Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 2011 Monthly Running Mileage - Back to 100 Miles!

March was a good month. After being released 6 weeks post-C-section around January 15th to begin running again, I ran 50.1 miles in January, then 57.8 miles in February. By the end of February, I had run my first half marathon postpartum, so I turned my attention to quickly acclimating back to where I was a year ago before the pregnancy - to the ability to run half marathons every weekend, basically a base long run of 13.1 miles.

So here's how March shook out...

Mileage: I hit 100.5 miles for the month.  In 2010, I was thrilled to hit my first 100 mile month, and then did it 3 months out of the 12 in the year.

Long Runs & Races: I started March with my 3rd year captaining an all-female team for the Texas Independence Relay - 203 miles in 34 hours with 11 ladies! I hosted an 11 mile training run mid-month. The next weekend, I ran my first trail half marathon, Grasslands Half Marathon (half #22), and then I ran Dallas Rock N Roll Half Marathon (half #23) one week later.

Goals: I've achieved the goal of reestablishing a solid base of 13.1 miles for a long run. In March, I also decided and declared publicly my new goal to run my first marathon at the San Francisco Marathon on July 31st. As part of that, this month I completed my first 3 of 20 weeks of guest posts on the SF Marathon blog as a first-time marathoner-in-training!

Moving Forward
April will bring 4 more weeks of marathon training and a new high for monthly mileage at a planned 121.6 miles (previous high was 110.5). It will also have 2 races: Hells Hills 25K on April 2, and Big D Half Marathon on April 10.

Here's hoping for continued health in this journey to my first full marathon!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dallas Rock N Roll Half Marathon 2011 Race Report

This morning I ran the Dallas Rock N Roll Half Marathon. It was my first Rock N Roll event. I'm typically a big fan of supporting local races (of which Rock N Roll is not) and races which afford more opportunity for running outreach through lower entry fees (again, Rock N Roll is not known for low entry fees), and I'll add I'm a pretty no-frills racer. Disclaimer: So take that all into account when reading my opinions on this event - different people will see different things at an event and feel different ways about it.

Before Sophie was born in December, I needed a race around this time to get myself motivated to get running again post-baby, so when they offered $20 off on 10-10-10 if you registered that day, I said, "Sure, that makes the entry fee reasonable." ($65) Ironically, this was actually my 3rd half marathon of the year - I was back running the second the doctor cleared me 6 weeks post-C-section.

Photo courtesy of Stacy McKinney about 5 miles into the race

I wasn't excited going into this race because time is already at a premium as a mom, and I hadn't thought ahead to the fact that a 14,000 person race means maneuvering through crowds, carefully reading all the race details online, having to go an hour down to Dallas Convention Center to go to their expo Saturday and get my race packet, and then having to get to and from downtown Dallas race on race day. This race took a lot more time than the time to run it! So again, it just left me a little unexcited going into race day.

Then for small and medium sized races, and races with reasonable entry fees, my expectation level for race swag and frills will be diferent than that of a big and/or more expensive race. The expo wasn't as big as Dallas White Rock Marathon (the hall in the Convention Center was much smaller and half of it taken up with Brooks merchandise, so I think it looked fuller but the count of booths, it didn't really appear to be), but packet pickup was very quick and well-organized. The shirt design was super cute on the front and back - however, it was a unisex shirt and a white shirt (not a fan of white shirts at races, especially if you have the connections to afford to do something else). The bib was colorful, but for signing up 5 1/2 months ago, it didn't have my name printed on it, which I believe Dallas, Houston, and Austin all do (and I do for races I direct because I love that perk).

Look, at the end of the day, as a race director myself, I envy the resources and connections Competitor Group has with their race series and their volume of race entry fees to spend on the runners - and so when I feel like they aren't using that to their advantage, I'm sad about that. If Brooks is a huge sponsor, I'd love to see some gender-specific non-white shirts. I'd love to see the extra $0.02 per bib and a couple hours of a staffer's time spent on bib personalization for early registrants. It's that simple.

A cold front came in overnight and it was cold race morning. About 48 at start with wind chill of 40. I'm glad I wore running tights. By the end of the race, my hands felt frozen. And it had just started to drizzle. Luckily though, no rain!

I got down to the start line in a great time, about an hour before the race, and the race site was laid out spaciously so it didn't feel too crowded. However, there was never a map of the start line village on the website or much signage in the area, so people were asking around about where Gear Check was. I have to say Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon does a fantastic job of giving you a race site layout and amazing race morning signage. Austin Marathon this year had a detailed finish line site layout, of which Rock N Roll also didn't have online.

I saw and said hi to many friends, met some friends for the first time (@SarahStanley and @ShannonRuns), and through some phone calls and texts, connected with Elaine and Meagan (visiting from Houston) to hang out for a few before heading to the start corrals.

Plenty of room in the corrals. Wave start was handled very very well. I started about 16 minutes after the gun for being in Corral 9 - felt reasonable and not like we were waiting forever.

My plan for this race: I ran my first trail half marathon last weekend, and have my first trail 25K next weekend. Plus I've struggled to figure out my post-baby pace which really shouldn't be close to my pre-baby pace. My PR was set in Feb. 2010 at Cowtown Half Marathon and was approximately 11:06 pace. So I decided to set out at a 12:45 pace which should be pretty maintainable over the distance. If I felt good at miles 8-10, I could decide anywhere in there to ramp it up.

Spectators on this course were great. I never encountered an aid station that was out of either water or Cytomax (can't be said for some other big races where volunteers find themselves overwhelmed by the time someone my pace gets there). I felt like there were big stretches of time without any bands, but I liked that when we did encounter a band, they were actually playing. I've commented before that at some races, they are always on break when I come by! [Amendment: I've now heard that it sounds like the city of Highland Park wouldn't allow bands through that section of course, which would explain the big segments without music! Very good to know if this is indeed true!]

12:45 min per mile pace went well, in fact I was a little fast early on. I saw more friends than I can even name, both on the course and cheering. Heels and Hills had our hot pink tent at about mile 7.5, and I was happy to see Paula and Sarah at the top of that tall hill! I was surprised there were no split time callers - Dallas Running Club Half Marathon has them, as does Dallas White Rock Marathon. While we're all in different waves, it's still nice to hear a ballpark figure.

About mile 10, I fell in with Traci, who I had just met at Grasslands Half Marathon last weekend. We stuck together until the end, and I started increasing my speed each mile a little. In the end, I felt like we kicked too early (my gosh, running through Fair Park took forever, when will we get there?!?). But I'm very proud of the 8:42 pace I managed that last 0.17 miles!

In the end, 2:44:29, a 12:29 pace! Nailed it!

Finisher medal seemed a little plain but was solid and heavy, but the ribbon wasn't printed which I think is a nice touch for finisher medals. I will say I really liked their design from last year that looked like a sheriff's badge.

Post-race: I am COLD! Ready to go home and warm up!

I'm a bad one to render too many opinions on finish lines. I'm a no-frills girl. I rarely eat or drink much after crossing the finish, don't drink beer, didn't have much interest in the Bret Michaels concert, didn't have to meet up with family. Picking up my gear was easy once I figured out where the school buses we had checked the gear onto were parked. I did see the start of the Bret Michaels concert, and it was cool how close you could get to the stage if you were really into it.

Next up: Hells Hills 25K is only 6 days away!

Mile 1: 12:09
Mile 2: 12:36
Mile 3: 12:15
Mile 4: 12:24
Mile 5: 12:55 (walked through taking my Gu)
Mile 6: 12:49
Mile 7: 12:41
Mile 8: 12:32
Mile 9: 13:25 (walked through taking my Gu)
Mile 10: 12:42
Mile 11: 12:30 (ramping it up!)
Mile 12: 12:16
Mile 13: 11:51
Last 0.17 pace: 8:42 (bring it home, baby!)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Motivated By March Madness

I don't know if this is motivating or stupid, and maybe it's both! I use Dailymile as a way to log workouts and connect with and be inspired by other runners. While I know nothing about basketball and care about it as much as the amount of knowledge I have about the sport (zero!), Dailymile was having a Men's and Women's March Madness Challenge. Basically, Round 1 was open to all, and we had 6 days to log as many miles as possible. 150 women participated. They took the top 32, of which I was one (!), to Round 2.

In Round 2, the 32 women had 3 days in which to post their fastest 5K. So Friday night I went out and ran a hard 5K, with a slow slow warmup and cooldown to meet my miles needed in that workout. Yes, not my smartest move since all miles in this training schedule should be run at a slow pace, and not smart with a half marathon on Sunday, but it sure did motivate me to get outside and get those miles in.

Now I've advanced to Round 3 with the top 16 women. We have 3 days to log as many miles as possible again before they narrow it down to the top 8 for the next round. I had an advantage since the challenge started today and I ran a half marathon this morning.

It also will probably determine how I schedule my runs for the week. Frontloading slow miles this week won't be a bad idea since when Saturday comes I'll be running 15.5 miles at my first trail 25K! So this Round 3 is still motivating me, and because the pressure is on to log miles, it's forcing me to make sure I run them very slow to keep myself injury-free, and that's always a good thing.

Wish me luck! Round 4 is based on 10K time and I'm down to some very fast, high mileage ladies, including my friend Blanca, who have this in the bag. While I know I can't win the whole thing, it's been fun, and motivating, to make it this far.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Marathon Training Plan Clarifications Part I - Pace

I recently wrote up and shared my training plan here with others, and realized there were things I'd left out. One big one: pace for my runs. I was focused on sharing the structure, the total weekly mileage, and the progressive overload of hard (longer) versus easy (shorter) runs during the weekdays along with the long runs on the weekends, that I never ever talked about what my plans were for what speed I was actually planning on running these 600+ miles until San Francisco Marathon.

My plan focuses on basebuilding. There's not really speed focus anywhere in that plan I've put together. I've got to get my long run up up up to meet the challenge of the marathon, and, to keep me less likely to get injured, that means I need to get my weekly mileage way up too to handle the physical stress of those long runs better.  So my working sole on basebuilding, every single run in the training plan is intended to be run at the same pace - an easy pace. Trying to get that VO2Max to go up up up, train my heart and lungs, keep me feeling strong and fresh as I add more and more miles each week.

I've actually had some problems grasping at what a good pace is since I did have a baby by C-section 15 weeks ago, which means I've been back running for 9 weeks. For sure my post-baby pace is NOT the same as my pre-baby pace.

The pace I'm going to go with is about 12:45 to 13:15 min/mi. RRCA run coach certification class taught attendees to go with about 80% of intended race speed. Train slow, race fast.

I plan to reevaluate what's an "easy" pace as the season goes on and my fitness and post-baby body improves and adjusts.

And let's get real. There will be days I don't follow this. I think most runners would go a little mad to be told to run the same pace for every mile of every run for 19 weeks! I'm sure I'll pull some intervals on the treadmill to break the monotony. I'm sure I'll occasionally run one evening faster than I should. But the goal is to have the majority done at this easy pace and get to the starting line trained up and injury free!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Grasslands Trail Half Marathon Race Report

Wow, where to start... I want to keep this short, relatively. This was my first trail race, my 21st half marathon, and my 2nd half marathon of 2011 with a 14 week old baby born by C-section at home too. Grasslands is a trail race with 26.6 (full) / 13.5 (half) / 50M distance choices in Decatur, Texas. I'd heard it was mostly pasture. Instead it turned out to be a beach without an ocean to go with it. The course was mainly deep soft sand which absorbed each step and played havoc with ankles and quads. There were small quick inclines and declines of multiple feet, and a couple creek ravines that were mostly hoppable, but otherwise no major climbs. The temps started about 65 degrees, with a thankful cool breeze, but with an 8:30 start time for half marathoners, it would be around 80 degrees when I finished.

After picking up my race packet race day morning!
Since Decatur is 1 1/2 hours away for me, I stayed with Fawn (@milanorunner) at a hotel in Decatur the night before - she was running the 50M (crazy awesome runner, and ended up 3rd overall female!). I was up at 5:20 am, left the hotel 6:20 am. Yes, my race didn't start until 8:30. But all my friends doing the 50M and 26.6M started at 7:00 and 7:15 am respectively. It was great connecting with so many friends with all the time I had before my race!
Corina captures me mid-bite of bagel, hanging out with 1 1/2 hours to my race start.
With marathoner friends Greg S. and Michelle B.

Mark O. gets a pic at the start line with Michelle and Erik K.

Greg T. volunteered as he's nursing a sore Achilles before the Boston Marathon next month, and Stacy M., a newer friend from Twitter and Dailymile!

Fast marathoner friends Nick and Shaheen. Nick's recently been bitten by the trail running bug and is signed up to run the Jemez 50-miler!

New friends G and Dawn
I wasn't sure about this whole trail thing because I am typically such a planner, preparer, overanalyzer about race courses and my strategies.  It turns out there's a reason to not get hung up on trying to understand the route. In the moment, you are just constantly scanning the horizon for a marker for which way to go while watching a couple steps in front of you at all times, checking footing and trying to pick the optimal path. It was tiring yet at the same time, that mental intensity meant the miles went quick and I couldn't be a Garmin GPS obsessor because glancing at my pace and mileage often would have resulted in a faceplant.

Early on, you could tell the crowd was different. We hit a gate only a 1/2 mile or so into the race and everyone quietly and patiently waited single file to pass through this tight bottleneck. Same with a creek ravine shortly after. A few roadrunners freaked at each point, but everyone else's casualness was calming and relaxed the situation.

Around mile 4 was when I had my "this is really real" moment. A small group of us were passed by the lead marathoner who had to do our blue loop after they'd done a white loop in another section, and we blindly followed. We came upon a few who were deciding that we'd gone the wrong way. We went with group majority decision, you don't leave the group, and backtracked as I told about a fork I'd seen before a pile of deadwood that could be the correct path. We found it, got back on course, and were only off course for a tenth of a mile or so. Within another 1/2 mile, I saw a man ahead of me take a tumble, turn it into a somersault, and go down. Luckily he was okay, but now I was a little freaked out with those back-to-back trail reality moments.

I hung out at the aid stations around miles 3.8 and 10 for 7 minutes total between them. Again, what a different atmosphere in this casualness. I took advantage of that, emptying sand out of each shoe at the mile 10 station, grabbing pretzels at the first station, and getting a mini-Snickers and orange slice at the second.

At about mile 6.8, I realized that with keeping my eyes on the ground, I'd forgotten to take any sort of energy gel - oops. No wonder I was starting to fade a little. I took a GU, and later I would decide to take another at mile 11. I had to walk each GU because I could not handle squeezing GU, drinking water, AND watching my footing!

The last couple miles I was passing lots and lots of walkers. The mile splits below will look odd with the aid station stops included and my slow walk breaks for taking my GUs, but this is where I was thankful I had maintained pretty even splits through the entire race. I felt like I looked strong coming into the finish.

In the end, a 3:08 finish time for 13.41 miles. Now hold on a second. I did a 3:01 at Austin Half Marathon 4 weeks ago, and now I had gone 0.3 mi longer with 7 minutes (checked my GPS download) of "break" at aid stations in sandy, hot TRAIL conditions and was only TOTAL 7 minutes slower?!? I know, I don't get it either. But I felt like I had a great race day and felt strong. And with my next trail race, Hells Hills 25K, in 2 weeks, when I finished Grasslands I asked myself if I could have just done a slow 2.1 miles further on this course to a 25K, and my body said "Yes". So as long as the terrain isn't too much harder, I'm not going to freak out about the next race.

By the way, before the race started, new friend Tracy said, "I hear you haven't really done trail until you bleed." Well, some thorny bushes got me in the calf, those are the blood streaks on my right leg. And my legs aren't normally splotchy like that - it's all the sand that basically caused us to all have sand-blasted legs as it got kicked up the whole time.

At home, since I felt like I'd used all sorts of muscles with uneven terrain and high knee lifts avoiding falls, I did an ice bath. Here's me for 10 minutes with 40 pounds of ice and some extra cold water.

Next week is Dallas Rock N Roll Half Marathon on March 27. I have 19 weeks until my first marathon, the San Francisco Marathon on July 31st!

Split paces in min/mi (note I hit the Lap button at one odd spot so that explains some disjointness):
Mile 0.0 - 1.0: 12:40
Mile 1.0 - 2.0: 12:56
Mile 2.0 - 3.0: 13:50
Mile 3.0 - 4.0: 14:13 (stop at Aid Station 1)
Mile 4.0 - 5.0: 13:23
Mile 5.0 - 6.0: 13:21
Mile 6.0 - 7.0: 13:59 (took GU towards end of this mile, so was walking more than usual)
Mile 7.0 - 8.0: 12:53 (got faster! Must have been the GU at the start of this mile, LOL!)
Mile 8.0 - 9.0: 13:43
Mile 9.0 - 10.0: 15:50
Mile 10.0 - 10.5: 19:40 (stop at Aid Station 2)
Mile 10.5 - 11.5: 14:51 (took a GU in here and walked through taking it)
Mile 11.5 - 12.5: 14:32
Mile 12.5 - 13.41: 13:26

Monday, March 14, 2011

Let's Do This - San Francisco Marathon Will Be My First

Okay, let's do this! After 6 years of running, 20 half marathons, 3 long-distance team relays, 1 25K, dozens of shorter distance races, and thousands of hours volunteered in the running community, time to do something I haven't done before - the Big M. MARATHON.


I actually get a lot of surprised reactions from people when they learn I haven't run a full marathon. It's just never been on my radar. And I'm not going to do a marathon purely out of peer pressure or because Oprah or Subway's Jared ran one. While I recognize that to many it's becoming "anyone can do a marathon", that doesn't mean we should all go out and sign up for one after our first 5K or our first half marathon.

I'm in a place where it feels like a good thing to go do, and I don't regret not doing one before now.  And yes, it's also absurd to do a marathon exactly 9 months after having a baby (and by C-section too). Yet the timing's never felt more right.

A few months ago, after a 3 page application was filled out and turned in, I was one of about 15 runners from across the US chosen to be a San Francisco Marathon Ambassador. We're runners who are personally excited about this race and who promote the goodwill and spirit of the race and are a local representative for the race in our areas. I have to say that while I'd been playing with the idea of a marathon for 2011, I had not thought about San Fran as the one. But then I got to know the staff member we connect with for our work as ambassadors, and I got to know the other ambassadors, many of which are veterans of the race. And then it just seemed like the race to do this at.

So July 31st - my first marathon. Come run with me! And if you can't, I will be looking for help and support as the weekly mileage and long runs get bigger and bigger. I have 20 weeks and 682 miles [update: 659.3, counted one too many weeks, included the week I'd just run] in my training schedule between me and race day.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Grasping at Pace

This morning I organized an 11 mile run. It started out as offering to run with a friend for her last long run before her first half marathon at Rock N Roll Dallas Half on March 27, especially offering because she'd done most of her runs and her long runs on a treadmill, and you need some practice on roads too! This turned into a couple friends' comments of "Oh I need 11 too!", which led me to say I'd make a Twtvite and FB event, and before I knew it, 20+ people at this run, post-run recovery beverages for everyone from the wonderful Honeymilk, and post-run ART work from a friendly chiropractor, Dr. G from Spring Valley Spine and Sportscare.

On this 11-mile run, I just tried to go comfortably, we didn't really walk for several miles, but I also didn't refer to my Garmin GPS for pace checks. About mile 7, I started to feel exhausted - I had failed to take Gu at mile 4-5 like I usually do, so that couldn't be helping. I took a Chocolate Honey Stinger, but just wasn't feeling the pick-me-up, probably because I waited too long and pace was too fast. By mile 8, I just wanted to walk the rest of the way back. :-(

Splits: 11:50, 12:03, 12:49 (small amount of walking after aid station I had set up), 12:21, 11:54, 11:49, 14:24, 13:50, 16:35, 18:46, 15:32

First 6 miles, even with that bit'o'walking in mile 3, average to 12:07. Then the wheels fell off.

I've struggled with pace since I got back from running after having baby Sophie. I think this is perfectly normal post-baby. My post-baby pace for sure ain't my pre-baby pace, but I don't know what it should be.  And frustratingly, the best way to find out is to keep running long runs and finding out what works for me. It's experimentation.

Between this run and Austin Half Marathon, I get it that I'm not going to be back at my 11:06 min/mi half marathon PR any time super soon. And realistically, if I look at two of my Texas Independence Relay legs that were 6.4 and 6.5 miles, the pace was 11:36 and 11:52 respectively.  Looking at some standard pace charts, I should be racing a half marathon at 12:25 pace based on that. Instead I'm trying to go 11:45 - 12:15 and feeling super-ugh pushing out more miles after a 10K distance!

So maybe for Dallas Rock N Roll Half in two weeks, I should focus on 12:45 pace. (I say for that race, because next week's Grasslands Half Marathon will be my first trail half marathon so just going to go have fun and run easy.) If that goes well, inch it up bit by bit, and eventually I'll be back to that 11:06 PR pace. I mean, for gosh sakes, I've been back running since January 10 and only logged 145 miles. It's going to take time!

Okay, thanks for the rant.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Texas Independence Relay 2011 - Mad-Dames Came and Took It

This was my third year captaining a team for the Texas Independence Relay. What's this event? It's a 203 miles relay race (40 relay legs) March 5 and 6 from Gonzales, Texas (Known for the saying "Come and Take It") to Houston, Texas, and runners complete the event in teams of up to 12. About 150 teams participated this year.

I had put together an all-female team this year, and we chose the name the Mad-Dames. In discussions, it evolved that we would be pink, girly, and have entirely too much fun with costumes. We outfitted ourselves in pink wigs, pink tiaras, pink boas, and tutus for the race. Granted, some of us (me included) didn't run in our gear, and the wigs were a serious pain to deal with so they weren't seen again after the Prologue (the race start).

We gathered at DFW airport Friday morning, rented the vans, and drove down to Seguin (40 minutes outside Gonzales) to stay the night. That afternoon we decorated our two vans - one van would always be driving and have its runners running, while the other van "rested", and then they would swap.

Van 1

Van 2
Saturday morning, we woke up at 4 am. Ugh. For our 6:04 am race start. Dressed up, we were given a blast from the cannon to signal the start of the race for our team, and then proceeded to have to actually run 1.15 miles in a pink wig...and a pink tiara...and a pink boa...and a tutu. Hmm, hadn't thought ahead to that fun.

My van, van #1, was "resting" until about noon, so we just went from leg to leg cheering on our teammates. Leg 7 kicked off our van's running.

Saturday was COLD and WINDY! Huddled at start of Leg 5
I ran my first leg about 3 pm - Leg 11. For planning purposes, I didn't know what to plan for pace, so I had put down a very reasonable 12:30 min/mi.  For Leg 11, I was able to do 11:36 min/mi pace, including a 0.4 mile kick at the end at a glorious 10:21 min/mi pace. Total miles: 6.41.


At our van's next break about 5 pm, we went and had dinner at a Mexican restaurant, then it was time for a few in our van to run again. At 11 pm, our van was able to go to the hotel and have a hot shower and had a chance for 2 hours sleep. I slept like the dead.

I ran my next leg at 4 am. Leg 27. Middle of nowhere = dark dark dark. But I did enter some outer Houston suburbs my last mile or two. Runners would pass you here and there through the whole race, and given the way the team start times work, the folks passing would be considerably faster than me. I found it rude that a couple male runners here passed me and then would put up the number of fingers of what number "roadkill" I was. Basically keeping track and pointing it out to me about how many runners they had passed.

Anyway about mile 5 of this leg, a gal passed me that was only a little faster than me. So I tried to hang with her, especially since the company in the dark was nice to have. After a couple tenths of a mile she realized I wasn't going anywhere. We chatted for a minute, and then I took the lead for a little bit. Nice to share the cumulative light our headlamps created in single file.  At 0.55 miles of doing this, I let her go because I wanted to conserve energy for my next leg.  11:52 total pace with 11:06 pace for that segment I stuck with that girl. Total miles: 6.51.
Before I Run Leg 35
Last leg for me was Leg 35. This is the Team Captain's leg. A particularly pretty trail/road sequence through Memorial Park in Houston and gorgeous views as you enter downtown.  It was getting hot by now and I was fading in the 4th mile, but finished strong.  12:19 pace. Total miles: 5.18.

Finish strong!

Glad to be done!

A fun part of this trip was meeting a few twitter friends for the very first time. Along the route we met @cassieaggie who was volunteering (met her first at Leg 13), @hannahkattaylor who we met yelling "Hannah" into the dark at an exchange in Columbus because we didn't know what she looked like, and @LFarnsworth who I happened to meet at the finish line when I saw her team shirt and asked if Leslie was a teammate.
@LFarnsworth (right)
At the end, the whole team whoops and hollers as we walk from the finish line up to the San Jacinto Monument to get our finisher medals and take our team picture on the steps of the monument.

A wonderful experience although it is hard on the body and mind. Until the drive home, I had slept only 2 hours between 4 am Saturday and 5 pm Sunday, and run 19.2 miles during that time and driven a van a lot of miles too. You eat and sleep at weird times and that's part of what makes this a difficult adventure, much more so than the mileage.  Now I can't wait for 2012 - wanna come run with me? Comment or message me as I create an interest list for next year - no money or firm commitments needed now.

Walking from finish to the monument as a team

Last walk to the San Jacinto Monument
Credit to teammate Corina Cervantes (@UltraMamaC) for all these pictures. She had a great quality camera and was snap-happy, so I lazed out on taking my own pics! :-)