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<span style="font-family:Arial;">Background:</span>
<ul><li><span style="font-family:Arial;">I have been running with intent since around November 2004.</span></li>
<li><span style="font-family:Arial;">I figured out how to run without stopping in September 2006 (I can be slow on the uptake)</span></li>
<li><span style="font-family:Arial;">I struggled with cramping on longer runs (anything that took me 1.5 hours or longer) because of electrolyte issues.</span></li>
<li><span style="font-family:Arial;">I ran half of the Vermont City Marathon in May of this year but had to walk much of the last 6 miles due to cramping.</span></li>
<li><span style="font-family:Arial;">I trained, trained, trained, and worked on the cramping issues from May until October.</span></li>
<li><span style="font-family:Arial;">In June I signed up for the Hartford Half Marathon at the urging of some IRL running friends who planned on going.</span></li>
</ul><span style="font-family:Arial;">Friday, the day before the race:</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">My SO and I have a good breakfast at a Diner in town, then leave our house around lunchtime for the drive to Hartford. The drive takes us about 3.5 hours. We check into the hotel and walk down to the Civic Center so I can get my number and swag. Swag is not nearly as good as the 8 mile race of about a month ago. It primarily contains ads. Whoopee. No big deal, we’re not in it for the swag, right?</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">We walk back to the hotel and consult the phone book for a restaurant nearby because we don’t want to drive anywhere, since we couldn’t be bothered getting a local map. We find Vito’s by the Park which is located right next to Bushnell Park (where the race starts)</span> <a href="http://www.vitosct.com/vitobythepark.html" target="_blank"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="color:#800080;">http://www.vitosct.com/vitobythepark.html</span></span></a> <span style="font-family:Arial;">and which has delicious food. I had an appetizer of Garlic Bread, shared the Caprese salad with my SO, had something called Fiocchi (a type of stuffed pasta) with a side of sautéed spinach and Tiramisu and coffee. I was stuffed, but that was my intent. We also had a bottle of wine, but I only had one glass and my SO had two. We took the remainder with us.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Back at the hotel, I spoke with a friend who was on her way to town, but wouldn’t see me until the next day. We arranged to meet at the Civic Center when she got her packet. I went to bed early-ish, about 9pm I think, but didn’t sleep well, strange bed, odd noises, etc. I believe I woke every hour or so.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Saturday, race day:</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Up at 6am to dress, etc. I don my Enell sports bra, a tech shirt that fits more snugly than some others I have, my pink runningskirts skort, injinji toe socks, wright double-layer socks, and Asics GT-2120 shoes with the chip affixed. I pin my number strategically over the spot on the front of my skirt that soaks up the sweat and makes it look like I’ve peed myself when I run. My SO gets my UD water bottle from the car, because I forgot it yesterday. I fill it with hotel tap water and a Nuun tablet and some ice from the hotel ice machine. I had put my lip balm out with my clothes and stuff, but it had rolled onto the floor during the night, so I missed it and didn’t put any on.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">My SO wonders if I want anything to eat, but I don’t really. There’s a Starbucks in the hotel, so I buy a lemon poppy seed muffin and off we go to the civic center. We are hanging out at the top of the stairs waiting for my friend, so I decide to eat a bit of the muffin. I don’t want the whole thing, just enough that my stomach doesn’t think I’ve forgotten about it. My SO eats the rest. As we’re waiting for my friend, JackDuggan swings by and introduces himself. It was great to meet him but he still had to descend into the depths of the civic center and get his number. It sounds like it’s much busier than the day before, and it is taking people quite some time to get their number.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">My friend, P, arrives, meets the SO and has two friends with her. They’re great guys and they all descend to get their numbers. P returns after a while to say they’re still waiting for their numbers and we should go on down to the start so we’re not late. The bathrooms in the civic center are locked. Nice. JackDuggan comes back up and is clearly focused on what he needs to do before the race. It’s his first marathon, and he was visibly nervous. It was cute! I’ve never run a marathon so I feel OK making fun of this. It’s gentle fun, though, because I bet I’d be the same way if I ever decide to run one.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">We wait around for my friend a bit longer, but since the bathrooms were locked, I decided I needed to get to the park and use a Portolet. I knew the lines would be a bit long. We mosey on down with a bunch of other people going in the same direction, and I get into one of the porto lines. My SO stays at the park entrance to keep an eye out for my friend, but we’re going to run about the same pace, so we’ll try to meet up at the start if that doesn’t work out. The porto lines are moving pretty fast. Boy, the stink of those things! I thought I was going to hurl while inside, but was able to focus, take care of business and carry on.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I go to the start to line up at the back, I am planning on about an 11-11:30 pace so no point pushing to the front. Eventually my friend shows up with her two friends about 5 minutes before the race begins. We’re off! And walking! It takes a little bit of time to get to the mat. Cross the mat and we’re finally running along, slowly and easily. After about the first 3/4 of a mile I realize I forgot to start my watch. D’oh! I do that a lot at races. Anyway. I start it and at the first mile my pace is about 3:30 or something! Smokin’ fast! I’d better slow myself down or I’m going to burn out way before the end. Hee! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">The first water stop comes up, and my friend grabs some water and decides to wait for her two friends to catch up. She tells me to go on and she’ll catch up (which is somewhat insulting, but I know it wasn’t meant to be). So I carry on, catching up to a woman wearing a sign with her name and the information that tomorrow is her birthday. So I wish her a happy birthday and run with her for a couple miles, chatting. I’m just out to finish without cramping or walking much so I’m trying to maintain a steady pace. Just after mile 4 I see my SO (OK, he shouts my name) and scamper over for a mid-race smooch. Then carry on.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">My friend catches back up to me and we spend the intervening miles chatting and helping the spectators realize they need to cheer for us. Sometimes, they need a little encouragement. Sure there’s only the two of us right now, but we’re running here, give us some clapping, dammit! It works out well for us. My friend likes to dance whenever we pass someone playing music along the course. Picture Elaine from “Seinfeld” and you’ll understand why I really enjoyed running with her. There are quite a large number of people either playing in person or sending out tunes over some sound system along the course. So she garners a lot of attention especially in the more ethnic area of town (I don’t know where the residents are from) where they appreciate a good booty shaking.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">After mile 10 I’m starting to feel the run wear on me a bit. My hips are sore right in the joint. We get to a slight downhill and I find running faster feels better than running slower. That lasts until the next slight incline when I decide I was just being silly and would slow down again. I keep asking the volunteers how many more hills, not how far to the finish. Heh! Seems the downhills affect my calf muscles more than any other part of the course. I could feel them thinking about cramping up on me, but I have been sipping at my Nuun during the entire race and had grabbed some water at 3 stops at least, perhaps 4. Apparently this and going more easily on the downhills keeps the cramps away.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">I had left my friend behind when I sped up on the downhill but she catches up again when I slow down a bit, and we are almost at the finish. She tries to get me to catch up and pass her, telling me she’s going to beat me, but my response was “I don’t f&*kin’ care”. I’m doing what I can at that point.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">You know I don’t remember there being a lot of noise at the finish, even though there area a lot of people. Hm. I finish and the clock time is 2:31 something. Chip time is 2:27:03, that’s 15 minutes better than my VCM time and no cramps! I figure I had a successful day.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">Well, do you think the report was long enough?</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;">My friend P with me at the start...</span><br><br><img alt="" src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2135/1618493979_909dd4b81b.jpg?v=0" style="border:0px solid;">
 

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Very nice job Gingerbread! I wish I had met you that day. You have inspired me to write one too! Maybe we will meet up again in Vermont.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That would be most excellent!
 

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Way to go! It sounds like you continue to learn what works and then apply it to you. I don't know where you got this, but this is my favorite: "...I find running faster feels better than running slower."<br><br>
You rock, GB. Well done!
 

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Congrats on the race! It sounds like you had a lot of fun. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I guess it was! It was only my second half.<br><br>
Thanks, WO! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
It surprised me at the time. If I'm lucky, I'll remember it next time I'm feeling pain, not just any pain, of course.<br><br>
Thank you, I had a great time, even during the cussing stage.
 

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Great report! Great race and a PR! I'll remember you during my race this weekend. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Congratulations, G'bread! You ran a really good race out there and keep getting better and better! It sounds like you paced yourself well and didn't really struggle at any point. And, no cramps!<br><br>
I've had that feeling where speeding up a little improves discomfort, too, even though that sounds contradictory.<br><br>
Great report -- it was like being out there with you.
 

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Color me green....I am jealous. Nice report.
 

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Great report GB!!! Congrats on the PR! Sounds like you had a lot of fun.<br><br>
And yes for me at least it is all about the swag! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
The Elaine Dance! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, SGH, now it's time to work on that whole negative splits thing.<br><br>
Todd, I'm not sure why you're jealous, but thank you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
dg1, it <i>is</i> all about the swag, right? But really the race is a heck of a lot of fun with people you know! The music along the route was pretty good most of the time, too. One live band did a great job on a Georgia Satellites song...
 

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Good job Ginger!!!!!!!! That running outfit is hawt! No matter what, you looked good while running <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> Great job on the PR!!!
 

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<span style="font-size:300%;"><span style="color:#FF0000;">DUDE</span></span><br><br><i>Note to self, run behind GB whenever you have a chance...</i>
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> thanks, meri!<br>
Thank you, dg1! My friend (the one in the green shirt in the picture) says it's nice to look at, the word she used was...enticing? I might not be remembering that correctly...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think I'm looking for the announcer <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> I couldn't hear much of what was being said, and I think most people were clapping because others were clapping way back where we were (around the corner from the starting line).
 

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Love the Race Report GB...but love the running skirt even more <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><br><br>
Congratulations on a great race!!
 

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Great job chickie....and thank you and Rick again for a lot of fun this weekend. I think we should seriously consider a relay next year!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_cheers.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="cheers">
 
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