

Once past this area, it’s not much further to the finish. With another 3/4 lap of the track, there is a blue timing mat to cross and you are done! A volunteer was clipping chips here, I just bent over and pulled mine off.

As I was running, I noticed a 6 pack of La Croix was running the race – ok so it was 6 people in costume. I had to get my photo with them. The one lady was like, oh yes – all costumed runners take a picture – um I was not in costume…but I guess plaid pants and a sparkly skirt will do that. They said they also used their costumes for a race the week before.

I walked back up to the school, browsed the post race cookie and dessert bar, grabbing a cookie bar and filling a cup with water. I sat down and ate, and listened while some awards were given out. Winners received pumpkin pie!

It was time to run home, I found my stashed shirt and left the building. I carried it in my hands and enjoyed the nice weather on the way home. I had just over 7 miles total for the day. It was time to get ready for my Thanksgiving plans at my sister’s house.

I really like this race – you can search my blog for past experiences. I will continue to run this event if I am in town, and you should too!

That’s a Wrap

Recap 2017 Miles in November

I really don’t know where to start… No one knows this, but I was hesitant to put this on again, mostly because I wasn’t sure if I would have the time to give it the proper attention. I also like to secure prizes or rewards for you all, and that takes some work on my part too.

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Pic cred: Sheryl

I then remembered why I do this, why it was started. It really isn’t about the prizes, but instead, getting your butt out the door and logging extra miles during a busy holiday season. I used this challenge to get moving, it was my lowest mileage month in a long time, but thanks to this group, I got out there and ran 100 miles!

First – I can’t say it enough, thank you! Running can be hard to describe to people who do not partake, however, tell them you found something that motivates and inspires, and suddenly we have people stepping out the door just to walk to the end of the street, get out of bed, and personally push me to host this. Also a HUGE thank you to the sponsors and companies that work with me on this. If you see one of the, let em know you are appreciative too.

Second – Friendship! I was introduced to a new to me local running group. I was also introduced to many new faces. I have a lot of people that “live in my phone,” and while we may never meet in person. It’s great to know I have expanded my friends.

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photo courtesy of Ara 

Third – Prizes, I will be in contact about getting these to you.

  • run CRANDIC entry – Monty B (column AO)
  • Aftershokz Trez Titanium headphones – Nicole Vanderlinden (column U)
  • Dunkin Donuts $100 Gift Card – Roy G (column BX)
  • Run/Medal sign – Cindy McCarthy (column CV)

Fourth – Congrats! I know there were struggles along the way, health issues, and just plain life that might have got in the way. However, you pushed yourself to work on a goal. You also might have learned a very important lesson (many runners suck at) listen to your body, no injury is worth it, and live to run another day.

If you have any questions about sponsors, prizes, or this group, please ask me. If you have any complaints, that department opens tomorrow… I kid…but feel free to reach out to me.

What is next? While I can not maintain the group beyond one month, or keep up with another spreadsheet. I encourage you all to post your monthly mileage, a selfie, or motivation in the FB group; this group is open all year round.

Housekeeping – I have contacted those who have asked for a head band or key chain, however there were a few that I have no contact information for. If you are reading this and would still like one, please let me know.