Race Report: Little Rock Half Marathon

This past weekend I ran the Little Rock Half Marathon, which made half marathon #7 (and state #4 if anyone is counting) for me!

I left Saturday morning at 7:00, drove an hour and a half to pick up Mom, and we were back on road by 8:45.  We arrived in Cabot where her BFF lives at about 12:30, picked her up at her house, grabbed a quick lunch out, and headed into Little Rock for packet pickup.  The process was very efficient.  I grabbed my shirt and bib very quickly, and then we just wandered around the expo for a little bit.  It was Mom’s first expo, and she was just amazed at all the running-related stuff!  I didn’t buy anything (except some Shot Bloks and a GU), but I found this and I wanted it soooooo bad!  Except this was just a sticker.  I wanted the magnet for my truck (because I’m classy like that), but they were sold out!  All the other hoes beat me to them.  Mom was not upset by the fact that her daughter would not be sporting this sticker.

We headed back to Cabot, hung out around the house for a while then out to eat at a FANTASTIC mom ‘n’ pop Italian joint.  Too bad I can’t remember the name of it because I would totally recommend it!  I ate my weight in spaghetti marinara and bread.  After spending so many hours in a vehicle and then gorging myself on food, by 8:30 I could barely keep my eyes open, so I was in bed super early on race eve.  I wish I could say I slept well, but I didn’t sleep for crap.  My Tempurpedic mattress has ruined me for all other mattresses.  I woke up several times through the night, but eventually 5:30 came and it was go time.
The race started at 8:00, and we were actually running ahead of schedule.  We were in Little Rock by 7:15.  Since we weren’t sure how long it would take to find a parking place or how far away it would be, Mom and J dropped me off a couple of blocks from the start line and then went to park.  I hadn’t planned on standing in the corral for 45 minutes, so I hadn’t brought any throw-away clothes, so it was pretty nipply!  Temp when I got out of the car was 36.  As long as I stood in the sun I was okay though.
(Side note:  I met the most interesting woman in the starting area!  She has already run a marathon in all 50 states and this year is running one in Africa and Asia to finish up all seven continents!)
Finally 8:00 came and Corral A was turned loose.  I was in the open corral, so I was in the back.  As I was walking up to the mat, I caught sight of Mom and J.
The first mile was pretty congested.  There were times that I actually walked in that first mile because I just didn’t have anywhere to go.  But that was fine by me.  This was a training run, remember?
I sincerely wish that I could remember details of races when I run them, but I just don’t.  I couldn’t tell what you what I ran past, where we went, what I saw… When we got back to J’s house afterwards, her husband was asking me if I ran past this or if I ran past that… I had no idea.  Observation is not my strong suit.
So yeah, like I said, my goal for this race was to run it as a training run for the upcoming Shamrock half in two weeks.  I had absolutely no intentions of racing this race.  And now?  Now I kind of wish I had.  Had I known then what I know now, I WOULD have.  I don’t know if it was the fact that it was a race, the weather, my kickass playlist, the pre-race nutrition, or what, but I was just FEELING it, man.  I was just clipping right along, never feeling like I was pushing out of my comfort zone (okay, that’s a lie, there were a couple of hills that kind of got me), walked through SEVERAL water stops (it warmed up quickly to the mid-50s by the time I finished, and I was working up a pretty good sweat.), and I still ended up with this.

An accidental PR!

Garmin stats 13.27 miles in 2:14:22 for a 10:08 pace/Official stats 13.1 miles in 2:14:22 for a 10:16 pace.
Considering that I didn’t race and ran a 10:08 on a course that looked like this
and finished strong like this
I’m feeling oh-so-confident that I can run <10:00 at Shamrock, which looks like this.
But this report is about Little Rock!  We’ll talk about Shamrock in two weeks.
So about Little Rock… even though I suck at remembering the course, everything that I do remember about the entire experience was fantastic.  It was SO well organized.  The spectators and community support were like no other.  The course support was perfect.  More than enough hydration stations offering both water and Gatorade(?).  I loved the smaller field size (around 4,000 half plus about the same number of full marathoners, I think.).  Even though it was pretty hilly for the last half, it seemed to be just the right combination of up and down.  There was quite seriously not one single thing I could suggest to improve the race, and I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND it to anyone and everyone.  I will most certainly be doing it again in the future.  And they had the coolest medal ever!
The “0” in the year is a spinning disco ball!  How freaking cool is that?!
And now you can feel free to close this screen because the rest of this is gonna be stuff that won’t be interesting to anyone else, but I want to make notes of it for my own future reference!
Prerace nutrition:  High carb, lowish fiber
Friday
Breakfast:  Caramel almond butter on whole wheat toast
Lunch:  PB/honey/banana on whole wheat bread with strawberries
Dinner:  Three slices of Papa Johns tomato/black olives/bell pepper pizza
No alcohol
Saturday
Breakfast:  Cascadia Farms cinnamon raisin granola with soy milk
Snack:  Blueberry crisp Clif bar
Lunch:  Burger King veggie burger and fries
Dinner:  Spaghetti marinara and bread
One glass of moscato
More peanut M&Ms than I care to admit to throughout the day
Sunday
Breakfast:  Cascadia Farms cinnamon raisin granola with dairy milk
30 min prerace:  5-hr energy drink
15 min prerace:  Espresso GU
Clif black cherry Shot Blok at miles 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, and 12
The most awesome, most random playlist ever:
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