Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving 1/2 Marathon - Atlanta Style!

    This year my family and I made the trek down to Atlanta to spend Thanksgiving with my Mom's twin sister and her family.  We haven't been down to Atlanta for a Holiday in approximately 16 years, so this was a BIG DEAL!  My cousin, who ran the STL 1/2 marathon with us back in April informed all of us that not only were there the typical "turkey trots" around Georgia but there was also a 1/2 marathon Thanksgiving morning!  Naturally, my Dad and I signed up along with 4 of my cousins and one of my cousin's friends!  My family and I left after work on tuesday night and drove all night long and got into Atlanta around 8am their time.  After managing to get only about 3 hours of sleep, I was exhausted to say the least!  We all hung out for a few hours and then went to the 1/2 marathon expo to get our bib numbers and goodie bags!  It was a lot of fun!

    Thanksgiving morning arrives, and I was up by 5:30am, which meant 4:30am here!  So, as you can imagine, I was really tired!  Luckily I managed to squeeze in a nap the day before so I atleast was able to function.  We couldn't have asked for a better day, it was about 55 degrees at start time, and a little overcast with fog around us.  We all started the race together but my cousins Michael and Steve quickly broke off from the group because of their faster pace.  I planned on taking it easy and not really pushing it because the most I had run at one time since the marathon was 4 miles, because my PT and I are trying to get my knee back in a good and strong condition!  So the rest of us stayed together for the first 5-6 miles.  By mile 3 I was already aware of my knee and by mile 9, I was in some significant pain.  Unfortunately that meant that I needed to walk.  My Dad and cousin Greg stayed back and walked with me.  My Dad has been recovering from a pulled muscle and my cousin Greg has an intense knee brace (we call it his bionic knee!) from all the soccer and football he played in highschool and college.  Our one and only spectator, my pregnant sister Amanda, was waiting for us around mile 7 to give us hugs, high fives, snap some pictures and give us a little motivation to keep us going!  As we continued on my cousin Greg, who lives in Atlanta, so he played tour guide as we covered the course!  Greg, my Dad and I ended up coming in last out of all of us running, but we crossed the finish line together holding hands.  We gave each other a big hug and a high five and made our way to meet up with the rest of the group!  I must have looked like I was in pain, because a medical volunteer saw me and immediately asked me if I needed ice and to have my knee wrapped! Uhh, I think yes!

   All in all it was a great race that was so much fun to share the experience with my entire family! I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!
Makes me realize how thankful I am to have such an amazing family who is always there to support me!  I love you all!!!


Monday, November 1, 2010

The Boston Marathon Debate

   As all serious runners know, the Boston Marathon is the race of all races.  Every marathoner wants to get a qualifying time that will allow them to compete in Boston, the race known for being full of elite runners!  The qualifying times are challenging and many runners will never even get a glimpse of a time that's even remotely close enough.  There is a HUGE debate going on about changing the qualifying times required of women.  As it currently stands, a woman can run 30 minutes slower than a male her same age.  In some ways it is very comical to me, in that I need a 3:40 marathon as a 23 yr old Female and my Dad needs a qualifying time of 3:35 as a 54 yr old male!  He has to run faster than me!!! Logically this seems kind of crazy!  True, men are naturally more athletically built than women but the debate comes in wondering if there really is about a 30 minute gap between men and women of the same age category.  Results are showing that more and more the difference is closer to 20 minutes rather than the 30 minutes.

    Since I am trying to train for Boston this difference can have a HUGE affect on my pace.  As of now, my goal is to train faster than right at the Boston qualifying time so that no matter what I can qualify!  Personally I think, go ahead and change the qualifying times.  Somehow they really think that this will deter the number of people that qualify for the marathon.  But my thinking is, if someone really wants to qualify, they will work their butts off so that no matter what they will qualify. 

But that's just my 2 cents... Thoughts?