Melissa Runs

Sometimes, Melissa runs her legs. Sometimes, she runs her mouth.

Tag: Little Rock Marathon

Little Rock Marathon 5k

It’s been a while. Life got in the way of running and posting on this blog. I lost my way and I am making my way back. I intend to do more running and more writing about the running in 2017. Stay tuned.

I signed up for the 5K that is part of the Little Rock marathon on New Year’s Eve last year. I had received an email notice that the price was going up January 1st and realized that I hadn’t run any races in 2016. I was feeling rather sad about that and took the joie de livre spirit of the new year to sign up. The Little Rock half marathon was my first half marathon. It is a friendly race with lots of assistance along the race route. Also, it has enthusiastic crowd support along the route. I decided to start small with the shortest race offered. I figured I could finish this barring dismemberment.

My hunch proved to be prophetic. Not long after New Year’s Day 2017, I managed to get some sort of lung infection that sent me to the doctor on three separation occasions. I spent the next two months pretty much tired and wheezing. I was sick and tired and sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was the embodiment of that cliche. So was half the population in Arkansas in the beginning of 2017. I was working the minimum necessary to keep the office open while I rested and tried to heal. Finally, the third office visit to the doctor proved to be the charm and I was able to breathe deep breaths. It felt like forever since I had been able to do that.

On the day of the race, I took a big breath, took my last z-pac pill, and decided that if I could breathe, I could walk. I had no intention of running even one step. I picked up the packet the day before and got a very lovely lime green tech shirt. I was pleasantly surprised that the 5k offered a tech shirt and will be using it during future runs. I don’t think I have purchased a tech shirt from a store in years. I just use old race shirts. The expo seemed smaller than previous years but the beloved local running stores and Sparkle Skirts made an appearance so all was well.

The route itself was a scenic little jaunt from downtown Little Rock to Heifer International to the Arkansas Arts Center and then circled back around to a street downtown near the expo entrance. Heifer had their own fundraising drive for this race. As such, they had a large crowd cheering on the runners and had painted some inspirational messages on the street in front of their headquarters.

I arrived in Little Rock ten minutes until the race was to start so even though I didn’t intend to run, I think I ran a few steps in the attempt to make it to the starting line before the race began. I got there during the national anthem. It was a lovely sunny day with a temperature in the 50s (I think). It was perfect race weather. There was also a simultaneous 10k going on the same time and there were several thousand people out there. (according to race literature). Still, compared to the marathon, it is a small race and felt like a cozy gathering at the beginning.

BOOM!

The race begins. It felt hard. My muscle memory remembered going faster. My barely well lungs and not running for a whole year muscles were not having going faster. Even though I didn’t run, it felt like I was working harder than I thought a walk was going to be. It wasn’t unpleasant but it was harder than I thought it was going to be and that was emotionally taxing for me. It was the friends I saw along the route that made it for me. My friend Peggy, a fellow criminal defense lawyer, briskly walked by me first. She is raising money for MS and has been making great strides in that endeavor. I saw my friend Darlene from the Hot Legs. That’s my running club. I saw my friend Rebecca and her four-year-old son Alex. I had my turtle friend.

Alex’s and my experience with this race were surprisingly similar. We started out strong. We got tired in the middle and wanted to quit. Then we looped back to meet the 10k runners and were happy to be near the finish. Then we were happy as clams to get a shiny, sparkly medal.

Little Rock Marathon…er… 10K… 2014 Recap

My first “big race” was the Little Rock Half marathon in 2009. Out of a sense of tradition, I have run this race every year since. One year, I ran the 10k because the half was sold out by the time I signed up. This year, I signed up for the 10k due to the fact that I hadn’t run more than 3 miles since June of 2013. My performance at the One Hour Track Run indicated this would be a good idea. Theoretically, I could have finished the half. In fact, I finished the 2010 half with little training and a back spasm during the race. I was dead fucking last and I was incredibly sore for over a week. I didn’t want to put myself through that again. I signed up for Grand Prix this year. I have five more races to run.

The Little Rock Marathon is known for having a great route with some challenging hills, great support, and the biggest medal in racing. This year the theme was EPIC!

About a week before the race, the weather gurus on the television started murmuring about a “winter storm” and “sleet” that may come through on race day. This sounded almost magical since the temperature was sunny and in the sixties but this is Arkansas and I know better. All the runners sat glued to the TV and social media wondering “should I go?” “What should I wear?” “Is it going to sleet during the race? NO?”

This seemed to be the prevailing wisdom. Based on my calculations, I was running the 10k. The 10k starts at 8 a.m. I should be done before anything bad. It will be cold. It was cold last year. I can do this. I have gloves, ear warmers, and a trash bag. I am going.

It started raining as I was walking to my car from my apartment. It was cold. It continued to rain as I walked from my parking space to the starting spot. It may have stopped for a little while. I went to the “perks pavillon” and warmed up by one of the heaters. I saw a running friend who was doing the marathon. I saw many of my friends as I walked to my corral. Then it started raining again.

In an effort to control the crowd the race itself started in waves. I didn’t officially start until some 8:40. Standing outside for 45 minutes in that weather was one of the more miserable experiences in my life. I was questioning my sanity. Then I quit questioning my sanity and came to the realization that “yes Melissa, you are indeed crazy.” Then it was time to actually run.

My medal and my time. BOOM!

My medal and my time. BOOM!

As far as the race itself, I felt good. I had low expectations for my pace and “ran” it via the Galloway method with 1:05 splits. I didn’t feel tired and didn’t seem to be overexerting myself. I warmed up enough after I ran that I almost took off the trash bag. Then the wind started to blow and I was glad I kept it on. Due to the weather, there weren’t nearly as many volunteers and spectators cheering us on but we the runners were cheering each other on. My quads did cry uncle when I attempted to run up the Broadway bridge on the return trip to Little Rock (around mile 5) and so I walked it. Then when it came time to go back down, I started the running again. I slowed down to pick up my lip gloss and I finished. I felt good. I smiled a lot near the end. I was glad to finish and it felt surprisingly uneventful.

I got a printout of my “tentative finish time” and went to get my massage. I always get the “perks” and one of those perks is a massage. The other perk is that I have access to these outdoor heaters. Seriously, if you sign up for the Little Rock Marathon, pay for the perks. The perks are better finisher food, heaters, portapotties, and massages. You want this folks.

It wasn’t until I got home and had time to think that I realized that my pace for this race was a good 2 minutes per mile faster than the One hour track run and 30 seconds faster than anything I had “run” in months. Considering that I hadn’t run more than 3 miles in a long ass time, I think this is one of my better races.

But seriously, that is the limit of the bad weather I am willing to take to win a medal. That was horrible: wet AND cold.

In fact, the weather was so bad that about an hour after I finished, the race directors rerouted the race and cut it short. People were picked up on busses and taken to the finish line. A storm was coming complete with lightning. We ended up having sleet and schools were closed the next day. It was indeed an EPIC experience. Thanks Little Rock marathon for an experience I will never forget.

2011 Little Half Marathon recap

Winner Winner Chicken dinner

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!

RACE DAY

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.

© 2017 Melissa Runs

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

WordPress Web Hosting