Sunday, June 29, 2014

Training 6.23.14 - Chicago Marathon W4

Monday 6/23 - Rest
Monday rest day, much needed after Sunday's race!

Tuesday 6/24 - Run || 3 miles || 31:00, 10:20p || 75* and HUMID
So humid. So hot. Yuck! Splits 10:47/10:10/10:00.  3/62.6

Wednesday 6/25 - Run || 5 miles || 48:30, 9:39p || 57-59* and foggy but humid
Weird run. I contemplated cutting it short the first mile, I just felt off, but I settled in and got it done. My pace the first mile shows how off I felt, then I settled pace jumped for mile 3 and I wasn't sure why so I made myself slow down, but looking at my fifth mile maybe I should have just gone with it! Splits 10:47/10:05/9:07/9:25/8:41.  8/67.6

Thursday 6/26 - Run || 3 miles || 31:30, 10:30p || Treadmill
Treadmill day. I decided that even if I'm slower on the treadmill than on the road I don't think I'm 40s a mile slower - so if I can do 3m in 31m on a very ht humid and sunny day, I can guess about the same on the treadmill, hah.. 11/70.6.

Friday 6/27 - Run || 2 miles || 17:57, 8:59p || 57-59* and foggy but humid
Supposed to be a rest day but the baby had me awake literally half the night and wouldn't let me sleep after 3:30. My husband looked at me, took the baby, and said go run. So I got 2 miles in and felt a lot better. Splits 9:24/8:33.  13/72.6

Saturday 6/28 -  Run || 6 miles || 1:05:02, 10:50p || 79*, sunny with 90% humdity
Crappy run. My cat died the previous night and my head was - understandably - not here. Splits all over the place and by the 5th mile I was taking walk breaks every half a mile. Did not enjoy the heat. But done.. 19/78.6

Sunday 6/29 - Elliptical || 5.67 || 60:00, 10:34p || Course 1 Level 3 x30m, Course 4 Level 3 x30m
Finally did the full hour. Heart wasn't really in it today either. But it's done, and on the plus side, my cross training of choice is endorsed by Hal Higdon himself.

He talked to meeeeeee.

Total: 19 miles run, 5.67 elliptical. Fourth week of Chicago training is done, almost 80 miles logged towards my first marathon! Looking forward to my first double digit long run next week. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Shoe sizing

Yes, I'm still stuck on toenails. Sorry! Apparently, I am traumatized or something.

So the general wisdom is to go up a 1/2 to a full shoe size for runners, right? Because your feet swell and yadda yadda, prevents blisters and bruised toenails, et cetera, et cetera. I didn't know that back when I first started running, and bought a pair of shoes in  my normal size.

Needless to say, that was the first time I ever lost a toenail. The big toe on my right foot - and it took forevvvvver to grow back. That one is hard to hide, hah! I bumped up to a size 7 for running and haven't looked back since - happy feet, happy legs.

Until the Wholly Hell two weeks ago, which has claimed the lives of not one but two toenails.

Let's all observe a moment of silence for my poor toes.

At least this time it's the little toenails, but it's had me wondering - what the heck happened that I bruised the two little toenails on my left foot? Why TWO toenails on the same foot? Why the little ones? I don't even usually so much as get blisters, and when I do, they're on the big toe. (I did get blisters too, but not on any toes. Wut?)

So clearly, I've been busy thinking over  over-analyzing  obsessing over every bit of the race. And I think two things happened -

1) This was my longest trail run ever. In asking in a local trail group, I think I may have to size up slightly more - trails are harder on your feet (easier on your joints as they tend to be softer, but uneven ground means your feet get more battering?). Though I've used the shoes and socks I wore on way longer road runs, my longest trail race prior to this was 5 miles.

2) The vertical climb I posted a picture of - at the end of the second loop, the roots tried to steal my shoe on my left foot. And in retrospect all of the soreness started in my third loop. So it's possible that my foot being yanked out loosened the tie on the laces enough that my foot was sliding around; I was not paying enough attention to notice however. I probably should have stopped and retied!

I can't fix the latter, but in the future if that happens I will stop and retie. The former though, I picked up a pair of Brooks Ravenna 4 to try in a size 7.5. They were recommended for a slightly wider toe box and I went up a half a size to be safe. I wasn't sure how they'd feel - I was worried they'd be too big - but a test drive this morning felt great! Cross your fingers that I don't have to make anymore toenail sacrifices to the running gods...

Dark shoes are dark. Also, photobombing baby!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Training 6.16.14 - Chicago Marathon W3

Monday 6/16 - Rest
Monday rest day, much needed after Sunday's race!

Tuesday 6/17 - Run || 3 miles || 33:00, 11:00p || Treadmill
Treadmill or no run, I just could not wake up this morning. I tried! I feel better about these now that I just run, like I get more out of them. 3/42.6

Wednesday 6/18 - Run || 5 miles || 52:30, 10:30p || Treadmill
I got up early to go run outside but the baby threw a wrench into my plans and got up with me, which doesn't work. So, treadmill it was...Does make me realize I was ready to ditch intervals on the 'mill a long time ago.  8/47.6

Thursday 6/19 - Run || 3 miles || 28:36, 9:32p || 57-61*, overcast and foggy but muggy
Super humid - I shivered at the start of this run when it was drizzly but the lovely drizzle only lasted a few minutes and then it was just super humid. Pretty good run even with the hurty toe though and managed my second sub-9 mile ever.  Splits 10:16/9:24/8:50. 11/50.6.

Friday 6/20 - Rest

Saturday 6/21 -  Run || 9 miles || 1:33:58, 10:26p || 62-64*, overcast and foggy, humidity started at 90 but dropped to 50
Great run. I tried really hard to keep this slow, still trying to figure out what my easy long run pace is...felt really good though. Splits 11:08, 10:42, 10:18, 10:19, 10:10, 10:22, 10:54 (ate, then omg attacked by a bird!!!!), 9:55, 9:34. 20/59.6

Sunday 6/22 - Elliptical || 2.93 || 30:00, 10:14p || Course 1 Level 3
Meant to do longer but we were traveling and I was tired.

Total: 20 miles run, 2.93 elliptical. Third week of Chicago training is done! Next week is my first cutback.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Toes and the trail

I have been arguing with myself over whether or not to post this, but hey...this is my journey. Like many it is full of ups and downs. (Much like Sunday's trail run.)

So, here goes.

I hurt myself at the race on Sunday. I didn't know it then - I knew I'd gotten blisters (on the inside balls of my feet? Wut?), which was weird because I can't remember the last time I had blisters. And I'd worn these shoes and socks on longer runs before.

But I got more than blisters...I bruised two toenails :( I am going to guess it was because this is the longest run I have ever done on a trail...I bruised the two little toenails on  my left foot. I'm sure most experienced runners know this, but I have realized - I am going to lose those two toenails. Sigh.

I have lost a nail once, when I was a very new runner who didn't know running shoes needed to be sized up. Once I sized up, no problems! So this is embarrassing.

And it hurts! I don't remember it hurting last time. Fortunately, it doesn't hurt any differently when I run or change my gait at all - at least as far as I can tell - but they are achey.


Did I mention, sigh? I am going to guess it's because this was a tough course and there was a whole lot of elevation change going on. Much steeper downhills than I am used to. I think, if I am going to go for longer runs on the trail, I might need to invest in some actual trail shoes with a wider toe box. Fortunately the only other long trail run I have is the Nearly Sane in August, which my husband ran last year - he said the course is nothing like the one we ran on Sunday. But I think if I do more technically challenging courses, I need to gear up appropriately.

In the mean time, I will mourn my toenails, and  my ability to wear flip flops for the summer.

Make me feel better - tell me your toe stories? I know I'm not the only runner who has had this happen!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Training 6.9.14 - Chicago Marathon W2

Monday 6/9 - Rest
Monday rest days. Antsy!

Tuesday 6/10 - Run || 3 miles || 33:00, 11:00p || Treadmill
Best treadmill run to date; ditched the intervals, put on Dr. Who, and went for it! Felt fabulous. 3/22

Wednesday 6/11 - Run || 5 miles || 47:34, 9:31p || 52* and rainy
Water logged, for the second week in a row my 5 miler was RAINING! I love rainy runs and today it poured. My goal had been to have 3 steady miles with a fast finish after the warmup mile and well - that didn't happen. It was so much cooler than I planned that I shivered through mile 1; mile 2 my shoelace came undone! I did okay the rest but was pushing pace enough that I didn't have a fast-finish in me, but I am still very happy with this run. Splits 9:41/9:52/9:18/9:29/922.  8/27

Thursday 6/12 - Run || 3 miles || 29:54, 9:58p || 57-61*, cloudy but muggy
Legs felt tired; not sure if it's after pushing it on yesterday's run or the humidity but it was definitely humid today. Tried to keep it super easy but the humidity made it hard to feel that way. Splits 10:29/9:55/9:30. 11/30.

Friday 6/13 - Rest

Saturday 6/14 - Rest
I did garden for half an hour (lots of deep squats!) but I had a tough trail run on Sunday so skipped cross this week. Sorry Mr. Higdon!

Sunday 6/15 - Run || 9.62 || 2:06:59, 13:12p || 78* and humid
Wholly Hell 15K! 20.6/39.6

Total: 20.6 miles run, second week of marathon training on the books - 39.6 towards Chicago so far!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Wholly Hell 15K - Recap!

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.  

This morning I ran the Wholly Hell 15K with Muddy Monk. Temperature and humidity wise this was my hottest/most humid run to date so I was really nervous going into it, especially after bonking at the Sporty Frog a few weeks earlier. I've been watching the weather forecast diligently like a hawk obsessively and it was not looking so great for a while, but finally settled into low 80s and partly cloudy, with race conditions high 70s and partly cloudy.

The trail preview pics Muddy Monk posted looked they would have us under tree cover though, so gradually, I got less nervous. And when my husband decided to run with me, I went from nervous to excited!

The race was held at the Lakewood Forest preserve, and let me tell you - it was amazingly gorgeous. I think it was my favourite trail that I have run on yet; mostly through the forest with tree cover, with daisies blooming and a lush green forest... It was 3 loops, each about 3.2m so about a third of a mile further than 15K.

The race started at 10 promptly and we were off; the first third of a mile slow because we were single filing it until the creek crossing. After that the trail widened and my husband and I were off...ish. Right off the bat he was really struggling with the heat. It hurt to see him pushing so hard but on the other hand it also made me realize that as much as I struggle with heat, I've made more progress than I thought since I was feeling really good. Close to the mile 3 marker, he tripped over a root and hurt his toe - bad. It's okay though, because the loop ended with a good vertical climb - and I don't mean incline, I mean climb:

Note the hands on the side of the track we were climbing...this was no joke! 

It took us almost 40 minutes to get through the 3.2 loop. My husband persevered through a second, but it was pretty clear - he was done :( I was worried about his foot, because his toe was really bugging him every time the incline or decline changed (which on some very rolling hills, was often) and he was looking haggard.

I have no idea what prompted the expression on my face here! Photo courtesy of Muddy Monk.

At the end of the second loop, he decided he had to cut it short. I went on to do my final loop on my own; my fastest loop of around 37 minutes. I was able to pick up the pace and passed pretty much everyone who was on their last loop, because I still felt pretty fresh. Which was nice, but weird. It helped that there was a lot of sun cover I think, and the trail was wickedly gorgeous, although technically very challenging for me (creek crossings, lots of single track trail, tons of roots so needing care to watch your footing, and the steep climb - which by the way, I told the RD during our first loop that he was evil and sadistic for the ending the loop with that, LOL!). I think this was my favourite trail yet - although, I was happy to be done!

Finished! Photo courtesy of Muddy Monk.

After was weird though. I felt fine while running but got really light headed afterwards. Weird! :( This was also my slowest run in a very long time. I felt really bad for dragging my husband out; the heat with how challenging the course was was just...too much I guess. But it's done, and I'm closing out week 2 of training for the Chicago Marathon!

And then there were 6! Halfway to a full set!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Training Check-in

I haven't posted much lately. I guess I am boring! I am currently knee deep in Week 2 of training for the Chicago Marathon; all that's left this week is a rest day, a cross training day, and a long run. That means so far I have logged 30 miles towards Chicago - 19 last week and 11 so far this week! The first weeks of the program are structured so that I run T/W/Th, 3/5/3, so 11 miles during the week, and then a long run. In July that will change to 3/6/3, and then 4/7/4 by the end of July. That seems both so far and so close at the same time! And August will bring 5/8/5, that sounds intimidating!

The program says cross training on Sundays and I have been mostly trying to adhere to that...less antsy than when I first started trying, when I pretty much still was umm...ignoring at least one of the 2 rest days in the program, if not both. When the heat hit though my runs were definitely taking more out of me, so I have been persuading myself to rest a bit more. I  have been thinking about doing arm work outs though, like a dumbbell program. I am pretty sure Hal wouldn't consider it cross training - it at least doesn't make his list and from what his explanation of what cross is for, I think arm-only would be more of a non sequitur. So I was thinking of adding some kind of dumbbell work to my week on a M/W/F basis; I have an adjustable set of dumbbells I bought right before getting pregnant. And to be honest, I am ready to have my arms match the rest of my body!

...did that sound as weird as I think it did? The thing is, I have spent the past two years losing weight, absent a pause for having a baby. Two years! And I lost a lot of it. I am wearing shorts now! And tank tops! And sizes I thought were relegated to high school. And not that I couldn't wear shorts and tank tops before, but I liked to hide in my clothing. I wore stuff that was much too big because who looks at the person in big clothes? It took a lot of work to stop reaching for clothes that don't fit and to grab ones that do.

Honestly my brain has only recently caught up to the fact that my body is healthy again. So I have, logically, skipped right past acceptance and joy to irritation with my arms being the same as they were when I started this project. Because that makes so much sense, right?

In other news, I am excited nervous psyching myself out cautiously anticipating the Wholly Hell 15K this weekend. It will be my long run (only a little longer than Mr. Higdon prescribed, but in all fairness, I registered for this long before I registered for Chicago). It should be 75* by the time the race finishes, it starts at 10. It's in Wauconda this year and will be 3 loops of about 3.2...I hate loop courses, I prefer out and back because I'm always worried I'll wuss out. (Sporty Frog anyone?)  My strategy is to hydrate a LOT. And eat my honeystingers. I'll be okay right? From what I can tell the trail goes through shady patches so I don't think it'll be awful.

I think.

Anyone else running it?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Training 6.2.14 - Chicago Marathon W1

Monday 6/2 - Rest
Hal says REST! 

Tuesday 6/3 - Run || 3 miles || 29:30, 9:50p || 70* but twilight...without sun this felt muggy but fine!
Great run. It's amazing how it can be warmer and yet without direct sunlight, feel totally fine. A great first run in this marathon training cycle! Splits 10:12/9:52/9:24. 3/3

Wednesday 6/4 - Run || 5 miles || 49:17, 9:51p || 64* and rainy
Getting up at 5 sucks but running in the rain is so, so worth it. There is something so beautiful about the smell of wet soil and grass, the feel of water sliding off your skim...Splits 10:26, 10:04, 9:46, 9:44, 9:12. 8/8

Thursday 6/5 - Run || 3 miles || 33:00, 11:00p || Treadmill
Foot pod fails for manual treadmills, apparently. Who knew. Bummer! 11/11.

Friday 6/6 - Rest

Saturday 6/7 - Run || 8 miles || 1:26:17, 10:47p || 71-78+ and sunny
Hot! Yuck. 5 miles at 10:43p, decided to finish the 8 miles with 3 on the treadmill where at least I would be in the sun. Did 2 and then finished with 1 last mile outside at..10:43 on the dot. There was no downtime between miles 7 and 8; between miles 5 and 6 I stopped in the bathroom though, so this is only moving time. 19/19

Sunday 6/8 - Cross training || Elliptical || 30:00, 9:40p || Course 1
I had planned a lot more but the weekend was so busy I am just glad I didn't miss the workout! 

Total: 19 miles run, 3.1 elliptical. First week of Chicago training is done! 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Garmin FAIL! Derp.

Here's a nice WWYD, bloggerland...that foot pod I bought to go with my 405, that I was so excited about because I thought I'd be able to stop guessing the pace I was running at and instead have data from each run?

Well, turns out they don't work so well for manual treadmills. As in, the best it could pick up was that I was running 40 minute miles. Now, I realize I'm not exactly an elite runner, and that machine is tough so I am a bit slower on it than I normally would be, but...I am pretty sure I am not that slow. When I posted on the garmin forum it turns out that because of how you have to use manual treadmills the foot pod just isn't going to pick it up well, if it at all.

Fail! :(


Now, I will likely be inheriting some money from my aunt's estate. Most of it is going to go towards our savings account, but I was also going to get myself a present...I rarely spend money on myself but, this seems like a good time. I was initially going to get a Bia I've been lusting after; the long battery life will get me through the marathon (unlike my f10), it's small enough to not be huge and bulky on my wrist (unlike the 405).

But with the fail of the foot pod (anyone want to buy one? Haha) it occurred to me I might be better off just investing in a regular treadmill. It will give me a distance read out, allow me to do speed workouts at home, and allow me to vary my at-home runs more than I currently can (ie, they don't all have to be hill intervals).

My husband - though he isn't against it - points out that even if my brain doesn't get the numbers from my treadmill workouts, my body is still getting a good workout. And objectively, I agree with him. I know that's true. And if nothing else it's worked so far. I could then either get the Bia, or invest in a small stationary bike for some cross training. (I have my elliptical, but variety is good!)

What would you do? Indulge the need for numbers? Run after a shiny new gadget? Or go after a new form of cross training? Decisions, decisions?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

National Running Day

Happy National Running Day! Last year I had to walk to celebrate as my OB had already grounded me, but this year I woke up early to celebrate with 5 beautiful rainy miles. It was a wonderful way to remind myself how far I've come, when I can comfortably not only hold but continue to speed up a pace that last year was only a pipe dream. My warmup mile today was 10:26 - last year that would be faster than my fastest all out mile, by a significant amount. My 5th mile was a 9:12, and that was far beyond the realm of possibility - last year. Today it was a comfortably hard fast finish, with the rest of the run just a touch past easy. (Hal Higdon says easy runs T/Th, pace runs Wednesday? I have never run a marathon so I have no idea what my race pace is, so I am just pushing it a bit on Wednesdays and keeping T/Th easy.)

So it's June! Looking back, May was a pretty good month. Far from my highest mileage because I was trying to get used to the schedule I'd be running on for marathon training, but it had some good highlights:

83.32 miles run in May! (The rest walked and ellipticalled.)

So, May was pretty solid for me! June is exciting; this weeks starts training for the Chicago marathon, and I have a 15K on the calender for next week (I've never run before!). My June goals are:

  • Follow my training plan without getting overzealous and hurting myself
  • Have fun at Wholly Hell 15K
  • Try to run with company 3-4 times, be it my husband or group runs with MRTT or maybe even branch out some more! (Oooh, that would take even more bravery.)

So how was your May? And are you running for National Running Day today?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Training 5.26.14

Monday 5/26 - Rest
It was the holiday and Hal said to rest Mondays anyway so yeah.

Tuesday 5/27 - Run || 3 miles || 33:00, 11:00p || Treadmill
Didn't wake up in time to run before my husband went to work so treadmill it is. I ordered a footpod so soon my treadmill mileage won't be a guess!

Wednesday 5/28 - Run || 5 miles || 48:51, 9:46p || 58*-60 and breezy but humid
Got up super early to beat the heat - 5:20am! YUCK! But it was lovely out albeit 80% humidity. I could live without that part but way better than sunny and hot. Splits 10:17, 9:54, 9:42, 9:37, 9:15.
I love this path.

Thursday 5/29 - Run || 3 miles || 33:00, 11:00p || Treadmill
Treadmill run because my son got up at 4am. Yuck! But, my footpod came in the mail so going forward...these runs will be TRACKED!

Friday 5/30 - Run || 2.5 miles || 27:30, 11:00p || Treadmi
Trying to get my foot pod working. So frustrating. I am putting it away for now and will figure it out...later, I guess.

Saturday 5/31 - Run || 3.1 miles ||31:37, 10:12p || 69+ and sunny
Sporty Frog 5K.

Sunday 6/1 - Rest
Rest day! :)

Total: 16.6 miles run. Holiday weeks are weird!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Frog Hops Sporty Frog Recap

Due to my self-admitted bling addiction, I get asked by a lot of friends (and family) what races give finisher medals. I have been super excited about the new Frog Hops race series because it's local AND gives nice finisher medals. The first in the series was in April but my April was already solidly booked; May was pretty booked too but my aunt signed up for the May Sporty Frog 10K. I wanted to do it with her because I felt bad recommending it and then making her do it alone, but last minute I realized I could make it work - it just meant doing it and then hopping in the car to drive to Indiana right after. This is the most last minute I have ever signed up for a race - I signed up on Thursday and it was on Saturday. With Kim's comment about it being funny that my 10K PR is on a killer course ringing in my head, I opted for the 10K and was excited to shoot for a PR more in line with the paces I have been running lately. (Spoiler: It didn't happen - and for the same reason this recap is short and picture less!)

The races are held in Independence Grove in Libertyville, literally 15 minutes from me. I had never run there but I heard it's gorgeous. And it did not disappoint - a beautiful lake front, gorgeous paved path. It was advertised as stroller friendly and although the course was rolling it was definitely fine to bring the baby along, other than the heat for whoever was running.

I picked up my packet and my aunt's around 7:45; the race started at 8:30. I was a bit nervous because it already felt warm and really sunny, but it was a forest preserve - I figured there'd be shade! I wasn't carrying water because I had thought there would be aid stations every mile. (I was wrong. It was a 5K loop with an aid station halfway through; 10k did the course twice.)

The race went off; I started at the back because I had the stroller and figured that was polite.

What I didn't consider - both the 5K and 10K started at the same time :( The RD had said the race was bigger than expected as it's pretty new, so I am hoping this is growing pains; hopefully in the future they will start the 5K and 10K 10-15 minutes apart to alleviate some congestion. The 5K was full of elementary school kids doing their first 5K and their "COACH" and race ettiquette wasn't there. Which, I get. And good for every single kid and parent out there! But the first half a mile was VERY congested and very frustrating for me. People ran in groups that blocked the path; kids and adults alike would suddenly stop to walk in front of me. I made someone beside me laugh when someone did that and I made a frustrated noise. (It was a sympathetic laugh, and the person who came to a sudden walk didn't hear me - they had head phones in. AND I didn't mean to make a sound - but they very nearly got run over!)

I have zero problem walking at races. I have used run/walk intervals. But please - be careful when you stop to walk; especially early in the race, you could cause a collision if you stop/start unexpectedly. If I need to walk I will pull to the side and make sure no one is behind me. Good race etiquette protects you and everyone around you!

I finally gave up and off roaded a little to get around the globs of people, and it went better from there. I passed a pair of runners and heard someone say "The baby is running faster than us!" which I thought was cute. My first mile came in around 10:31 and I felt good - hot, but good. I was keeping the pace relatively easy, not pushing it.

Half a mile later I hit the aid station. There had been no shade yet and I was bummed; it was hot and I was feeling a little off, but I downed some water and on I went, slowly picking people in front of me off but keeping it comfortable. I had 4 1/2 miles to go! (Or so I thought.) The second mile came in at 10:01. My legs felt great and while I was hot, I mostly felt okay. Ish.

The third mile was the same as the first; unshaded, with rolling hills. I was fine, I was fine, I was hot but fine...and then 2/3 of the way through the third mile, I was not fine. I was so not fine I stopped to walk, afraid I was going to fall over. I was dizzy and queasy. And I panicked, because I had never felt like that while running, and, I had the baby with me. I started running again, but I was off. And freaking out, because I was pretty sure I shouldn't be running, but the finish line for the 5K loop was close and I would reevaluate there where I was with other people and could have my husband, if nothing else, come get the baby.

At the finish line when they told me only one more loop, I heard myself say "I need to drop down to the 5K."

I wanted to cry because I could not believe I was doing it, but something was wrong. My face felt gritty, my breathing was not normal, and I felt dizzy and nauseous in waves. I collected my 5K medal and texted my husband. I was done. Frustrated, but I knew running in the condition I was in was stupid and as much as I wanted a 10k PR, I have marathon training starting next week and pushing myself here was not in my best longterm or short term interest. My final time was 31:37sh according to my garmin - not a bad showing for a 5K, would have been a great split for a 10k. The rest of the day I drank tons of water, feeling totally parched, and sort of like I was hit by a truck.

Cute medal is cute though! Interestingly, it says series rather than the name of the race. Maybe each race in the series has the same medal? 

After a day or two to hash it out, I think - despite following my normal hydration routine - I ended up dehydrated. It was a lot sunnier than I expected and I wasn't carrying water, and there was no shade. My pace wasn't pushing it, so I don't think that's what happened, but while I regret that I needed to drop down, I am glad I did the smart thing. It just sucks that I needed to do it. BLEH!

Annnnd, I think I need to get some kind of hand held hydration. My belts don't fit me right right now, they ride up and bounce. Oy.

EDIT: Official chip time 31:45. I have no idea how my garmin time came up so short but oh well. Oddly, I took 3rd in my age group (and there weren't just 3 of us LOL). Sadly no AG awards but that is the highest I've ever placed!