Tuesday, October 29, 2013

#23 Rock and Roll St. Louis Half Marathon 10.27.13

I am quickly realizing that I am superstitious when it comes to running races.  I have trained with various running store groups in DC and St. Louis and have gone to many running-related workshops.  It is from other runners talking about their experiences and quirks, that I have picked up these superstitions.  

I go to a chiropractor who is amazing, and also happens to be a runner.  We had a discussion last week about compression socks.  He does not see the need for them while I have been using them since I started running in 2009 (based on a runner's recommendation), so I can't imagine going without them.  I typically only wear them during a race if it is a marathon, but will often wear recovery compression socks after half marathons.  I just can't imagine not packing them for a race weekend.

One of my former running buddies told me that he never wears the race shirt during the race so that he doesn't jinx himself.  I agreed with that and I also wanted to earn the shirt before I wore it.  So at the big races with nice shirts like the Rock and Roll races, thousands of runners wear the race shirt, yet I never will.  

I also try my hardest to not stop at the porta potties during a half marathon.  I have only stopped during a race twice out of 23 half marathons, but each time it threw off my momentum and the remainder of the race just wasn't as smooth as it was before I stopped.  As a result, I tend to eat and drink the same things the days leading to and the day of the race.  I find what works and I tend not to stray from it because of both fear and superstition.  I am not sure if all of this makes me crazy, or just a typical marathoner.  Either way, I don't see it changing.

My 23rd half marathon was last weekend, the St. Louis Rock and Roll race.  This is the 3rd year that this race has been part of the Rock and Roll series and the 3rd year I have participated in the half. As I was running Sunday I also realized that this was my 5th Rock and Roll race, the other two being Rock and Roll USA and Rock and Roll San Antonio.  I like these races because they are just massive like Disney races.  They bring in runners from all over whereas the other St. Louis races tend to pull primarily from the immediate metro area only.  The course took us through many of the great St. Louis neighborhoods and there were always runners and spectators around me.  This year's medal is probably my favorite Rock and Roll medal because of the cardinal.  Although I always enjoy this race, I will most likely not run it again in 2014 unless I also end up running the Rock and Roll USA race so that I can get the extra medal for running two in one year.  Materialistic?  Maybe.  But until you get one in your hand or around your neck at the finish line, you just won't understand.  

The 2014 medal with the prominent cardinal.

The swag bag, probably the best in the business!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Those 13.1 Miles Are Calling Your Name.....Again

I received this in the mail a few months back, literally days after discussing running this race again with my mom. It was like they read my mind!  Tonight I finally registered.  This time I will have to stop, drop, and kiss the bricks.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

#22 Go St. Louis Halloween Half Marathon

I wasn't sore after this race!!!  I am so excited that I am starting to see results with my increased training.  The course was a lot hillier than the Cowbell race and I could feel it halfway through the race.  The course overall was nice and different from the spring Go race, which allowed me to see different parts of town that I have yet to venture to.  Next year I am determined to find a costume that I can run 13.1 miles in and I think that I have convinced Mom and John to dress up and participate in the 5K.

I also found out that you can earn free tech shirts or race entries when you volunteer at the Go races and expos.  The half marathon requires 20 volunteer hours while the full marathon requires 30 volunteer hours, but they never expire.  It will take me a couple years but who wouldn't want to volunteer a few hours for a free race entry?  What a great idea!  I also LOVE the fact that Go St. Louis is a non-profit, so your race entry directly benefits a good cause which is not the case with the larger races that are for-profit.  Looking forward to #23.....

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

#21

Missouri Cowbell Half Marathon - October 6, 2013


I liked this race.  It was right in my backyard, it had a good expo (or they call it an ExMO), the medals are nice, the course is relatively flat and scenic, course support was amazing, plenty of people finished after me, and the post race festival was great as well.  The only complaint I have is that there were not enough porta potties at the start/finish line.  I also managed to shave 6 minutes off of my Roots, Blues, and BBQ Half Marathon time....which only means I was slightly less slow.  I have a few more races in Missouri before I head to Florida.  I have started taking my training more seriously and am starting to care more about my finish times rather than just simply finishing.  Anxiously awaiting #22...