Miracle Miles 15k Race Report

Sunday, September 25, 2011
I did it! After over a week of nervousness and anxiety over the 15k, I can proudly say that I conquered it! It really feels good to do something that you never thought you could possibly accomplish. I've learned in the last couple of years that I am so strong and capable of more than I could have ever imagined I could do with God's help. My faith has aided me so much in my journey.

Mom came with me for this race. I was hoping that my dad would also come along as this was another big race for me after my 10k back in March, but it didn't happen. I was so grateful that my mom gave up sleep to get up so early and wait around for me to finish.

We left the house at about a quarter before 6am since I was told the crowds for this event can get crazy. My parents house is about 30 minutes away from downtown Orlando where the race was, so the drive there was not bad at all. I was pleased to see that we got into a garage fairly quickly without any real waiting. I'm sure if I would have left the house much later it would have gotten more crowded. Parked the car and headed toward the race area. I had a lot of time before the 7:20am start time (I believe it was just after 6:30am when we got there), and that was a good thing. I had plenty of time to use the oh-so-fun port-o-lets, get some pre-race water and just try to relax (not really, but I tried!).

Before I knew it, time had flown by and the 15k race was about to get going. I got behind the walkers sign and got my iPod ready to go. Quite a lot of people were lined up for the race which was nice to see as this race benefits Winnie Palmer Hospital for preemie babies. The starting horn blared and feet began to move. I hit the starting line over two minutes after the clock started, so I took note so I had an idea of my actual timing versus the race clock. I also hit my iPod/Nike+ once I crossed the starting line, so that would be accurate at least on my time.

The first mile came easy, but about mile two, a challenge approached, brick road. I hate walking or running on brick. Especially since the brick is not even in the least with some being broken or loose. When possible, I went on the sidewalk. I couldn't avoid the brick all together though, as there were times that it was unavoidable. Not to mention the hills that seemed to come up here and there (guess Florida isn't COMPLETELY flat). I did pretty well up until mile 4. At that point, I began to have some back pain. I prayed that it would calm down and also massaged it a bit, but it still lingered. Since that was the case, I decided to stop at the port-o-lets at mile five. Since my back injury, having to go can cause back pain for me. While I hated to lose the 40 to 60 seconds it would take to stop, I also wanted relief for my back. It just made sense to lose the bit of time for me. Thankfully, the stop was well worth the time loss, as I did feel better once I got back on the race route.

I was doing pretty well from mile five to mile seven, keeping a good pacing. My back was doing fairly well and I felt okay. Once I hit mile seven, my right leg began to really cramp up. Talk about exchanging one problem for another, huh? I massaged it a bit, but that wasn't really helping. So, I paused for a moment and pulled my knee support down to my ankle and continued walking. My hope that this would aid my leg in loosing up worked! It calmed enough to be tolerable to walk through. I ended up pulling the knee support back up to my knee in the last mile or so, as my knee was bothering me. But, keeping it off for that 10 or so minutes of time was of help.

 By the time I saw the mile nine marker, I couldn't have been happier. Both of my legs/calves were so heavy and tight that I just wanted to finish! I did my best to push myself through the final bit of the route. Once I saw the finish line, I went into a running sprint for it. I wanted to cross that finish line strong! I was so happy to finish, but also very drained. This was a long, rough race! My official d-chip time was 2:21:50. However, the route seems to have been a bit longer than 15k. After seeing that other runners also got more than 9.3 miles from their apps/monitors, the course was more like 9.4 to 9.44 miles. So, I had a pace of just over 15 minutes per mile which I'm so proud of. This was a good race, but very challenging. I'm glad I did it though! I now have my first medal and a new distance high for myself. And, I'm already thinking about my next race. :) (NOTE: Some of my awesome co-workers sponsored me in this race, so big thanks to them for helping make this possible for me and for helping support Winnie Palmer.)

I've got my RoadID!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011
As an athletic gal these days, I like nothing more than to go out for a good power walk or bike ride to get in my calorie burn. While I love working out and being active with others, more often than not, I am a solo athlete, hitting the pavement on my own. I recently began to wonder, what if something happened to me? Of course, I hope it won't, but what if it did? No one would know who I was or who to call since I don't my license during those outings. With that in mind, I began to research what other runners and cyclists carried with them when they headed out the door. A good deal of them have some kind of ID like RoadID.
After debating if the RoadID would be a good fit for me, I was offered a chance to get one for free back in late July. A promotional company that works with RoadID contacted me via twitter asking if I'd like to get my own RoadID. Of course, I was interested and responded back just that. There are a few style options available, I went with the RoadID Elite. Once I conquered the sizing and cutting part of things (the Elite requires you to cut your own once you get the bracelet), I was good to go! I now wear it every time I go out for a walk or bike ride. Sometimes, I even wear it anyway, since it's so comfortable. The first time I wore it, the bracelet did feel a bit heavy on my small wrist, but now I barely know it's there. 
If you are the outdoorsy type and don't carry ID with you, or are seeking a wearable ID, check out RoadID's offerings. They guarantee their products, and the ID itself is easily updated when needed.

Countdown to 15k...

Monday, September 19, 2011
I will be participating in my first 15k race on Saturday. At this point, I'm both excited and nervous about the event. A couple of weeks ago, my 1/2 marathon training called for a 9 mile walk, and I made it through, but it was a push during the last 15 or so minutes. I came to the conclusion that I needed more fuel. By the end, I was not only very hungry, but I was feeling light-headed and tired out since I had only taken one Gu Energy Gel at about mile four. I'm hoping that carrying an additional gel/chews as well as part of an energy bar broken into pieces might help curb those previous problems. Walking for almost 2 1/2 hours takes a lot out of you, and I know now that I wasn't really prepared for that time span.
My only other worry is that my sciatica might cause me some trouble on the course. It comes and goes sometimes, thankfully not as bad as it used to be, but I have had times where my left leg gets numb during a walk. So, I'm doing a lot of positive thinking and praying for this weekend. I know that I have a lot of strength inside and out and that I can do this 15k. I had similar concerns right before my 10k back in March, so I suppose it's just a matter of keeping your head up and knowing that you can and will cross that finish line. I'm thankful for the support that I have in my dailymile running friends. They are great motivators and inspiration for me when I'm having to push through a tough time.
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