Suz's love for COWS + Allan's work with LASERS = one unique blog name! Welcome to our blog filled with race recaps, pictures of our labs, and everything else we share with blogland!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monte Sano 15K-My First 15K in My Race Ragz!!!

Remember this post when we took a trip to Monte Sano for the first time? How did I not remember this is a MOUNTAIN?! I think it's very fitting that I ran my first 15K at Monte Sano which is Spanish for Mountain of Health. My goal setting out was to finish in under 2 hours. Having never run a race of any distance greater than a 5K I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from my body on race day. My first 10 mile run a couple of weeks ago I ran in 2:00:25 so I knew 2 hours should be doable.

This is me at 6:30 AM as we headed out for the race
We got in the car and my nerves got the best of me so we had to make a quick stop at McDonald's where there were not ONE but TWO buses full of high school band kids. Every single majorette was in the bathroom putting on their outfits! A quick stop to pee turned into a 10 minute ordeal that left me literally running to the car afterwards. Shortly after 7AM we ascended the mountain and arrived at the state park. I already had my race packet but it was recommended to arrive early so you could park close. We walked around for awhile but I wanted back in the car. It was cold and I was freezing in my shorts. We were parked right next to the start line so I stretched and got back in the car until it was almost race time.

***If you don't want to hear my rave reviews of My Race Ragz shirt that I ran in then skip ahead because this paragraph will be filled with nothing but praise for my first customized racing shirt! I won this shirt  from The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans and I am so glad it arrived in time for this race. I opted for the long sleeve because I only have one other long sleeve "racing shirt" and that's the one I got for the Monte Sano 15K. I picked a quote and design for the front that I thought fit me. "Pain is Temporary, Finishing Lasts Forever" is on the front with a female runner in a sun. The oranges in both were a perfect match! "Running does not build character, running reveals it" is the My Race Ragz quote that I chose for the back underneath my name. I have never had so many people stop and ask where I got my shirt or tell me that they really liked the quote. I even had a random pair of ladies out for their Saturday morning run yell "Good run Suzanne" while I was struggling to get to mile marker 7. It was just the push I needed to run to the final water station. The fit on the shirt was amazing! I've never owned a running shirt made like this-it makes me look really skinny which I love! At first I thought the women's medium might be too snug but it turned out great. I did end up pushing my sleeves up a few times but that was mostly because I was hot and not because of anything wrong with the shirt. I honestly can't wait to run in it again. Half marathon shirt? I think so!

Sporting my new My Race Ragz shirt I won from Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans
I lined up close to the back and we were off! I had looked at the course map online so I at least had a general idea of where we would be running but honestly I had no clue. The first couple of miles I kept looking at my watch and reminding myself of Allan's three tips: Pace, Posture, Knees. I was to keep a good pace, run with my shoulders back and head up, and pick my knees up. I probably said these 3 words over and over to myself at least 100 times. I was feeling pretty good until Mile 5 and then it started to get a little tough. Lucky for me around Mile 7 another runner who was keeping my pace talked to me and we ran together the rest of the way until my sweet friend Melissa (my inspiration for running) caught up to us. She rocked the race and nearly set a PR for herself and took home the award for 3rd in her age group! Thank goodness she came back to look for me!

The back of my lovely shirt-I've never had so many compliments on a shirt in my life
Melissa ran with us until we hit the home stretch. Turns out she knew the runner I had made friends with.
Such a small running world! When we made the next to last turn and I could see the park entrance I knew we were almost there. I stopped to walk for a few seconds because all of a sudden I felt really hot and the last time I felt this way in a race and ignored my body I almost puked all over Allan. I could see Allan waving me on to the final turn and when I hit the final turn and could see the finish I picked up the pace and crossed the line at 1:49:12. Allan did his best to capture me crossing the finish and wouldn't you know I'm fiddling with the bottom of my race bib trying to get it torn off so I could run all the way through the finish.

Almost there!!!
Needless to say this race was quite the experience for me. It was my first distance longer than a 5K, an automatic PR, and I beat my goal of 2 hours by more than 10 minutes. The best part of the entire experience was running with another runner for the last couple miles. She has run the race several times, run several half marathons, and run three marathons. This was her first race coming back from an injury that she sustained in this event last year. She really encouraged me and made me feel like I'm ready for a half marathon. Apparently the Huntsville Half doesn't have the hills that running on the MOUNTAIN does. I will see those hills in my nightmares I think. My only complaint was that there weren't enough water/aid stations. Next year I will have to carry my own water bottle. I've been spoiled in all my 5K's getting 2 stations and this one only had 3 total. This probably cost me some time because I had to completely stop and drink my entire cup of water or Gatorade before running again because I knew it would be 3 miles before I would have another chance to have something to drink. Other than that the race was great, hills and all I suppose!

This was my racing pose that Allan made me do-I think it's more runner meets cheerleader complete with a pointy toe
During the race Allan took advantage of free time at the state park to roam around and capture nature shots for this blog post. He took some great shots but I'll just share a couple. This is the first time since we have known each other that I've participated in any kind of sporting event without him. We played intramural soccer and football together and have always run our races together. He plays soccer and I've been to numerous games to support him so it was nice to finally have a chance to have him supporting me. He was absolutely wonderful and kept telling me how proud he is. He can be such a sweetie when he wants to be!

A view from the lookout behind the finish line

Some of the leaves starting to turn
Now what does any good person do after finishing their first 15K? Take a shower, watch football, split a Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte, and go to Kroger. On a sad note we did lose a couple of followers this weekend and when I find out who it is I'm unfollowing their blogs too I'm sad that they have chosen to leave us but alas such is life in the blogging world!

"If they are fair weather followers then so be it. They're probably reading just to look for free stuff."-Allan's take on losing 2 followers over the weekend (gotta love someone that balances out my sensitivity)


  1. I am soooo proud of you! And you are much too free with your praise of me! :-) Seriously, I do love the fact that I have inspired you to ramp up your running. May you get as addicted to it as I am and find that it's a great way to balance everything that goes on in our hectic everyday lives. I look forward to running lots of races with you in the future. You rock, my friend!

  2. Great job Suzanne! If you can make it the 9 miles, it's just a short 3 miles for a half-and you can definitely do that!!

  3. Wow! A 5K to a 15 K! That's such an accomplishment! You'll be running a marathon in no time. :)

  4. Suz I am SO PROUD of you -- what an amazing accomplishment!! I was sitting on the edge of my seat anticipating this recap, and I'm stoked you beat your goal! Nothing like an instant PR to boost your ego, too!

    I am also glad you're getting more and more into running because I'm seriously going to kidnap you for some fun trips we usually plan around marathons. Life is definitely an adventure;)

    And don't worry about losing/gaining followers -- it happens. Just continue being yourself, doing your thing, and always have fun.

    I hope you and Allan get to enjoy this Holiday Monday.. Miss yah!!

  5. Those followers are missing out! Fantastic job crushing your time goal on what sounds like a tough race! I think the pose at the end is cute, it's an adorable pic of you. Why didn't your hubby run too? It sounds like you could certainly do a half marathon! One problem with this post - I would never split a pumpkin spice latte :).

  6. Good job girl!
    BTW the pumpkin Blue Moon is pretty good! Tell him to try it!

  7. that shirt is awesome i'm going to go check out their stuff right now. GREAT JOB!!! Way to crush your goal!

  8. I love automatic PRs!!! I think I might find some new random distances to race when the moral is low, just so I can claim these! :) Haha...

    And I love that race shirt!!! So cool!! Shirts with your name on the back always rock! I love customized stuff.

    (And we're still following you and love it!! xoxox)


Thanks for stopping by and commenting on our blog! We love to hear from you guys!