Well I did it again. This is my third Little Rock half marathon finish. I knew what to expect out of this race as far as the route and the number of people. This year was different in that it was expected to be a lot colder than the previous two years. Also, I managed to procrastinate and didn’t get a hotel close to the race route. This put me in a position where I would have to either drive or use the hotel shuttle and hope it gets me there in a timely manner. Also this year, the race was four days after my father’s leg surgery and so my mother would not be attending with me. This put an end to what was becoming a family tradition. Who am I kidding? She’ll be back next year.
The expo seemed smaller than previous years. I’m not sure if there were less vendors or if the huge display at the front took up so much space. I did manage to get a new headband to keep my ears warm. It says “Will Run for Margaritas” I am a big believer in truth in advertising. I talked to my friends at Go Running!. Then I spend 5 dollars to spend seven minutes in the Aqua Massager.
The Aqua massager was interesting. You place yourself on a table face down with a whole to put your face through to breath. They put a top on top of you similar to a tanning bed but instead of light it squirts water. There is a plastic lining that is against your back. The water then shoots down on your back in a forceful spray similar to the type of “shower massage” you find on some of the fancier showerheads. Although you don’t get wet. The water shoots in a horizontal line that goes up and down your backside from your neck to your feet and back up to your neck again. It was relaxing but a little rough on my neck. Maybe I should have scooted up. I also could definitely tell how tight my quads were after getting off that thing.
I carboloaded with my friends Rebecca, John, and Sophie (aka the most awesome six year old in the world!) at Lily’s Dim Sum, Then Some. Cold Sesame Noodles are carbs. Yes they are. I also had the Dim Sum platter with all of the different Dim Sum that they offer: Chinese potstickers; Wasabi Pork Shaw Mai, Shrimp Dumplings, and Vegetable Goyoza. It’s meant for two people but I was eating it as dinner. GOOD!
I woke up at 4:30 with some weird soreness in my left glute. I was worried and PISSED. It’s four thirty in the fucking morning on race day. What the hell?! I finally went back to sleep but it wasn’t restful. I woke up with my alarm and I didn’t quite know where I was. I had a weird dream but I don’t remember enough of the details to recall it down. I just remember being very confused. I brushed my hair and put it into a ponytail. SNAP! It broke. Wait. I haven’t run without my hair in a ponytail. I am frantically searching through my bag. No ponytail holder. I am searching through the suitcase. I am searching through the little bag that had my toothpaste and other toiletries. Still no ponytail holder. Houston, we have a problem.
This was a big deal. Running is more mental than anything and that swinging hair was really going to mess with my concentration. I ate French Toast at the hotel and then drove myself to Walgreens. Then I drove myself to the race site. WEll to Heifer International which was semi-close to the race site.
My lower back was hurting. I had to use the restroom. I stood in line for what seemed like a thousand years to use a porta potty. Then I noticed the massage therapists. The line was short. Hell yeah, I took part in that perk. Whatever he did, the therapist got that kink in my back out just in time for me to make it to the “open corral” in the back. By that point, the race had already started and I started walking forward to the starting line.
THE RACE ITSELF
I used Runkeeper to keep myself with intervals of 45 seconds of running and one minute thirty seconds of walking. The first four miles were faster than any of my training runs previously but I felt good so I didn’t even attempt to slow down. I could tell by the log that I was slowing down slightly but I still felt pretty good until about mile 7. Then I got tired. The incline towards the capitol wasn’t pleasant.
Mile 9 in front of the First United Methodist Church of Little Rock was my last hurrah. The steep elevation to the Governor’s Mansion was a killer. Then right after that, my cell phone that I was using for my background music (via Pandora) and my “running coach” died. Well, the battery was out. I knew that there was no way to beat my personal best and no way to do worse than my worst time unless I crawled so I just walked the rest. I didn’t pay attention to pace. I attempted to jog one last time near Vino’s at Mile 11 1/2 but my quad trembled and Isaid “Okay leg, you win.” I continued to walk the rest of the way.
My 10K time was 1:44:14 which was recorded as a pace of 16:47. My Run keeper stopped at distance 10:24 miles with a time 2:54:20 and a pace of 17:01. My finish time was 3:56:47 with a pace of 18:05. Not my best but not my worst. Overall, it was a fun race. No particular bad pain but a nice journey.
I got my medal. I didn’t see anyone I knew by this point. Most of them had finished earlier and were long gone. I started to wait for another massage but for whatever reason, this year, you had to stand in line to wait for one. Screw that. I went back to my hotel and went to bed for a nap.