It was soooo early getting up this morning at 5:30 am with the time change. But, I hopped right out of bed, ready to get my RACE ON! The Shamrock Half Marathon is only my 2nd half marathon ever after taking a 3 year break from the first :D I run races against myself and nobody else ~ sorta like my sis says ~ if you are not going to be in 1st place, why stress over how fast you are going.
I think I have higher expectations of myself since I know I was in AWESOME condition during my last half marathon. However, what your brain thinks you want is sometimes different than what your body will give you. My run today was a great starting point ~ my time was definitely slower than my first race, but, you know what ~ that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I had the courage to get up, go and push through to reach the finish line. It is my starting point on my new running journey and I can only improve on that from here.
This is just the beginning as I am pretty sure I have my sister hooked on running 😀 and I LOVE that it’s something we can do together.
I packed up breakfast and hit the road. 2 Slices Nature’s Path Whole Wheat with 1 Tbsp Cashew Butter, plus water and coffee. I saved the banana for 30 minutes pre-race since breakfast was 3 hours before the race started. I think I learned that I NEED to add a little protein for longer runs because I was hungry during the second mile.
I grabbed my # FAN, The Husband and we hopped in the car. We did make a pit stop at Starbuck’s for him to “fuel” for the day (he is such a trooper because he is not a morning person at all) 😀
We arrived at Raley Field where the River Cats Baseball team plays before the crack of dawn :D They told everyone to arrive 2 hours early because they said parking would be crazy. Have I ever told you all that I have a really bad sense of direction? I managed to get us lost, but, it worked out really good because there wasn’t ANY traffic at all.
The only problem with getting there so early was that there was pretty much NOTHING to do but stand around and freeze in the 43 degree cold weather. So, we did what every family does while waiting ~ Take PICTURES! My little niece made up the signs for our “FANS” to wear to show their support ~ so cute!
Our FANS = The Husband, My Sister’s Hubby, My Mom and my super cute niece.
Pre-Race ~ all smiles and trying to smile for 3 cameras while FREEZING :D (P.S. YES, I do wear all my water bottles because I don’t want them to run out of water by the time I make it to the water stands) 😀
Tagged and ready to hit the road! Yes, I am a total dork and had us take pictures of our feet 😀
The baseball field sits right along the Sacramento River ~ I think The Husband wondered off and took this picture while waiting for the race to start.
Then, there was a random Panda Bear (The Baseball Team’s mascot is a CAT so I am not sure what the Panda represents?!)
Finally, we made our way down to the start line. The race had 4,600 Half Marathon Runners and 800 Relay Runners. It is the BIGGEST race in Sacramento ~ check out ALL the people.
Finally at 8:20 am we were off!!! The first 3 miles flew by pretty fast I think because we were just trying to get warm. We made pretty good time in the beginning ~ pacing faster than our usual practice runs. Around mile 5, we ran into The “Husband’s who decided to run 1/4 of a mile with us, offering up water LOL and snapping random pictures as we all ran ~ SO FUNNY!
I have to say this course was seriously the windiest course I have ever seen. We looped back and forth ~ I so thought I was going to get lost, but, luckily there were enough people to follow! We crossed this bridge 4 times!
Around mile 6, we “FLEW BY” our fans again.
I think one of the fun parts of this race was seeing all the people dressed up ~ some people really like Shamrocks & St. Patties day ;) We followed this guy below through the entire race to make sure we knew we were going the right way.
I did really well up until around mile 8. We switched from 5:1 intervals to 4:1 intervals and rocked it all the way to the finish line. My Sis is awesome ~ she stayed with me the whole way even though she could’ve easily gone ahead and finished way before me. She really wanted to finish together and I am glad we did.
We went all out the last 1/4 of a mile to the finish line ~ they have you finish on the actual baseball field which is pretty cool. I will say though, going up stadium steps AFTER you run a half marathon kinda sucked LOL….
I am SO PROUD of US!!! This race was totally a sign of HUGE accomplishments for both of us. I realized that although I am not where I want to be and did not go as fast as I thought I would, if I put my mind to do something, I CAN DO ANYTHING!!! I set a goal, pushed through it and never stopped until I crossed the finish line like a TRUE PENGUIN!
After the run, we picked up our snack bags and I grabbed the Fig Newtons
We refueled at possibly my FAVORITE new place called CREPE ESCAPE. Check out all the COOL things on their menu.
NUTELLA DESSERT CREPES!!!
The funny thing about longs runs is I am not really hungry the day that I burn all those calories. I had a hard time deciding what to eat because all I really wanted to do was sit down LOL.
I ordered a Grilled Chicken Sandwich that was topped with pesto, roasted red peppers, tomato and mozzarella on Focaccia Bread. I had half.
Plus half of these roasted rosemary potatoes.
When I got home, I spent some quality time with my Foam Roller rolling out my legs, hips and back. Wow, I went from hobbling to walking normal ~ LOVE/HATE that foam roller. I then took a nice and cold ICE BATH to help reduce my soreness the next day.
My appetite started to come around and I shared a bowl of melon with The Husband.
Plus a little cheese while we lounged around and relaxed in the sunshine.
The “Husband” cooked dinner tonight and ordered Pizza from Cenario’s (his favorite place. I had two slices of veggie pizza that was AWESOME!
The crust is STUFFED with cheesy goodness!
Plus a simple salad with Balsamic on the side.
Dessert was possibly one of the BEST Pizza creations ever ~ Cinnamon Sticks! I had 2 and might have gone back for one more.
As you may have already heard, Bertolli is getting ready to launch a new series of webisodes titled “Into the Heart of Italy: Six Adventures, Three Celebrities, One Mission… To Unlock the Secrets of Italian Passion for Food and Life.” This one-of-a-kind online series will feature celebrity chef Rocco Dispirito and actors Marisa Tomei and Dan Cortese as they explore the food and culture of Italy. You can find a preview HERE followed by the FIRST full episode! I am off to participate in their Taste & Tweet Up to kick off the new series!