Saturday, July 9, 2016

Red, White, and Boom Half Marathon Recap

State #29: Minnesota
The Red White and Boom Half Marathon was quite a bit more challenging than expected for several reasons. First, the elevation map on the website is inaccurate. The hill climb is not between mile 6-8, it is from about mile 4-6. In addition, there were several other steep hills that I didn't expect, and even some unexpected gentle rolling hills throughout.

The race was well organized, and it was a very pretty run through some local parks, over the historic Stone Arch Bridge, and along the Mississippi River. It was an honor to run through yet another American city which I've only read about in texts, and seen pictures online. It was an added blessing to be able to run this on our nation's birthday, The Fourth of July!
July 3rd: Twins vs Rangers! What a great game! Go Twins!
One of the great plusses running these races is that I always meet someone who I connect with. This time it was Karen. At the start,  when everyone is trying to push through last minute doubts, race/run anxieties, and race excitement, I noticed a young lady standing next to me. I was impressed by the fact that she polished her nails red and blue for the Fourth of July! She was also wearing a cute red, white, and blue bra top! I admired how coordinated she was! I'm so fashion dumb! I should have put more thought into running on the Fourth of July! Karen and I got to talking - her race goal 1:44. I told her that my race goal was 1:40.

Unfortunately, after the first mile, I knew that I was never going to keep up a 7:40 pace. My legs felt heavy, and I was exhausted. Three weeks suffering with a Crohn's flare up (and still counting) took its toll. I started the race already dehydrated, and felt it in the heavy legs. I was happy to get through the race without having an accident. I stopped at every water station and drank a full cup of water. At around mile 7.5, I actually drank two full glasses of water! I've never done that before! And believe me, as an RD, I had better known to hydrate pre-race - and I did - I probably drank close to 40 ounces of water pre-race!

I can't even say that it was very hot, either. The race started at 6:30am, and there was an easy cool breeze for the entire race. The weather was lovely!

Some depressing highlights:
  • I got passed by a man pushing a baby stroller!
  • I had a back spasm for the last 1.5 miles  - probably from losing so many electrolytes starting at 4am that morning!
  • I had lots of tummy cramps throughout - residual Crohnnie pain.
  • I couldn't run fast enough to get to the next water station - I was so thirsty!

Some uplifting highlights:

  • I refused to quit, even when my tummy and back cramped up on me
  • I only stopped to drink water
  • I met an awesome female runner (Karen)
  • And, wait for it ....
I don't know how, 
but I managed to take 3rd in my age group!

21 out of 29 states I have placed 1, 2, or 3 in  my age group!

And as for Karen: Congratulations girl you rocked it! 1:40 - better than her ETA! And 2nd place age group win! Even better - her 11 year old son finished in 1:50! Eleven years old! Keep up the great job dude!

And ... Ron ran another 5K! He's keeping up his bargain to run the 5K's offered at every half!
Congrats, Ron!
Post race highlights:
Watching the fireworks on the Stone Arch Bridge above the Mississippi
Happy 2016 Fourth of July!
Yeah, I got a little tearful - not because the fireworks were beautiful, or the sound of every boom was felt in my chest - but because when I paused to look around, this is what I saw:

  • People of every color with various ethnic origins, from every continent - Africa, Asia, America, Europe (East and West), South America, possibly Australia but I couldn't tell for sure. 
  • Some people wore shorts and a tee-shirt, while others wore traditional ethnic or religious clothing, and others displaying their rainbow colors - proud to honor those lost in the recent terror in Florida. 
  • Some people spoke English, some Spanish, and others Russian, Korean, and Farsi - you name it, there was variety!
  • Some people were walking, while others were in wheel chairs. 
  • There were little children running around, and senior citizens, who planned each step carefully. 
Right there, on the Stone Arch Bridge in middle America!

Because that's what America is all about - 
accepting and appreciating everyone's differences! 
God I hope we don't lose ourselves.
Praying for a peace in the USA.

Train Smart Today!
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