Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wknd Recap

This past weekend we drove back to our hometown, the Quad Cities.  Friday night I left the apartment at 4:45 with the car packed and Oscar as my co-pilot to pick Ben up from work and get on the road.  We didn't walk through my in-law's door until 9:45 with our carried out pasta (from Biaggi's, yum.) for dinner.
We did have a gorgeous sunset on the way home though.  This doesn't do justice:
The main purpose of the trip was the half marathon on Sunday and also to leave Oscar behind with our parents while we go to Ireland.  My sister came in town too; so we spent a good portion of the day shopping.  I was very self-restrained.  I bought a map for Ireland (we'll be navigating across the country old-school type), three pairs of boxers for Ben (on sale at Gap), and this Gap dress for myself (for $25!).  It's a perfect LBD for work AND fun (I bought it in black, but the blue picture shows the details better).

In the afternoon Ben and I went over to my best friend's house.  She and her husband purchased it earlier this summer and it was our first time seeing it.  It was absolutely perfect. A lot of unique features and  well decorated. Being in their cozy home makes me want to plan out when we will be buying our home.
For dinner we met my family at Cafe Indigo (embarrassingly enough, we also ate lunch there the same day).  Dinner was divine. My favorite dish there is the pecan encrusted walleye with veggies and asiago risotto. Yum!

After dinner we met another couple at Against the Grain.  It's a soon-to-be new brewery that was opened by one of the guy's in our friend's local brewing club.  I say soon-to-be because they don't have their license to sell their beer yet; but they did have a good selection of craft beer and good prices on it.  However, because of my impending half marathon, I stuck to water. Well, I also had one glass of Strongbow Cider.
QC Half-Marathon Recap:
Sunday morning I woke up an hour before the race.  My usual pre-race routine is a banana and a small cup of coffee. (TMI alert: this helps to clean about my system).  It was in the upper 40's with a forecasted high of 58 for the day.  Thankfully, it was sunny too.  I wore running shorts, a dry-fit tee, cotton long-sleeved shirt and an ear warmer.
By the time the race started, my toes were numb.  The first two miles were undeniably annoying.  The Quad City Marathon actually has 5 races: 1 mile walk, 5K run/walk, relay, half-marathon, and full-marathon. They all start off together, at the same time, with no organization as to who's in what race.  Thus, when we passed the official clock, the race was already 3 minutes in and I was surrounded by walkers.
Compared to Chicago, the QCA has a lot of hills and inclines.  The first incline for the race was running up the ramp for the bridge to cross over the Mississippi River from Illinois to Iowa.  At about one mile in, I came across the 2:30 half pace group and thought "holy shit, I need to get moving".  Although I didn't necessarily have a time in mind, I didn't want to run that slow.
At mile two, I took off my ear warmer and tossed my long sleeve shirt on the side of the road.  Mile 3, my toes finally became "un-numb".  The race was fairly uneventful and surprisingly peaceful.  My mom and I had thought maybe we'd run together (it was her first half), but we quickly decided I should go on my way.
I felt great the whole race through.  I took a fuel around mile 7 (1hr in) and stopped to walk for that and water to go with it; but otherwise, I ran the whole thing and picked off runners as I went.  Around mile 8 I passed the 2:10 pass group and felt great.  If anything, I may have started off too slow. The inclines weren't as bothersome as I'd anticipated and the course had a great mix of sun and shade, as well as riverpath and neighbhorhoods.  I will continue to run this race in the future (plus the fact that it's only $45 last minute; compared to $85+ for Chicago-area halfs is nice too!)
My personal record (PR), for a half marathon was 2hours 7minutes (granted this was only my third marathon).  My official time for this was 2:04:49. Woohoo!!!  Maybe my original goal of breaking two hours isn't that far off. I'm contemplating another half this fall to break 2.  I definitely had more in myself to push a little harder and since I already have the training in...why not give it a try, right?!

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