Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Indianapolis (Half) Marathon Race Recap

Half #3 is in the books for the year! 3/4 of the way through my goal! As I said in a Facebook update it turns out I CAN run a 1/2 on 4 weeks rest. But, only if I don't want to be able to walk the next day.

Here were my thoughts heading into the race. Positive thinking!

1. At least my legs would be rested.
2. This is "just" a training race.
3. I had my pick of running clothes for race day as everything was clean (because I hadn't run for so long). Turns out, that wasn't true and I was hand washing my favorite shorts Friday night!
4. My music would sound good because I hadn't heard it for so long.

Mom came in on Friday morning and we took the kids to Conner Prairie to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather! I took one picture. Of a cow.

Then, we went over to the expo to pick up our packets. This is a small expo but the girls managed to find some headbands they couldn't resist. Thank goodness for Gram! :) 

Tom was kind enough to cook us a yummy dinner of pasta and chicken and then we were off to bed. But, not before laying out our gear. "Time to make history" seemed a bit ambitious for me!

We got up earlier than usual. The girls had their first gymnastics meet of the season and we were all going to miss it. I am so thankful for my neighbor and friend, Steph, who took the girls and Jack for the morning. And, my other friends, Jason (I'll give him the shout out here since I missed him on Facebook) & Tiffany, for recording their performances and sending it to me. Can't wait to watch them compete next month! 

We took off around 7AM and rolled into the parking lot around 7:30. Brrrr. It was cold! I ended up running in my shorts (as always), a running t-shirt, a long sleeve shirt and my running jacket. I tied the jacket around my waist around mile 3. We paced the parking lot before the start and snapped a picture. 

Then we were off! Mile 1 seemed to fly by. Our watches went off for 1mile at about 8:19 but we didn't hit the 1 mile marker until about 8:40 when our watches said 1.05 miles. My goal was to run the first 8 miles at an easy pace of around 9:15 and the last 5 at my goal half pace of 8:15. So, 8:40 was a bit fast. I told mom that I would fall back if mile 2 came in under 9. It did. 8:43.

We split up here. I watched her blaze ahead. She's in the pink with the green jacket.

I stayed steady around 8:50 to 9 minute miles. 

3 - 9:09 (Decent sized hill here)
4 - 8:50
5 - 8:47
6 - 8:47
7 - 8:54
8 - 8:59

I've said it the last two years (2012 Recap and 2013 Recap), but this is such a pretty race. This photo doesn't do it justice. It seems to hit the sweet spot of the season of fall leaves. One of these days, we'll have a bright, blue sky too!

At this point, I was feeling good. Honestly, I could have stayed right there and probably made it through at around an 1:55. But, I had a plan and I was going to do my best to stick to it. 

So, I changed up the playlist and took off. This is an uncrowded race and it was a little uncomfortable to just "take off." (It's a small-ish race with less than 1500 half runners.) But, remember? I had a plan. So, mile 9 was 7:58 and my goal pace is 8:15. A tad too fast. I think I caught up to mom around mile 10 and a water station. I kept at it and did 8:24 for mile 10. Not shabby but obviously, I was slowing down. 

Have I mentioned the hills on this course? No? Well, there are hills. And, there is a BIG one during mile 11 and I think there was more than one. My pace slowed considerably. Mile 11 was a 9:41. Mile 12 was a little better at 9:13 and my last mile was 9:18. Back to my "easy" pace I was supposed to have at the beginning. I can't even tell you how much worse this felt than the first few miles. 

I was just out of gas. It's times like this that I think about what actually feels bad. My feet hurt for sure. But, other than that, my legs didn't hurt, my lungs were fine, but I didn't have much left. I was surprised my time was as good as it was during those miles. At some point, I realized that I could get a course PR. I broke 2 hours at this race in 2012. I had in my head it was 1:57:50 something. 

I finished at 1:57:09. My 2012 time was 1:57:40. Pretty close. 

At the end of the race, I was bushed. I'm pretty sure I felt worse than after the full. My legs were wobbly and I had to go to the bathroom so bad! This is the only race where I almost stopped at the Port-a-johns on the course. I blame the extra Powerade I had that morning! I wondered over to the bathroom while mom got our gear. I came out to this!

Age Group Award Winner! Mom ended up with a 1:55:08. That is awesome. 

This is a really tough course. With the exception of the crazy hill at the end of the Steamboat race, and honestly, the hills of the Dawes 5K, this is by far the toughest running I have done in a race.

All in all? A successful day for all! A course PR for both of us. Just a flat-out PR for mom. And, I realized I could power through a race on too much rest. {Spoiler Alert: I'm going to try that again this coming weekend.}

I rounded out the night like I had the two previous years - at the Rotary Steak and Bake. I did spend three hours on the couch though first. My Garmin Vivofit step counter did hit a new record - 35,519 steps for the day. 

I'm so glad mom and I got to do this together! Even though we didn't actually run very much together, it was quite the experience to share! How many girls can say they did something like this with their mom? I hope mine can too someday. Thanks mom!

Indianapolis Half - 10/19/2014 (My 9th Half!)
Time: 1:57:09
Pace: 8:57
Overall Place: 322/1432 
Division Place: 25/141 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Fall Afternoon

I'm once again dreadfully behind on the blog. I'm also dreadfully behind on laundry. The world will go on. I owe a race racap from last weekend and I need to finish my trip to Dubai. But, for now, you'll have to deal with pictures of the kids.

I was bound and determined to get some photos of the kids around the beautiful fall leaves before they turned brown and the skies turned gray. Well, I got a few. Nothing spectacular, but I got out there. And, their hair wasn't brushed, their outfits were far from perfect, but I was determined.

That's all I got out of the girls. They ran off to play. Somehow I kept Jack's attention.

Dad made Jack a "phone" out of a spare paver from the new patio.

This is a totally new face.

Then, Jack showed us how to do a skin the cat. In slow motion and in fast motion.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Indianapolis (Half) Marathon This Weekend

I didn't add the exclamation point to the end of the post title. I have to say I'm probably the least excited about this race than any I've had to this point. I've undertrained (mainly due to the trip to Uganda which I wouldn't trade for anything) and honestly, I'm just not feeling my running mojo.

I missed three long runs (yikes!) but my longest was 11 miles which isn't too bad. It's just that it was three weeks ago. I've had two solid runs since coming home, but they're not long ones.

First run back on US soil...

Fall weather is the best running weather - just watch out for hidden sticks and walnuts.

Yes. Those are bugs on my neck and under my eyes. I also had some up under my hat. I wish it was because I was running so fast that I was taking them out left and right. Not so much. Just a run at twilight.

I know the excitement and butterflies will come. They always do. And, this is "just" a training run for my goal race on November 1st. My plan is to run 8 miles "easy" and 5.1 at "goal half marathon pace." I'm pretty sure I can do that. One step at a time right?

Plus, it can't be as hard as last year when I did the full. Perspective!

And, I realized that I have the most races ever out in front of me - 5! This weekend, November 1st, January in Texas, February in California and May back at the Indy Mini will round out 5 in just over 6 months.

Now that makes me a little more excited.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Day Eleven - A New Continent - Rotary International VTT 2014 - Kampala, Uganda

{This is a series in posts about our trip to Uganda for the Riley/Rotary Vocational Training Team. To start at the beginning, go to this post. Check out the team blog at rileyinternationalheartmissions.wordpress.com. If you visit the team blog, please leave a comment! The team loves to hear your encouraging words!}

Our last morning waking up at the Golf Course Hotel! I noticed this morning that the breakfast at the hotel didn't have much left that was appetizing. The food was really great the whole week but after having every day, I was ready for a change I guess.

We went over to the hospital to say our final goodbyes! (A note here: Ugandans don't like to say goodbye so they just say, "Until next time!") I brought my "good" camera but I'm afraid the pictures turned out a little blurry. Hopefully, I got a few good ones.

Everyone was doing great! A few kids were going to be moved down to the step-down unit today and a there was a rumor that Barbra and Patience will get to go home soon!


Stephanie and Princess' mom

Dr. Turrentine checking out Patience

The girls with Becca, an ICU nurse

The girls with Trina who spent nights in the ICU

Barbra and her mom

Patience and her mom

The ICU team didn't leave until later in the evening and so they went to Buganda Road market. This time by boda boda. The three of us heading to Dubai went up to the room to pack. We left for the airport a few hours early. I took some pictures out of the taxi window.

But first, a look outside our hotel room window.

All along the roads are these little nursery/garden areas. 

More construction


As I've mentioned previously, the traffic here can be really bad so we left early. Luck was on our side though and we made it to the airport without traffic problems. Luggage checkin was a different story! Eventually, we made it through and to the gate with really very little time to spare.

The flight to Dubai was uneventful and I slept lot of the way. Once at the Dubai airport, I realized how different these two cultures actually are! It was obvious even in the airport! More about that tomorrow!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Day Ten - Out and About - Rotary International VTT 2014 - Kampala, Uganda

Up and going early again today! This morning, a few of us went to the local radio station to be guests on a weekly program. Steph, Grace and President Jane discussed with the host and Dr. James (a cardiologist at UHI) about the Gift of Life Program in Uganda. It was an hour long and I think a lot of good information was passed along to the listeners. I got to sit in the adjacent room and drink tea while listening to the program.

After a little tea and coffee, we went back to the hospital to see the kids and to have a Celebration of Life party. We arrived to find Patience and Barbra in regular clothes! This really makes them look like they’re back to normal!

Barbra had a notebook for us to sign and give our addresses. When I asked her dad if I could give them my email, he said yes and that Barbra enjoys using his phone for messages. I sure I hope she does! The other families started collecting addresses as well.

Barbra’s dad also said that she had something for us. They brought this card. How great is this?!

This is the resident cat in the ward. He sure looks comfy!

Frederick was up and about as well. It is tough to get a smile out of him though!

Ukasha still looks a little tired and bothered by the wires, but has perked up a little anyway.

Then, there was one last meeting to discuss the last five years and the possibilities of upcoming trips for training. I have been told many times this week about how far UHI has come over the years. Especially this year it seems. There were fewer equipment issues which really has been impacted by items purchased by our Rotary Club through grants. As a non-medical person, it sure looks like UHI is capable of doing these surgeries on their own! 

Finally, it was time for the Celebration of Life party! Since this mission had most of the cases toward the end of the trip, only a few of the kids were able to come to the party. The families were all there though and everyone really seemed to have fun!

The big cake was a little late and arrived after we had already left the hospital. That didn't stop Patience and Barbra from bringing us some! They caught us just in time and before we piled in the van. This was their first trip outside!

We got back to the hotel around 2, I think. The schedule was really different this year and, since all of the cases at the end of the week went well and had no complications or patients still on a vent, we were not needed at the hospital. This gave us the opportunity to get out and explore a little on foot. In the 5 trips to Kampala, Steph had never had the chance to do this! I've said it before, but this really is a working trip for the team members. I think we spent over 70 hours in the hospital over the week we were there. And, this was an uncomplicated week in relation to previous trips!

A few locals had mentioned shopping at Buganda Road Market. So, armed with screen shots of the map on our phone and a smattering of landmarks from the front desk, we ventured out. I will admit that I was a little nervous doing something like this with no cell service and no maps, but quickly realized that we felt very safe and there was no need to worry. We did probably look a little out of place because it seemed like we were walking so fast! I've mentioned the slower pace before, but I think we probably really stuck out because of that, not to mention our skin tone. 

I am SO glad we were able to do this! There is just something about exploring a place on foot that gives you a different perspective of a city. 

On our tour earlier in the week, Oskar mentioned that the country had just finished a census. So, I had to take a picture of the statistics house. They were advertising the census on the outside of the building.

After hitting the market for souvenirs, we stopped at the Serena Hotel on the way back to our hotel. What a place! It was quite nice. I will mention that, to enter, you had to walk through a metal detector (not uncommon - same at the other hotels we entered this week) and your bags went through an x-ray machine. 

We saw two different weddings on the grounds.

Finally, back to the hotel! 

We worked on blogs and I was able to Facetime the kids. Dinner was at the revolving restaurant at the top of the hotel. A great last night to get together!

(This is a good place to mention that I am a few days behind on this blog! I'm already home! Hoping to get things finished up by the end of this weekend!)