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, April 9, 2012

Oak Barrel Half Marathon Recap

The Good
  • Finished with a chip time of 2:27:46 which is a new PR for me by over 3 min!!!
  • The scenery was beautiful with green pastures, cows, and huge trees
  • Race swag: long sleeve tech tee, running hat, finisher's medal, nice bag that I can actually use
  • First two miles I ran with Jenn (she has even longer legs than me!) and had a great time chatting
  • Running into Elizabeth and Melissa after the race
This was one of my favorite spots along the course

Absolutely beautiful countryside!

The Bad
  • Whiskey Hill was pretty rough and even though I walked the entire hill my quads are still burning from it

Looking back down Whiskey Hill




Looking up at what was still left to go


The Ugly

  • Moving Comfort = disaster for my poor little shoulders (I was sooo disappointed by this!)
  • Bloody socks and shoes again (my fault for not remembering to cut my toenails!)
(There will be no pictures of either!)

On Friday I decided to take Sasha for a nice ride up to Lynchburg, TN, so I could pick my packet up at the Jack Daniels Visitor Center and make sure I knew how to get to there since I would be driving by myself the next morning. It was an hour from our house to get there and the entire drive was absolutely gorgeous! 

Packet pick up

Sasha says thank you to the visitor's center for her lemonade!

What I'd love for Santa to bring me this year and it's for sale!

My favorite part of the drive (I stopped the car to take this the next morning on the drive in)
Going into this race I knew several bloggers and friends would be there and I tried to find as many people as I could. Luckily I found Jenn just before the start and we ran together for the first couple of miles. This girl is fast and ran a great race! I let her go after the first couple of miles because it was obvious I was slowing her down. (Jenn-I'd love to know what our times were for the first couple of miles because I'm pretty sure I've never run that fast!). After Jenn took off and I stopped to walk for a second I nearly checked out mentally. I felt like crying and I was so tired from the busy week and emotionally exhausted from being worried about my parents last week. The mental struggle continued for the next 5 miles as I tried to run as fast as I could and only take short breaks to walk. 

Jenn and I post-race
Somewhere around Mile 8 I noticed I was catching up to many of the people that had passed me between Miles 3-5. This stirred up my competitive nature and I decided I'd try to see how many of them I could pass and off I went which meant I was completely focused on my running and keeping good form. This continued for the next 3 miles and the section of the half that is normally a struggle for me probably turned out my fastest miles (with the exception of miles 1 & 2) as I picked people off. I took a couple of breaks to walk before checking my phone to see that I was close to 12.5 miles. I decided to run the rest of the way in and try to pass the few people that were within reach. As we neared the finish I did my normal sprint to the finish and easily passed them. 

Loved the carved wooden medal, running hat, tech tee, and bag!
I knew I had set a new PR as soon as I crossed the line and achieved a huge personal goal of running a sub-2:30 half. The only downside to it was that Allan was on a plane headed home instead of waiting at the finish line. Nonetheless I quickly grabbed some fruit and somehow managed to spot Elizabeth as she was leaving so I ran after her and we chatted and took a quick picture (yes, we are very good bloggers!). I've enjoyed running into her at races. It's always nice to hear a "War Eagle" after a race from a fellow Auburn grad! She ran a great race so keep an eye out for her recap.

Elizabeth & I

All I kept thinking about after the race was that I had only run my first half in November and there's just no way I've gone from running a half in 2:38:51 to 2:27:46. This PR was earned with blood, sweat, and almost tears. This is a course that I fell in love with and as close as it is to our house this is a race I will plan to run every year for as long as I can. Although I'm sure other PR's will replace this one you only ever run a sub-2:30 half for the first time once! Perhaps Allan will even run it with me next year! (I'm going to make him a long distance runner yet!) The perfect end to the post-race experience was running into Melissa afterwards. I know you guys have heard me mention her time and again as she is the person who inspired me to start running in the first place. She was a champ today racing two weeks after having the flu and still ran a sub-2 half! We realized that we've never taken a picture together after a race so we made sure to fix that!

Melissa & I post-race
I couldn't have asked for a better start to a month filled with 3 half marathons. Now I feel like I really can just enjoy myself next weekend running at the beach for the Gulf Coast Half and at the end of the month in Nashville for the Music City Half. Thank you all so much for all of your comments, thoughts, and prayers this past week. Both my parents are recovering well and Allan is home so I can't ask for more than that!

38 comments:

  1. Woo hoo! A new PR! And sub 2:30 at that. Way to go Suz! It looks like it was a beautiful race. I love some good scenery to take my mind off everything else. :)

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  2. Awesome job on the PR!!!! Also love the swag!

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  3. Great job! Nice Schwag! That hill looks killer. Usually you can't tell how steep a hill is in pictures so it must have been extremely steep!

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  4. SO excited for your PR! Keep up the hard work! With a hill like that, you're a shoe-in for another PR on a flatter course!

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  5. That is fantastic! You should be so proud of yourself! What a huge improvement since November. That hill looks horrible!

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  6. Woo hoo! Look at you go, girl!! :D Super happy for your new PR! That course does look gorgeous too! I always did love Tennessee. Dave is running Gulf Coast next weekend, you'll have to look for him. ;)
    Big congrats and glad the family is all doing well too!
    xo

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  7. Gorgeous pics!! Those roads are beautiful, and I think you should def put that house on your Christmas list for next year ;)

    Congrats on your PR!! Amazing job!!

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  8. Good job girl! Wow look at all the goodies!

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  9. congrats, you are just on a roll with PRs it seems! sorry about the blood and shoulders (that happens to me a lot too, I have to cover my shoulders in body glide)

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  10. Great half! Congrats on the PR's!!!

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  11. Woohoo! Congrats on a new PR, I love that house too!

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  12. Congrats Suz! So fantastic to have shaved so much time off your halfs one after the other...I know there will be many, many more Prs in your future!
    :)

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  13. Woo-hoo!! Congrats on that shiny new PR!

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  14. Congrats on a great race and PR!! That hill looked really tough and yest you still PR'd - awesome!

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  15. i don’t think I realized your first one was just in November-you are a machine! :) so happy for you and your shiny new PR-I see many more of those in your future. i’m so glad you found me too :) always great to catch up-even if quick! you got some good pics on whiskey hill-i was too tired to take my camera out of my belt…i may borrow them, with credit to you of course, if you don’t mind!

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  16. I am so glad you found me! You helped me more than you may know - I was getting sick with nerves waiting for the start. I was so glad we ran the first two miles together, I wish I would have stayed with you the whole race, I could have used your mental toughness.

    I am so incredibly in awe of you PRing on this course! It was a difficult course for sure and you kicked its butt! I love that you remembered to take pictures, I was barely able to put one foot in front of another!

    As far as the first two miles... my garmin says they were 9:34 and 9:25 :)

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  17. Congrats on the PR! That's awesome! It's fun that you got to meet up with so many different people!

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  18. Woohoo! Great race! Way to stick to it when you were down and finish strong. Our best races sometimes can be the toughest. The scenery was beautiful. I can't wait for it to get that green up here!

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  19. What a beautiful course! Congrats on the PR and hope your feets heal- there's not a whole lot worse than bloody socks and shoes ;)

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  20. Great race! Yeahh you had some tough times, but wow you made a fabulous come back. Congrats on the pr!

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  21. I just realized, the second scenery picture... I was in tears there. I was falling apart and just wanted to quit. Do you mind if I borrow a few of these for my blog (I will of course link back to you)? :)

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  22. Yay for the PR. I am hoping for a sub 2:30 PR this spring too. I have two halfs coming up in the next month. Love long sleeve shirts!!

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  23. Way to go on your PR!!!! I love the great swag you got!! That hill looks killer...no thanks!

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  24. SASHA = soooo cute!!

    congrats on the pr. i saw some people posting about whiskey hill after the race...man having the visual is INTENSE. so scarrryyyy. way to conquer it and come out with a PR!!! this race seems awesome...love the swag and super jealous of the cool medal!

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  25. Congrats!! That's so exciting :)

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  26. Congrats on a huge PR!!! It looks like a great race but a wicked hill.

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  27. Whoah, congrats! How awesome to PR by so much with such a big hill on the course! So proud of you :) This race sounds awesome - maybe I'll run it with you next year! I just googled it and it's about 9 hours from me….that's doable!

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  28. Can't believe you PR'd on that course! It was a really tough one. Great job! Still keeping your parents in my prayers.

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  29. Sub 2:30 and a PR - you rock! Way to go.

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  30. Congratulations!!! You did an amazing job! Be proud of your sub 2:30 half marathon, you deserved it!

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  31. Hi Suz. First, congrats on the PR!!

    Second, I totally forgot you're running the Gulf Coast Half too!! Is it too short notice to plan a meet up?

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  32. Great job on that PR! Three minutes is quite a break. :)
    Love that picture of Sasha drinking lemonade. Cute.
    Good luck for your future races.

    You are tagged on my blog.

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  33. Congrats on the PR!! Usually a picture doesnt show a hills true 'climb'. SO this mustve been one BIG hill!!!

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  34. GREAT JOB!!!! especially on such a hilly course! great swag and tshirt!!

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  35. This race looks like a good one! I love the long sleeve tee, too! Good job on your race! You were da bomb diggety! :)

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