Monday, April 21, 2014

Mustang 50th Half Marathon Recap

If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or if you read yesterday's post, then you already know that I had a great time at the Mustang 50th Half Marathon on Saturday. :)

In a nutshell, I was simply out there enjoying the course, but I also pushed myself several times throughout the race. I enjoyed the scenery and the fact I was running on the speedway! I enjoyed the conversations I had with some of the other runners on the course. No PR, but I wanted to finish around 2:15, and I came pretty close. A PR would have been 2:11.

Mustang 50th Half Marathon Recap

Overall, I'm very happy with the day and the race I ran.

As promised, here is a recap of the day.

I crawled out of bed shortly after 4:30 am. I really should have gotten up earlier, as I had to shave my legs before the race. Foolishly, I'd decided to put this off until the morning when I should have done it before bed. *sigh*

Suddenly, it was after 5 am, and I was secretly hoping that George was running late, as there was no way I'd be ready in less than 15 minutes.

And the hurrying began. Despite having everything laid out, I still was running around a bit discombobulated, and then about 15 minutes from home, I realized I hadn't grabbed my watch. :(

Let's just say it wasn't exactly off to the best start.

Still, there was a fun energy as we drove to the Las Vegas Speedway! We arrived in plenty of time to check our gear bags and hit the lines for the port-a-potties. IT WAS A ZOO! I don't think I've ever seen such a crowd. I really regret not taking a pic.

George lasted about 5 minutes before deciding that he could hold off. Me? Well, I kinda had a #2 brewing (TMI, sorry), and knew that would be an absolute recipe for disaster if I didn't take care of that before the race began.

So, I waited and waited. By the time I was I finished, I was about halfway to the start line when the gun went off. Thank goodness this was chip timed. :) Since I'd forgotten my watch, I started up an app on my phone.

I was kind of hoping to meet back up with George somewhere along the course, so I knew I'd need some good motivation to kick start the race. I plugged in my headphones and started off pretty fast. Probably wasn't the best idea, but I was secretly hoping for a PR, and thought maybe starting a bit fast wouldn't be so bad while it was still somewhat cool out.

Running on the speedway was an interesting experience. My shoes kept sticking to the ground! I don't think it really slowed me down at all, but it did make me smile. :)

Between miles 2 and 3, I saw George and Sarah up ahead, so I pushed it a little to sidle up alongside them. We ran together for a mile or so, and then, on a slight downhill, I caught a faster stride and just went with it.

I'd taken my headphones out when running with George and Sarah - partially to talk with them, and partially to save some battery power. The running app was sucking the life out of phone. FAST. But I kept it running without the music, in the hopes that would help.

No matter. I didn't really need the music. It was fun listening to the pounding of so many feet. The surrounding mountains were gorgeous. And the craziness of the course was distracting.

Mustang 50th Half Marathon recap
courtesy of MarathonPitStop

Plus without headphones, it's easier to strike up conversation with other runners, which made this race even more fun. In order to keep this post a somewhat manageable length, I'll share those stories in another post.

The race seemed to really fly by! I was running without any hydration, so I walked through all TEN water stops. I'd grab a cup of water at one of the first tables and then sip and walk until one of the last trash cans, throw out my cup, and continue on with the running.

At mile 10, I wanted some music. My phone was already down to 20+%. :( I turned off the running app entirely, so that I could have music for the rest of the race. I should have turned off the app much earlier, since I hadn't really been using it. Lesson learned.

I ran mile 11 hard and fast. Faster than I should have.

Because that was about the end for me. I was tired. And those final two miles seems to go on FOREVER. Seriously. I tried to keep going, and only walk through the water stops, but I ended up walking a good portion of mile 13. :(

I knew there would be no PR after all, but I still wanted to finish STRONG, and so as soon as I saw that Mile 13 sign up ahead, and I lengthened my stride and picked up the pace.

It felt so good to give it my all at the end!

I knew that George was behind me, but I didn't know how far. My phone was down to 10%, so I sent him a couple texts letting him know where I was waiting. It didn't matter, though, because I heard his name announced as he crossed the finish line, so I was able to find him easy enough.

After the race, we grabbed some water and snacks, posed for a couple official photos, and found a shaded area to sit and chat until the drawing for the car. It was a blast hanging out with so many Twitter friends - GeorgeOkinaka (of course, since he was my ride), Run_Ginger_Run (and her husband), runninrocker and MarathonPitStop, itsjustkatie (and her husband).

Mustang 50th Half Marathon recap
Run_Ginger_Run and her husband, me, GeorgeOkinaka, runninrocker

Lots of laughter and good conversation after the race for sure. Plus, since my phone was DEAD, MarathonPitStop was nice enough to snap a pic for me. :)

Mustang 50th Half Marathon recap

Unfortunately, official race photos are available yet. Stay tuned to social media for those. :)

For a one-time only event this was great! I felt like it was pretty well organized and didn't really have any major complaints. Well, except that they skimped a bit on the starting line port-a-potties.

Things I Loved
  • Packet pick-up was a breeze the night before.
  • Gear check was a breeze (before & after the race).
  • The course was very unique.
  • Gorgeous scenery.
  • Plenty of water stops.
  • Awesome volunteers.
  • Photographers past the finish line, so you could pose with your medal.
  • Cups of water at the finish line. Pouring water from the bottles into the cups helped ensure that there would be plenty of water for all the finishers.
  • The medal. It was heavier and bigger than I expected and the design was very cool. Even Jeff loves it and wants to display it!
Mustang 50th Half Marathon Recap

Things I Didn't Love
  • Only a handful of port-a-potties at the start line.
  • Cups of water at the finish line. Seemed so wasteful to empty plastic water bottles into paper cups. Plus, I really wanted a full water bottle for my Cocogo rehydration packet.
  • Finish line area. Was a little lackluster. Didn't seem very well laid out or very well-manned with volunteers. I had to grab my own medal, and they didn't have much for post-race food.  What they did have, you kind of had to find on your own.

Lessons Learned
I only have myself to blame for these.
  • When charging your devices the night before the race, do it in a place that is highly visible, so you don't forget your watch at home.
  • Actually apply the sunscreen that you put in your bag.
  • Shave your legs the night before.
  • Try to poo before you leave for the race.
  • Don't use a running app if you're not actually going to use it to monitor your pace throughout the race (aka don't forget your watch at home).
  • Snap some pictures. It's the first race in a long time that I didn't take any pics. I kind of regret that now.
Did you race this weekend? How did it go?

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  1. I've had a few races like that where miles 12 and 13 were brutal! But congratulations-- you ran strong and had a fantastic time!

  2. Great job Clarinda! It sounds like you're going to PR the half distance really soon if you keep this up!

  3. I always forget to take pictures during a race too.
    Maybe that means we are really focused on running;)

  4. Great race! Congrats! My phone battery has been lasting less and less during races, and I've stopped using it for Runkeeper altogether, and just play my music and take pictures. Okay, not a lot of pictures, but I am getting better. I learned at my race this past weekend running and taking pictures is definitely a skill I need to work on! :)

    1. Yeah. I'm not all that good at it, either, but some races I try harder than others. I really wish I wouldn't have turned the app on at all. I usually just have my watch, but since I forgot that, I guess I felt like I needed something, which in hindsight simply wasn't true. Oh well. C'est la vie.

  5. You had a great race! I still don't live in the smart phone ages, I just carry an IPOD. Running w/o music is hard! At least at a race there's a lot activity to distract you lol You looked like you had a fun group to meet up with :) I love the bling! I guess you didn't win the car...bummer.

    1. Nope no new car. :-( It was a really fun group to meet up with. I'm so glad that it worked out. And the bling is even cooler in person.

  6. Congrats on the race! Looks like a beautiful day. I never seem to remember to take photos either!

    1. Sometimes I take more pics on the course than before or after. Lol.

  7. Great job Clarinda!! That really sucks that you forgot your watch. I'm so used to wearing mine, I don't know what I'd do without it! I hope someday I get to run with you and George again!