Monday, April 19, 2010

Dow Live Earth Run For Water 6K - Recap!

On Sunday morning, I ran the Dow Live Earth Run For Water 6K in Houston - this was a global event that had races all over the U.S. and many other countries. Famous celebrities participated in these races, and although I tried to convince Kelly that Justin Timberlake was at our event, I don't think any "real" celebrities actually came to Houston. Pity.

Jeff and I drove down to Houston on Saturday afternoon - spent a couple hours at Market Street in The Woodlands - man, do I need to leave my small town more often...this place was nice!!! We went there because it had a running store called Luke's Locker, and I was bound and determined to buy The Stick - my foam roller is great, but you have to have a floor to use it, and knowing that after the race, I was going to be spending a couple of hours in the car riding back to our town, I wanted to get to work on my sore muscles right away. It was fun to shop at such a nice running store - I spent quite some time drooling over all the clothes and accessories (arm sleeves! recovery socks! hydration systems!), and although I wanted to buy a pair of hot pink Thorlo Experia socks to go with my running outfit for Sunday, they didn't carry that color. Too bad - but I know my contact at Thorlo, Tracy Harris, is working on getting more fun colors (side note to Tracy: purple and hot pink would be appreciated!). I looked at other brands that were in hot pink, but was hesitant to try them since the Thorlos work so well for me. Is anybody else that sock loyal (or is it paranoid?) - I hate to spend anywhere between 10 and 15 bucks on a pair of socks that I don't know will feel as good as my Thorlos. Long story short (I know, I know), I left Luke's Locker with just The Stick - which I love!

(I'm sure you are wondering if I am ever going to start my recap. Soon...more shopping ensued that I just know you are all dying to hear about! And yes, please read appropriate amount of sarcasm into that sentence, lol).

Another neat store that I found at Market Square was Lululemon! I've seen their products online, but it was great to be able to walk inside their store and see everything up close! They have some gorgeous, well-made clothes, and I was loving their Define jacket, but at the price of $99, it just wasn't in my budget. They call their clothing an "investment" and I can see why - they do look like they would hold up to a lot of wear, but I will have to start saving my pennies in order to afford it. Someday, Define jacket, you will be mine.

After Jeff and I split a Cuban sandwich paired with yucca fries (yum) and each had a side salad (which ended up being too much food), we headed to our hotel, where I woke up pretty much every hour, waiting for the alarm to go off. I do this before every race - you'd think I'd be a little cooler about it, but apparently there's a five-year-old inside of me who is superexcited about the race! Not knowing how long it would take us to get to downtown Houston, and what traffic we might be dealing with, we left about 6:25 am. And got there about 6:35 am. Apparently there is no traffic going into downtown on a Sunday - who would'a thunk it? (Note: the rubes from the sticks, that's who!) The good thing about getting there that early is that we got an excellent parking spot - about three spaces down from the start/finish line! I picked up my bib, timing chip and quite possibly the ugliest race t-shirt ever, and sat down to wait for Kelly and her family to show up.
Just chillaxin' before the race...I'm actually outside of the restrooms (yay, no porta-potties!) - but I had to include this picture to show you that if you turn *just* the right way and have a great camera angle, you can look way thinner than you are!
Woot - Kelly is finally here!Right before the shotgun start (btw they did not use an actual shotgun - but this IS Texas and you never know). Jeff said I kept posing every time he tried to take a candid picture of me - of course I posed; I always look dorky(ier) in candids! And we're off! Please take note of the man in jeans running to get out of the way - too funny!Can you see me? I'm the one in the hot pink cap and shirt, making a dorky face. Kelly's very tall daughter Rachel is next to me; Kelly is kind of hidden behind us.I look like a doofus when I'm running! Kelly's husband Chuck took this picture as we passed each other on the course (they walked the 6K while I ran). I was on my way back - must have been past the 2 mile marker at this point.Coming in for the finish! Getting closer - I put it into high gear and the announcer called out "Way to kick it, 1672!" - cool to be noticed for that, because I WAS running fast!Right after - my pit crew takes care of me with not one, but TWO cups of water!Kelly, Chuck, Rachel and Charlie - the walkers (although they ran in for the finish) - such a cute family!

Now, a few of thoughts about this race. Both Kelly and I were surprised and a little disappointed that there was no swag - you got your (ugly) t-shirt and that was it. Nothing running-related OR water-related...considering this race had a huge corporate sponsor, we both thought there should have been something - a water bottle, perhaps? And after the race, what little fruit they had was gone by the time I got there. They were, however, handing out chicken sandwiches and greasy tacos from Jack in the Box. Weird fare for after a run - where were the bagels and bananas?

As for the race route, it was on a road - we actually went under a couple of freeway overpasses. That was a little freaky, hearing the cars on the road above us! And the ramps climbed up, which was a surprise - I didn't expect any hills. Luckily, I had just read on Saturday in one of Jeff Galloway's books about running on hills - he said to shorten your stride, so I did, and managed to keep running the entire climb.

Have you heard about runners hitting "the wall" - they get to a place where finishing the race seems impossible, and they have to work really hard to push through that? Well, I hit the wall immediately. Seriously - I kept thinking "I hate this I hate this I hate this, why am I doing this, this is stupid, I'm never going to do this again" - over and over. It was bad. And it lasted for about the entire first mile. Then, I realized that I was ok - my legs felt good, my breathing was better, and I knew that I would be able to keep running and finish the race. I think I have a real problem with running these races alone. I need the distraction of a running buddy to get through the first mile - I have had such different races, emotionally, when I've ran with a buddy. I know I should be strong and suck it up and just run, but for me, it's hard -I always start out too fast, I'm practically gasping for air, the course looms ahead of me, my legskneesfeet hurt, and dang it, I just want someone to say "we can do this" to me! And yes, I feel like a big baby to admit this, but running just isn't as much fun alone. I know it's a solitary sport. Yet for me, I need a "teammate/buddy/partner" and without one, I face huge mental obstacles. Sigh. Don't know what I'm going to do about this.

OK, enough complaining. After the race, since I didn't get any food, we found a Panera (one of my favorite places to eat; sadly we don't have one in our town) where I "fueled up" on a jalapeno cheddar bagel and egg sandwich - so tasty!
This picture is for Lori, who has a Panera in her town and eats a bagel there every Wednesday!

After our breakfast, we went back to the hotel where I got cleaned up. We met Kelly and family for a late lunch at Pappasitos, where I had this ginormous Tequila-Lime salad - yum!
I don't think I even ate half of the salad - but the leftovers came home with us and Jeff ate them for dinner.
Kelly and I - all cleaned up!

It was so fun to see Kelly and Chuck again, and to meet their kids, who are so sweet and polite and fun to be around. All-in-all, it was a fun weekend!


  1. Im in awe of you.
    you are an athlete a competitor and a badasswoman.

  2. Awesome job Shelley! Well done, and you are too cute in your pink shirt and hat:)
    Maybe you could rope your husband or a girlfriend into running your races with you if you don't like doing them alone...just a thought.

  3. Congrats on another well run race!! And thanks for the link to the Stick. They have a foot wheel which is good for plantar fasciitis so I think I am going to order it. I will try anything! The video on the Stick's website talked about muscles much like my chiropractor did...I think the approaches are very similar!

  4. Great job, Shelley. Going it alone is difficult, but you got through it! Awesome - and you should come up here to visit - I've got a Luke's right across the street :-)

    Have a great week!

  5. Woohhoooo, go go go Shelley! I am so grateful that you post these recaps for us. I need to get back into the swing of running and do some more 5Ks like I promised myself I would, and you are inspiring me to get moving again.

  6. Great job once again Shelley.

    I guess we have some weird food around here: We have a race that serves grilled hot dogs, another that serves clam chowder and a women's only race where the finish food is... strawberry shortcake! Plus a local gourmet bakery comes in with bunches of their fancy breads and spreads. That race I do for the food for sure!

  7. congrats SHelly! you did fantastic.
    I'm alittle suprised that you just got a t-shirt as well. All the runs I've done, big or small we always got something even if it were a pencil and an egg cooker:-).

  8. Shelley - what an athlete you have become! You should be so, so proud of yourself. That wall is a bitch, isn't it? I always seem to hit it at about 1.5 miles. But, you just truck on through it. The wall is made paper, it just looks like brick.

    I wish we could run a race together.

    And yay for bagels!!

  9. I'd like to just say ditto to Mizfit. :)

    Sorry we didn't get to run together. I just would have felt terrible leaving Charlie and Rachel and Chuck behind. It's my turn to come to CS to run. You have anything coming up? Then we can run together and chat about the cool running gear everyone has. LOL

  10. Well, if I ever do an official race, I hope that they give away cars or something...yeah...not a practical thought.

    If I were back in St. Louis right now, there would be about 3-4 5k events to select from each weekend...perhaps I'd have at least one under my belt. Next year, perhaps.

    You are doing so great!

  11. So cool to see you and Kelly together, tearing up the asphalt with your wickedly badass selves. I gagged when I read they were offering TACOS afterward. Strange way to refuel. Looking good as always. Loved the pics.

  12. Congrats. I love races. So fun. That food looks tasty.

    off topic You ran with your hair down? In Houston? Dang! You're tougher than me.

  13. Congrats on your run, you make me jealous that I had to walk mine. Your pictures of food were great. You look great by the way. I also like good socks and I paid $10.00 a pair. I only have two pair though. Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh for you.

  14. Great Recap! You're doing so great. Loved all the pics and the shopping recap as well.

    Have a great day!

  15. Well done Shelley on another great run!

    I had to laugh at your face because I've noticed it is as red as mine after a run :) How long does it take your face to get back to it's normal colour? Mine about an hour :lol:

    If you don't like running alone I would only participate from now on if you have a running buddy.

    Here in Holland we never get much more than a drink and a medal after a race.

  16. It was such a busy day at work today - I am finally checking in! :D

    Love the recap - it's funny, when I first start out I am like "there is no way I can run one more step" but then all of a sudden, I am fine - just have to get over that initial mile!

    OMG, I did not know Panera had that bagel - I pass right by one on my way to work every day - don't be too jealous!

    Happy Monday!

  17. I am completely with you on the swag.. you should have at a minimum been sprayed with tiny scrubbing bubbles.
    The food looks yummy!

  18. Congrats on the 6k.

    My curiosity has been peaked and now I kinda wanna see the ugly shirt. ;)

  19. Wow. So many cool things to mention! 1st - thanks for helping me with my new blog, Your thoughtfulness and support are SOO appreciated. 2nd - Taz could be a twin to our own putty-cat, Turbo. We got him last year from a shelter and he is the best big kitty in the whole world (even if he thinks he is a dog). 3rd - UBER CONGRATS on the awesome run. What an inspiration. I don't run unless someone is chasing me, so I am very impressed! Thank you again and have a wonderful rest of your week. You rock! :) - Kirsten

  20. First of all, I bought The Stick at the running Expo at my 1/2 Marathon in VA Beach. I LOVE IT!
    Second of all, this is more sad, I can't fit into lululemon yet. The XL's are a bit tight, so good for you!!! (oh yeh, the money part....I'll get smaller and we can both save for it and Lululemon will be there waiting. My friends swear by it.)
    As for the runner's wall, yup. "I hate this, I'll never do it again" I think I said that for about 4 miles during the 1/2. Everyone said it's like having a baby, you forget about the labor.
    Rock on! You looked GREAT!

  21. Shelley!
    A girl after my own heart! I've been bugging Tracy to get pink Thorlos, too. And the whole first mile thing: me, too! Actually, it's the first 2 miles for me, which is why I've learned I don't much like 5Ks... not enough time to get warmed up and the race is over. Ha! Love your hot pink race day shirt, one of my fave colors!

    I'm LOL about the greasy post-race food. Just posted about food today and mentioned pizza at a tri event: Seriously?? But Panera does the trick, for sure. And your salad looks amazing.

    I'm also LOL about the candid vs. posed pics. My hubs says same thing and my response is the same as yours. Dorky. I can do that on my own. Don't need it a permanent record of it, thank you.

    You guys come to Orlando..we four would have a great time! And now to get ready for your summer race....

    Oh, and I just noticed: the Hemingway-looking fellow in the pic of you and Kelly. Wonder what he's reading??

    Look for your Wednesday Winners feature tomorrow (4/21). You are on deck, friend...FINALLY!!!

    robin/turtle runner

  22. I can't help but see the future me when I read your blog and follow your progress. Maybe it's because we both started at the same wt (and similar height)...or maybe it's because we both have grown fond of running, but I am SO inspired by all of your progress! Congrats on another race down...Your pace was outstanding...and with hills!

  23. GREAT JOB GIRL!!!!

    And I love Pappasito's....have you tried their grilled chicken and spinach quesadilla?? YUM. :)

  24. I love your race recaps. Way to kick it, 1672!

    The best photo trick in the book is to stand sideways to the camera and just turn your upper body towards the lens, suck it in and stick your chin out and slightly up. Either that of photoshop ;)


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