Posted by Lauren
I woke up at 5:40am, not quite ready to crawl out of bed. I spent the night at my friend Kimbo’s in Fresno, CA. However, I had to get moving because I still had to don my lucky outfit, make breakfast, and drive 20 minutes south of Kim’s to downtown Fresno.
I laced up my black and green running shoes and put on the Nike running top I wear for every 1/2 marathon. I don’t know when this green shirt tradition started, but I like it. (Pretty sure the shirt originally belonged to Nicole.)
Oatmeal with half a scoop of Sun Warrior vanilla protein powder and sliced bananas
Fresno Classic Half Marathon
The drive downtown was fast, the only other cars on the highway had other runners. That’s when two things crossed my mind:
Lauren Fail #1. You forgot a running hat, it’s going to be sunny and you’ll have to be a SquintyPants.
Lauren Fail #2. You also forgot GU. Now, at mile 8 or 9 you’ll fizzle out without the liquid energy.
I found a parking spot and jogged over to the registration table to get my bid number. When I asked the volunteers for my race shirt, they said they were all out. Race Fail #1. Then I asked if there was going to be any sort of food or GU along the course, and she said no. Race Fail #2 (even though it’s really Lauren Fail #2)
After my port-a-potty business, I hopped into the start line. There was a moment of silence for the bicyclist who passed away the day before, during the century bike ride portion of the race.
3-2-1 and we were off!
I listened to a random workout playlist on Rdio, an app on my iPhone. The app costs $10/month but you get access to hundreds of thousands of songs on demand. When an album or song is released, you can add it to your collection and listen to it via 3G or you can sync it to your mobile and it will be available all the time (even if you’re on an airplane).
There’s also a community aspect – for example, the workout playlist was compiled by somebody named Biker Chick. She (or he?) put 108 songs on the list and I listened to songs 17 – 40. I highly recommend this app, BTW.
K, enough of that plug. I loved the first song: Becoming Insane – Infected Mushrooms
Miles 1 – 3.5: lots of repetitive switchbacks in downtown Fresno (Race Fail #3). Nice enough scenery, I just wasn’t a fan of running down and up and down and up and down and up.
Miles 3.5 – 6: Long straightaways that helped me focus on maintaining my pace.
Miles 6 – 9: Best part! We ran through the Chaffee Zoo and saw kangaroos, giraffes, and birds! I read online that a zebra, some camels, and other animals got in on the action. The zoo element singlehandedly made this race go from good to great.
Also, at mile 8, there was a sign for GU!! I was so stoked. I’ll take back “Race Fail #2″ I guess. Even though I was originally told there wouldn’t be Gu along the way, I’m happy the organizer I spoke to was wrong. Know your course, organizers!
Miles 9 – 11.5: More straightaways. My Nike GPS app kept updating me every 1/2 mile with my remaining distance and it made me pretty antsy! At mile 11 I did some quick multiplication in my head and figured – WOW – I could PR this animal. Hehh, get it?
Here’s a look at the entire course:
You’ll notice that it get’s really red (slower pace) right next to the zoo. Honestly, I don’t think the GPS was functioning correctly in the zoo part because it kept sending error messages asking me to open the app up. I knew that the distance part was off, so for the last few miles I couldn’t trust the Nike GPS mileage countdown.
Miles 11.5 – 13.1 – Boy, I was ready for this race to be over. We passed by the band, above, which was a nice touch. I kept hoping that Chukchansi Stadium would pop into view, but it took forever to materialize.
Then, finally, there it was. I sprinted towards the finish, watching the clock slowly tick into the 1:33 zone.
I crossed the finish in 1:33:04 seconds. A new PR for me. :)
After the Race
After a volunteer put the medal around my neck, I climbed the stadium stairs and grabbed one of the complimentary scoops of Cold Stone ice cream.
I brought the ice cream with me to the masseur (male version of masseuse – don’t hear that often do ya?)… He focused on my hips and upper legs… it felt so good!
Later, in the breakfast tent, I joined fellow finishers for a real breakfast! Usually races offer bagels, bananas, oranges, and energy bars. This was a whole new level, oh boy!
I ate my breakfast alone. I went back for ice cream seconds, alone. I found the results table, alone. I demanded a beer, alone. Okay, back it up…. the beer was complimentary for racers (I went with Michelob over Heineken Light, a la Aunt Patty :) )
And this “alone” talk is just to make the not-subtle point that being alone after races SUCKS! I challenge myself to run harder, race better, sprint faster, finish stronger. While I wish someone could be there, cheering at the end, it’s not always possible. And you know what, when it comes down to it, I’m okay with a solo pat on the back. (Did anyone catch the harder better faster stronger reference?)
Finish time: 01:33:04
Average pace: 00:07:06
Division place: 3
Women place: 12
Overall place: 77
Age Grade: 70.75%
After the race
Drove to Kimbo’s > Showered > Drove to San Jose making two pit stops:
Picked up a 1 lb. bag of almonds to make [uber natural] almond butter! These are raw, crisp, so tasty! I picked them up from Valley Pistachio Country Store in Madera, CA
Stopped at the Gilroy Outlets… purchased a pair of shorts + shrug for work at Banana Republic
When I got home I prepared a salad with the leftovers from my LALLA salad and Sarah’s salad, adding carrots, more spinach, and a crumbled up bean patty from ages ago. There are seriously so many of them!
I also went to town on the jar of pb my sister unearthed from the crypt that is our pantry.
And I made an amazing dinner inspired by old Italia, recipe coming tomorrow!
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