Drug free racing

Date: June 3, 2012

Distance: 13.1 miles

Time: 2:23:30

I’ll start off with a warning. Adding a race weekend to an already-packed week makes for one helluva time-management conundrum.

I completed the Minnesota Half Marathon on Sunday–the beginning of a week that included a week-long visit by my parents, the last week of school for my kids, high school graduation for our oldest child, a week-long workshop and presentation for work, and the need to grade twenty papers and post end-of-term grades for my class by noon today. Needless to say, I’m a bit behind on my social media endeavors and I’ll probably be a bit less optimistic when scheduling future races during times my calendar is already overbooked.

I flew out to Minneapolis on Friday to meet up with Caree and Denise who drove twelve hours to our destination. Now THAT’S racing dedication.

As with almost all races I run with these two wild women, the race weekend started with some long-awaited festivities to kick things off. I’m placing most of the blame for my all day Saturday headache on them, and placing the rest of the blame on our shot-pushing waiter for putting mystery drinks in front of me that I had no business drinking–especially two days before a race.

Such serious athletes we are.

We took things easy on Saturday and were happy that, instead of the thunderstorms that were forecast for the next day, we woke up to blue, cloudless skies on race day morning. Caree, who showed us up once again by running the full marathon, started her race at 6:30 while Denise and I had the luxury of hanging out at the hotel for another hour before the half marathon started.

Not only is Caree the marathon wonder woman, but she knows how to book great hotel rooms too. We stayed in the same hotel that hosted the pre-race expo and packet pickup–also conveniently located across the street from the starting line. It’s so nice to not have to take a shuttle across town to the start!

The course was beautiful. It started in downtown Minneapolis and followed the river, with fairly minimal hills for the half. (Caree reported some killer hills on the full course). The finish area included a great classic rock band, plenty of food, and a well-organized gear bag pick up. The shuttles conveniently took us back to the hotel and I was able to make my early evening flight to be home and face the reality of my “to do” list and work schedule with ease. My foot gave me no trouble, and I really enjoyed running the entire race with my BFF, Nis, who was nice enough to talk with me throughout the race even though I’m sure she would have preferred to focus on her music.

The talking part generally doesn’t happen a whole lot when we run together–mostly because we are both huge proponents of running while listening to music. This time, however, I experienced a rather major glitch during the race–I neglected to verify that my iPod was charged before the race and only realized at the starting line that I would be running the next two hours without any music. And I had spent so much time creating the perfect “Minneapolis 2012” playlist! Darn it.

I quickly got over that minor disappointment and realized that it was easier to take in all of the race sights and sounds without numbing music blasting in my ears. Nice, sure, but I will admit that there were several points along the course when I really wished I had music. Running to carefully selected tunes really does help me through a race and I’ve always claimed that music enables me to run faster.

That’s not a far-fetched claim. This website article explores whether or not music helps runners run faster during a race. The article notes that Dr. Costas Karageorghis, author of Inside Sport Psychology, suggests that “listening to music while running can boost performance by 15%”. Dr. K is even more direct when he writes, “music is a legal drug for athletes”. Wow. A drug?

So, if music for runners is considered a drug, I guess I can proudly say that, while my alcohol choices on Friday were not very admirable, I can at least say that I was completely drug free for the race on Sunday.

____________________________________________

P.S. This post was going to also include the very funny story about the life-sized cardboard cutout of President Obama wearing a super hero suit that surprised me as I walked into the hotel room but I couldn’t get the photos to download. That story begs for photos. Thanks, girls, for the Minneapolis welcome!

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Once again….a great race report. However, you neglected to mention about how I had to sit on you and hold your mouth open while Caree poured those shots down your throat. LOL !! Good times and can’t wait for Idaho ! Love you Bean !

    Reply

  2. Posted by angie on June 6, 2012 at 9:21 am

    You constantly impress me with these race reports! You never fail to have fun regardless of headaches and lack of music. Just a couple of the reasons I love you! 🙂

    Reply

  3. Posted by angie on June 6, 2012 at 9:22 am

    ps – i will be waiting for the Obama superhero story!

    Reply

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