get out!

I didn’t want to get out of the car.

I’m not kidding.  I sat there and thought to myself, “I could drive home right now”.  Then I thought about how I drove hours to get there and paid for a hotel, paid for registration and there was this part of me that wanted to see what the medal would look like.  The previous ones were neato and this one promised to be as well.

it really is beautiful
it really is beautiful

So I got out.

The Charlevoix marathon is a quality race.  I’m really happy I did get out of the car because I would have missed out on it.  There is a lot to offer; a full and a 1/2 marathon for walkers, a full and 1/2 marathon, a 10k and a 5k.  It isn’t a large race, although they are working to become bigger.  There were 700 marathons and 1000 1/2 runners.  I missed packet pick up the night before as the drive up took 4 hours (I was told it was “more or less” 3 hours… umm…) so I grabbed it in the morning at 5:30 am.  It was quick and easy.  I was able to park about 10 minutes away so I hung out in the car until 15 mins before the 7 am start, which was nice since I was chilly.

here is a shot of the "ugly" place I raced
here is a shot of the “ugly” place I raced

The start line was a bit of a hill so I hung out at the top until runners of my pace walked past and then I jumped in.  Thankfully, it was ideal weather for running – breezy, 59* and overcast.  The course is, indeed beautiful.  Those promises were kept.  The aid stations were stocked with gatorade (and not just lemon lime!), water, GU and candy.  The volunteers seemed happy to be there and were helpful – especially when I got out of the porta potty with my skirt tucked in my compression shorts.  Thanks volunteer!

hideous!
hideous!

Despite it getting sunny, the breeze kept up and it fairly cool with low humidity.  Such an incredible change from the Sunburst 1/2 a couple of weeks before.  I rocked my hydration with some Nuun in my water bottle – I drank two of these! – and got water and gatorade at each stop.  I got a GU at mile 4 and took another one at mile 8.

it didn't leak out of the top but at the lid - ugh
it didn’t leak out of the top but at the lid – ugh – my handheld was drenched

I resorted to my “old man” shuffle form early on as I KNEW this would be the only way I could finish.  I’ve barely been training and when I lift my knees, I go faster and I don’t have the endurance to support this right now.  I lost it at mile 7 – mentally and somewhat physically.  In my brain I kept thinking about how I knew I couldn’t do this even before I started.  Not to mention, I only got 2 hours and 15 minutes of broken sleep the night before due to a noisy hotel room.  But I hunkered down and kept up the shuffling.  When I saw mile 8, I knew I could finish.  It’s always mile 8 that’s my saving grace.

I got a bit of a GU tummy towards the end and mixed with all of the liquids sloshing in there, vomiting was certainly a possibility.  Mile 12 seemed to go on forever and I kept screaming (in my brain) where is the 13 mile marker?!  Instead the finish line came into view!  Yay!  I made it!

love this mdal
love this medal

All of the volunteers were unbelievably friendly.  They helped me swap out my too big zip up long sleeve tech jacket by just giving me a smaller size.  They were welcoming at the food table and just kept saying, “there’s more!  Take all you want!”  The food line had bananas, potato chips that are made in MI, hordes of chocolate milk and pizza.  Oh and Advil, haha.  The marina was offering showers for $2 and when I got there they just let me use it for free.

I had a decent race albeit painful!  About an hour before the start, I drank a juice, (I’m juice cleansing, more on this later) and had a chocolate Honey Stinger waffle so I felt pretty stable in the nutrition department.  The juice was the perp responsible for the port potty stop right after the first mile though.  This cost me at least 5 minutes, which sucked.  I’ll need to figure out something for future races in this regard.  Did I mention I finished?!  Oh and the medal?  It really is worth it.

one more shot of the medal and this is long sleeve tech jacket

sunburst 1/2 (kicked my booty, btw)

The Sunburst 1/2 was… difficult.

I could probably end the recap there but I wouldn’t be a very good blogger if I did so I shall spin my tale for y’all.

We had a bright and early wake up call at 4:15 am.  I was thrilled to be slumber party-ing it up with Meagan and her fam.  I adore her sweat pea of a little one and her hubby is entertaining.  Top off the good company with a yumo pizza dinner, some fro-yo and Meagan’s very cute puppy, I was set.  Oh, the puppy?  Her name is Sadie and she has the iconic patch over one eye.  She is cuddly and jumped up and was my spooning buddy in the middle of the night.  I’m not kidding, her head was resting next to mine on my pillow.  My heart melted a bit.

It took about an hour to get to the start and thankfully we found a spot in the (free) parking garage.  The race started RIGHT on time.  Starting out the weather was perfect and Meagan commented, “you know it could be a rough one when at 7:30 am it’s the perfect temperature.”  Foreshadowing at it’s finest.

I really wish I could tell you how despite odds being against us – neither one of us was exactly trained for 13.1, the weather was promising to be quite warm and some hesitant mental games, that we blew through the course.  Nope.  I was confident up until the 5th mile.  I pre-juiced with some Vega Sport pre-energizer at the start, which was why I made it that far!

I started losing it at what I thought was mile 6.  I told Meagan, “I don’t think I am going to make it.”  Meagan: “We are almost at mile 8, you WILL make it.”  I was grateful to hear we were almost to 8 but I was still doubting my mad running skillz.  Meagan said right as I was losing hope, she was feeling confident – this was perfect.  Meagan emotionally carried me for the rest of the race.

just another perk of running!

It was warm.  I’ve never done this race before and it was rerouted from previous years since we couldn’t end in the Notre Dame stadium.  The nice part was there was a lot of shade and the course was really pretty.  There were some rolling hills with a few steeper ones that we walked.  We did start to do some walk/running bouts.  Meagan would call out our stops and starts – essentially I didn’t have to think, just run.

The water stops were about every mile and half or so, with awesome volunteers, water and gatorade.  There was also GU at one of them – strawberry/banana (umm… no) and I grabbed it at mile 5.  Salted caramel came to the rescue at mile 10.  Mile 11 or so, I started feeling heat-strokey.  I started getting chills and wasn’t feeling well.  I let Meagan know.  This kept up for about a mile.  During this time, some of the neighborhoods had sprinklers out and I took full advantage.  This definitely helped but I knew I needed the med-tent when we crossed the finish line.

I'm smiling so hard because we are done
I’m smiling so hard because we are done

Yep, we made it.  Son of a triscuit, it was hard.  I wanted to quit oh so badly and was proud that I didn’t.  Meagan’s recap is here and while she says that she was hurting, she certainly didn’t let on, which is probably why we finished!  Right after the volunteers passed out the medals, there were folks passing out cold, wet towels – I started feeling better almost immediately.  We got our knees wrapped in ice, hit the after-race snacks, FRUIT CUPS!  This is the first time I’ve ever had this and there wasn’t even honey-dew filler!  I grabbed a popsicle (yeah!), guzzled a chocolate milk, and picked up a bagel and banana for the road.

it's blurry because my hands were shaking a bit!
it’s blurry because my hands were shaking a bit! still so pretty

I told you it was going to be a tale… A couple of things I took away from this race: 1) the gut check 2) running with someone is so much fun!  The last time I ran with anyone was a year ago – with Meagan in fact!  Yet another reason I decided run camp was a good idea.  Oh yeah, and 3) the nutty things I will do for a t-shirt and a medal.

***No picture of said medal and t-shirt because I was too tired lazy to get up off of the couch and take one… maybe another day.***

vega sport = vrooom!

Okay, so why the wacky title? Because Vega Sport Energizer gives you the pep you need to GET.MOVING.

vega sport energizerDo I sound like an infomercial?  Or how about Billy May’s replacement? (have you ever seen the auditions for his job? very interesting).

As mentioned in previous posts, my epilepsy meds tend to make me quite sleepy and low on energy.  That coupled with a debilitating bout with depression last year, I’ve gotten in the habit of lots and lots of couch sitting.  I’ve tried numerous products to get myself moving, including some that probably weren’t the healthiest.  You know, the kind that are LOADED with ingredients that nature hasn’t ever heard of – yeah, those.  So, it appealed to me that this was a natural product and plant-based.  I also showed my office mate the package and he is completely natural.  He is/was very intrigued and is taking it with him on his epic bike trip in the next few days.

I first tried Vega Sport Energizer on a regular training run.  I run in the evenings and I didn’t exactly follow the directions on the amount of water to add to the powder.  This was a mistake as it certainly affected the taste.  I will completely admit, I was worried about the flavor.  It’s definitely an earthy flavor and I wasn’t sure this was for me.  For instance, while I like my supplements more natural, I drink my coffee very sweet so these counteracted each other a bit.

check out the ingredients!
check out the ingredients!

I drank it 20 mins prior to working out as instructed.  The boost was very real.  In fact, I could feel it’s effects long into my run, which I wasn’t expecting.  I really needed the energy and Vega Sport came through for me.  On a more recent training run, I decided to half the packet and it seemed to work out for an evening run.  If I could manage to get my booty out of bed in the morning, I think a full packet would be perfect. As it was, I had lots of energy!

I really did feel this way on my run

Next, I decided to try it out for the 25k.  A few years ago when I did the race, I took a gel at the beginning and then two more later in the race.  Gel-sickness set in and it wasn’t pretty.  This time around, I took Vega Sport and also followed the water mixing instructions.  Again, I was very impressed with the results.  Even though I learned my lesson, I still WANT to take a gel at the start of the race.  I’m just not a morning person and while I drink coffee before the race, this only partially helps (I only drink a half cup).  This time around, I had the energy I’ve craved at the start and could evenly space my gels at mile 5 and mile 10.

it's a flower... cause it's plant based!
it’s a flower… cause it’s plant based!

Vega Sport also has Sustain products that I would love to give a go.  I would like to feel more evenly fueled as opposed to certain bursts and then kind of falling with regular gels.  I also think this would really help my pacing.  There is recovery products/drink also that is on my radar but we all know, I am lousy at recovering properly so of course this is lower on my priority list <— please note some of the sarcasm here!

Again, I was really pleased with Vega Sport. I am looking forward to hearing what office mate has to say and unfortunately, I’m posting this before he returns.  So #FuelYourBetter and check it out – I think you will be impressed as well.  I know many people are looking for a different version of fueling and I like this option a lot.  I dig the whole proper prepping of my muscles for what I am about to inflict and ask of them.  Another BIG plus of this product is it doesn’t interfere with my epilepsy.  I’ve tried other things that have made me so wired that a) I could see sounds and b) it was too much for my brain.  With epilepsy, my brain is “easily agitated” so I need to be conscientious about fueling properly and safely. Vega Sport is a win in this category without the side effect of what I call “shaky energy”.

trust me, this is hard to find

Seriously, this is good stuff.  I was able to try out this product for freesies  but I asked to review it since I appreciated what the product contained and promised.  That’s my disclaimer folks…