Wednesday, February 27, 2013

901 to the 501: Little Rock marathon and half-marathon

If big bling gets your attention, then you'll understand part of the draw to participate in the Little Rock marathon. This weekend the 901 girls will be traveling to Little Rock for the marathon and half-marathon. 

It's always exciting to go to a new place or to do a race you've never done before. The unknowns of a new race can keep the most experienced runner on her toes, while excitement and good company can get you from the start line to the finish line. And if all else fails, for this race at least, if you think I was exaggerating about the size of the 5.5 lb marathon finishers medal, it's advertised as being "appropriately large" and  "huge", while the half-marathon medal is also referenced as "appropriately large" and "big". Finishing is a must. 
2013 Marathon Medal
2012 medal for size

For me, Jennifer, finishing is the goal. I unfortunately learn lessons very, very slowly. As I poorly trained for my last marathon, I promised myself I would never be so short-sighted again. Those days that went by when I would say, "I just don't feel like running," "the weather is so gross today," or "I'll just watch what I eat," those are the most important running days. It is a sign of poor discipline in myself when I expect to achieve a big goal in the future without slowly planning for it in the present. Unless we're dealing with the lottery, big goals don't come easy. And as always, consistency is key.

I, along with Janell, Debi, and Dawn, am signed up for the half-marathon in Little Rock. And again, I have a goal that I want to achieve. And again, I trained poorly for it. Lesson learned, by the way. The disappointment in myself this time is a lesson in itself. But I still have my fingers crossed for a finishing time miracle. (You know, with all the runs I substituted healthy eating for.)

The Little Rock race has all the signs of being a great event. It is seemingly very well organized and has rave reviews as being so.I personally enjoy a good crowd of participants in a race, and Little Rock is expected to be a midsized marathon with about 7,000 people registered.

After doing a bit of a Google search, I found such an exciting review that boasted of the course's "excellent uses of elevation". That's great if you're thanking the landscape for being the way it is, but no thank you. The race website officially states that "When asked if there are hills in Little Rock, we love to affectionately say 'What Hills?' It depends on your perspective. There are some bumps in the road, but life is full of bumps in the road." 
What really gets me pumped is the warning of "gigantic hills at mile 24 and 25" that make you want to "die," and grumbling reviews referencing "the hill from 14-15" as being "a monster," with a "difficult" decline right after. 

I can't wait. 
I can't believe I pay to do this.

So with Janell, Debi, Dawn, and myself doing the half, that leaves the ever-impressive Stacey and Dana going the full 26.2.
This will be the first race where each of us gets to work at the expo with a new product we're learning about. Keep an eye out for the girls in pink if you'll be there! And be sure to say "hi" if you see us.

Before we leave the 901, each of us will go through a similar process of laying out our running clothes, packing snacks, and the seemingly inevitable nightmare of being late to the starting line and having to run in your pajamas. While the drive there will include more bathroom breaks than you can count, as we are a traveling hydration station, the drive back on Sunday will most likely include its fair share of stretching breaks and twitter updates. So stay tuned, and we'll be sure to share our pictures of the massive medals we all hope to wear home.

And in case you were wondering, the best review of the Little Rock marathon goes to one reviewer who said that this race had "an incredible porta-potty situation" which sounds incredibly exciting to experience, even if it's a bad experience.


  1. Holy cow!! that medal is HUGE! i'm going to have to put Little Rock on my list for next year. :)

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  3. I thought I was the only one who had nightmares of being late to the starting line. I always have these HUGE obstacles to tackle before I get there- only stuff that would happen in dreams, ya know??

    You girls are going to do great! I will be thinking of ya'll Sunday!!

    1. Thanks, girl! We are really looking forward to it! Hope you are feeling better!