Monday, November 19, 2012

Santa's Wonderland 1 Mile Fun Run Recap - With a 12 Mile Warm-Up

On Saturday night, Jeff and I ran the 1 mile race at Santa's Wonderland - they also had a 5K as well, but since we were running in the morning (more on that in a bit), we opted for the shorter distance...which we ended up being really grateful for, as the idea of running at all wasn't very appealing after our morning long run.

This was the inaugural race at Santa's Wonderland, and it sounded fun to me because I am a sucker for Jingle Bell runs.  With this race, we got to run through the lights at Santa's Wonderland, which was a cool bonus about the race entry fee.  The race benefited the local food bank and we were asked to bring canned goods on race day as an additional donation. 

The race t-shirts were very cute, and we actually wore them for the race - traditionally, in runner's lore, you don't wear the race shirt until after you've done the race, but hey - rules are made for breaking, right?  Along with the shirts, we got jingle bells in our race packets (plus a really pretty race bib), so we were all set for a festive race:
Occasionally I can get Jeff to dress matchy-matchy...although I don't think he would have gone for the socks! 

The look on my face pretty much says it all:
 
"What was I THINKING, signing up to do a race after our long run in the morning?!!"

The 5K race started across the highway - they had to run down the access road, cross an overpass, and then run toward us, still on the access road, until they hit Santa's Wonderland, where the last mile (and our only mile) was all in the lights.  We didn't start our run until most of them had hit the park...it was pretty exciting to see that the first runner was none other than our teenage prodigy Gus Roman Jr., who pretty much wins every race he enters.  We cheered everyone on, and then finally, it was our turn.  We got to run with pace group elves - we choose Buddy, of course!

Now honestly, we were both really sore and tired from running 12 miles that morning.  Plus I had "runner's gut" - my stomach just hurt after the long run, and except for a breakfast taco during the post-race party, I hadn't had anything to eat all day.  I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do much beyond a nice stroll through the lights - and that would have been perfectly fine.  But the race started, and we ran.  Not only was I surprised at that, but also, that we were running on rocky dirt and gravel...I'd never been to Santa's Wonderland, and had no idea that it wasn't paved.  So we were running through a dust cloud that was kicked up by other runners, and trying to stay balanced on the rocky terrain - but we were running.  The lighted displays were awesome - we ran through tunnels of lights, past the Alamo (lol, this IS Texas), some longhorns, oversized cowboy boots, and the Texas flag, along with more traditional Christmas displays.  It was bright and cheery, and really fun.  We ran and I didn't feel that bad, which surprised me.  Before I knew it, we were at the finish line - a mile goes pretty quick when it's only one of one, instead of one of a dozen!

We collected our candy canes and hung around the park for a few minutes where snow was falling:
Snow in south Texas in November?  Magic!

Jeff thought we'd run pretty fast, and the next morning when the race results were posted, I got the shock of my life - I ran that mile in 11:58!  After running 12 miles earlier in the day, I'm surprised I could even walk, much less run fast.  And on a rocky dirt road, no less!  

One last picture as we left the park:
The colors, they're so pretty!!!

*******************

So I've mentioned that we ran 12 miles earlier in the day...we originally planned on only running 8 miles, but this ended up being the benchmark run for our running club - the longest run for both groups.  The halfs were doing 12 miles and the fulls were doing 21 miles (I pitied them).  When the course map was emailed out earlier in the week, I looked at it and thought "that doesn't seem so bad" - what can I say, I had runner's amnesia after the never-ending 13.1 miles the week before.  Plus Coach Dale made this like a real race - we had to get there early to register and put on our bibs, and there were supported aid stations along the way (it's always so nice to see a friendly face when you are going through torture).  At the end, he even had medals and breakfast tacos for us.  So how could we NOT do the full 12 miles?

Well, we did the 12, but not without some massive rethinking on this whole running long distances thing.  Right around mile 5, I thought "I feel pretty good - why not stop now, before all the aches and pains start?" - and it took me a couple of miles to get back into the run.  Then, around mile 9, I was running so slow that I'm sure it looked like I was in slo-mo.  I needed to take a walking break, which is something Jeff has been opposed to doing, unless it's scheduled.  Well, after a come-to-Jesus meeting with him, I finally got the point across that taking a short walk break actually revives me and I run much better afterward.  And when I need a walk break, it might come at unscheduled times.  Crazy, I know...not predicting and therefore scheduling when I might get tired.  The last few miles of the run ended up being really good - yes, it was tough to finish, but we did it in much better moods than the previous week, and I'm actually willing to run the BCS Half, and even looking forward to it, with Jeff.  Miracles happen. 

(But after that race, I'm still going to reevaluate running long distances.  Five miles STILL sounds pretty appealing to me right about now!)

Post 12-mile run picture:
 12 and done - with smiles!
Close up of my newest medal!

22 comments:

  1. five miles.
    twelve miles.
    Im so in awe of your mental tenacity these days.
    AND of Jeff and you running together.
    Methinks Id have to light my husband's arse on fire to get him to run with me.
    WAIT.
    is that a legal option?! :-)

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    1. LOL. Love the idea of torching our other halves to get them to run! I just leave mine a half mile or so behind on our evening walks and he has to jog to keep up. But I'm thinking fire might be a better option.

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  2. I could probably do the one-mile race, if there were unscheduled and frequent walking breaks, LOL.

    Csrla is right, your mental and physical tenacity is awe-inspiring. That said, I fully support your interest in running fewer, faster miles. Not every runner has to keep adding distance, especially if it causes so much physical pain and/or ultimately keeps you from running at all. That seems counter-productive, you know?

    Love the pretty trees and big smiles!

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  3. You two look so durn cute! That picture makes me smile. I was thinking about you this weekend and wondering if you got your mojo back.

    5 miles is a distance - a good distance. If that is your regular run that allows you to just enjoy running and be able to do all the other things in your day, nothing wrong with that. I've rethought doing running at all (again... ) this weekend.

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  4. Um, yeah. I'm pretty sure I would never schedule a race after a long run like that, even if it was only one mile lol! You rock Shelley.

    Jeff needs to learn to let you run your own race or long run. His does not have to be yours. I know he's trying to be supportive by running with you but that's counter productive if he won't let you run how you need to. If he wants to stay with you, he has to do it your way. That's the running rule: when a faster runner chooses to run with someone slower the faster runner concedes to the slower runner. If the faster runner does not want to do that, they should tell the slower runner and then go off and run on their own!

    Just wondering did you use Gu or Gatorade during your 12 miler?

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    1. Less GU than normal, but I did have about 2 ounces of Gatorade on the course.

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    2. I think this is why you keep getting runner's gut. It took me a while to figure out that it was the Gu and Gatorade causing it. Try eliminating them one at a time and see if your stomach does better. Because, seriously, it's not good for your body for you not to be eating or drinking some calories after these long runs. You should at least be able to eat a normal amount of food, even if you don't replace every single calorie. Your muscles and body systems need the nutrition for you to recover properly.

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  5. Wow, a 12 mile pre-race run? That would so never happen in my lifetime! Great race photos and am so impressed by your kick-ass attitude!

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  6. Oh my. Running 12 miles when you were expecting 8? That's astounding! And topping it with another mile that night. I'm surprised you could even walk out to the car to drive to the race!

    But I'm glad you did. that pic of the trees is SOOOO pretty!!

    Love your socks.

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  7. I think the 1 mile run time is amazeballs after your 12 miles!! I probably would have walked it. :D

    And I always try to get Tony to wear matching clothes with me, but he says that will only happen when he's had a stroke and can't speak for himself!

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    1. Haha, that ought to be incentive for Tony to stay healthy! ;)

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  8. Aw, that holiday run looks like so much fun! And you basically ran a half in a day - way to go!

    I'm doing a holiday run in a few weeks and I'm SO EXCITED! I think I need to find myself some socks like yours :)

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    1. I got the socks at Target a couple of years ago - they are fun to have for these crazy runs!

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  9. I love the little medal. I'm trying to get some friends to run a half at Brazos State Park and they wont do it because there aren't any medals or tees. You just gave me an idea - now to find alligators riding monster trucks to put on the medals!

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    1. There you go - make your own medals and bribe your friends to do the race! :)

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  10. LOVE those lights!!! I think it would be a blast to run at Christmas!!!
    Where do you find your socks? I love those!!

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    1. I got the socks at Target two years ago, but I bet they have something similar now.

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  11. How does your foot/ankle feel after that? KUDOS to you for getting right back on the running band wagon!! Great job!

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    1. The ankle was sore toward the latter part of the 12 miles, but didn't really bother me later on during the 1 miler run. Foot has been a lot better ever since the lidocaine injection. Thanks for asking - hopefully things will stay OK for the next few weeks, at least. :)

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  12. That medal is probably the cutest one you ever got, I love it.

    I think it's a good thing you're going to reevaluate after the race what you want to do. Currently I'm training for 5K and I have to say that I love the short distance. I will train for a 10K after this but after that: I haven't made my mind up.

    Well done on the 12 miler and now off to the Santa Wonderland run: I love, love, love it. We don't have these kind of things and I'm a bit jealous you do because I would love to run something like this. Looks like so much fun.

    About the crisis, I was referring to the economic crisis (recession) in my country. I wasn't really clear about that, sorry for that. We have to pay so much more to taxes and health insurance next year that there's less money to spent on other things.

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  13. You look happy and fit and strong!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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  14. Love your "can do" attitude to your running. And how fun that is "snowed" in Texas in November! You look happy and healthy in the pics Shelley. Big yay and big hug to that!

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