PictureVentura Marathon Discount Code 2014
This Ginger Kid is really excited to share an update with you!
The Hubbo and I have added a fun race to our race calendar for the fall and we'll be running the Ventura Half Marathon in September!
This is also good news for you as well!  You are probably wondering how me adding a race to my calendar is good for you, right? 

Well do you remember my recent blog post where I told you all I am Going Pro? I recently became a BibRavePro which is an Ambassador for Bibrave.com. They have partnered up with the Ventura Marathon and I'll be out there this fall running the half. 

Here's where the good news for you comes in. The good people at Bibrave and the Ventura Marathon were kind enough to provide me with a discount code to save you all some cash. If you use the code: BibRave10 you'll save $10 off a race entry fee. We all know that running a lot of races can add up quickly so every penny saved is a penny you can apply to your next race! :)

The prices are currently:
Marathon: $100
Half Marathon $70
The prices go up on May 1st so be sure to sign up soon to save the most cash.

Also - I know it's still a few months away but I'd love to meet up with my Blog/Twitter/Instagram/Facebook buddies! Will you be there?

Maybe I can organize an informal meet up? Let me know if you are interested! 

Why I Picked The Ventura Half Marathon

  • The website says the course if flat-ish and made for PRs.
  • The medal looks cool from last year. (Y'all know I love my medals!)
  • The Hubbo hasn't ran a race in California yet.
  • There's an after party at the beach! Boom! Sold!
  • The End.

Question! What elements make you pick a race? Medal? Course? New State?

 
 
PictureWe're not in Oklahoma anymore...
This weekend the RunGingerRun crew loaded up, hit the road, and headed north to Olathe, Kansas where There's No Place Like Home! 

We ran the Garmin Land of Oz Half Marathon on Saturday. 
I really liked this race and plan to go back next year!

The Medal/Shirt

PictureGarmin Half Marathon Medal 2014
You all know I'm a total bling junkie and I really really like this medal!

You guys! IT GLOWS IN THE DARK! I'm not even kidding! The orange part glows in the dark.

Ah-mazing!

I understand that the medals for the Half are always the Wicked Witch, but the medals for the full change from year to year based on different characters from The Wizard of Oz. Last year it was the Tin Man and this year it was the Cowardly Lyon.

The shirt reminds me of a football jersey for some reason. I wish they would have used a different color other than dark blue but what can you do? Also, the shirt is themed after the Full Marathon theme, the Cowardly Lyon. 

Picture
Garmin Race Shirt 2014

The Course

Picture
First of all, whoever said that this course was 100% flat is a big fat liar! 
It's Kansas, they said, it will be flat, they said! 
Liars! All of you!

Ok, it wasn't the hilliest course I've ever been on. That award still goes to the Nike Women's Half in San Francisco but c'mon, you expect hills in San Fran! The course at this race in Kansas had one hill between 4-5 that was pretty daunting to run up on. The course even started going up a slight incline. 

I still really liked this course, I just should have gone into it with a better mental expectation that usually courses aren't 100% flat. Now I know and next year I'll be better prepared. 

The Half Marathoners and Full Marathoners broke off from each other shortly after mile 3 and as soon as we made the turn we had a hill to go up. Also, when I was coming in for the finish, it was a little difficult because the the rain had made the road slick and I was trying to run up an incline to cross the line.

The course was slightly confusing with the mile markers. Because the Half Marathoners and the Full Marathoners broke off from each other and then reunited later in the course, we had random mile markers that didn't apply to us sprinkled in around the course. I remember thinking it was a sick joke that when I hit mile 4ish and saw a mile 12 mile marker that some poor delirious runner who wasn't paying attention would get pretty excited to already be at mile 12 so quickly. It wasn't true. Then I got to the end of the half and my watch said I had 1.2 miles left but I came across a mile marker that said 2 miles? WTF! I didn't know if they were telling me 2 more miles for me to go or what. I thought surely my watch wasn't that far off. Turns out, it was for the 6K race they were also hosting at the same time as the Half. Whew! 

My best advice if you do this course next year is to ignore the mile markers and just enjoy the view! You'll know when you get to the finish line. I promise! 

The Expo

PictureThe Hubbo and I at the Garmin Expo 2014.
We stayed at a hotel that was about 3 miles away from the starting line but the expo was in the hotel next door to ours so it worked out. We got to the Expo a little before 5:00 and quickly picked up our packet and our shirts. At 5:00 the small expo started to break down the tables and clear out to make room for the pasta dinner that was taking place in that same area. I didn't go to the pasta dinner but I really wish I would have because Meb was there! One of my coaches even got to take a picture with him! So cool! 

Parking/Shuttles

Parking was a little more difficult than I like. If you do this race, you need to have PLENTY of time to get there. We left our hotel at 6:05 and the race started at 7:00. We had a goal of meeting up with our running club at 6:30 for a picture but we didn't make it. It took us over 30 minutes to drive 3 miles and park. There are plenty of places to park, it's just a one lane entrance to the parking garage they were telling everyone to go into. We ended up parking at a nearby business and walking a littler farther to avoid the parking garage. 

The hotel that hosted the Expo also had two shuttles to take runners to the starting line. I didn't use the shuttles but wanted to list it as an option for those who plan to run this race next year and fly in. 

My Stats and Experience

PictureMid-race selfie!
I didn't set any official goals going into this race either. I had already achieved my spring half marathon PR goal at the Aquarium Run. My only notion of a goal going into this race was to finish between 2:15 and 2:30 and to get that medal! 
Boom! Done!

I had blood sugar issues right before this race too. I knew it was going to be a rough race when I woke up hungry and with low blood sugar before I even got out of bed. I think I've learned my lesson and figured out that I can't carb load the night before a race! Ugh! That sounds so terrible to be a runner and not be able to carb load pre-race, but I've done it twice this month and paid for it both times. Luckily, the Hubbo came to the rescue again and shared his Gu with me. I hate the texture of Gu but it sure beats the feeling of low blood sugar!

I ran the first 4 miles on pace to be around a 2:10 - 2:15 pace but I got a horrible side stitch right before the big hill at mile 4.5. I was already having to push myself at that pace and after the side stitch I knew I couldn't hang on. So I decided to back off and have fun. That's when I took out my phone and starting taking pictures, Tweeting, Instagraming, and SnapChatting. I got some weird looks from runners who were passing me, but #RedHairDontCare.
It was my race and #IDoWhatIWant! 

I took this photo and posted it to Twitter and Instagram. It's really hard to hashtag while running. Just FYI!

My Stats:
Finish: 2:23:25
I placed 1500th overall
780th in my Gender
165th in my Age Group (242 Total)

Number of Half Marathon Finishers: 2,199
Number of Females: 1,318
Number of Males: 877

Number of Full Marathon Finishers: 678

The Weather

PictureWell it was the Land of Oz Half Marathon...
The weather forecast for this race was different depending on the weather app you use. According to Weather Bug we had a significant chance of rain and thunderstorms during the race and it turns out it was right. The Weather Channel App was wrong. It said the rain wouldn't come into the area until mid afternoon. 
It was a little sunny at the start but not too warm but that quickly turned to overcast skies. I don't remember exactly when I took my sunglasses off but I didn't even need them for the majority of the race. It started sprinkling very lightly at mile 3. Then at mile 5.5 it started to come down a little more. It rained lightly just before mile 8 and then after mile 8 it started pouring buckets of rain! Some runners were lucky enough to get to run through hail. I never saw it but the reports are that it was very small. More like sleet. 

I wore a visor to this race and I'm glad I did. It would have been very difficult to run in the rain without it. I didn't mind the rain at all actually. It helped keep me cool from miles 8-11 where I tried to pick up my pace again. I was a little worried that my phone would get too wet but it survived. There was even a guy handing out plastic baggies for phones somewhere on the course by I didn't take one. That was dumb of me. 

We did have some lightening far off in the distance from this race. I'm glad they didn't call the race off. Also, a big part of the Half Marathon course was on a paved trail in the woods. If they did call it off, I'm not sure where we would have gone and how they would have gotten us out of the woods. Glad it all worked out ok!

If you like reading race recaps like this one you should totally check out Bibrave.com where you can find and write race reviews! 

More Race Weekend Pics!

Picture
My typical race dummy!
Picture
Typical Race Corral Selfie with The Hubbo!
Picture
The Hubbo made me a Ginger Runner sticker for my car!
Picture
Somewhere in Kansas I tried to take an Oscar-style selfie and failed!
Picture
Pre-race carb loading with the crew!
Picture
We may have stopped at Trader Joe's for some $2 Buck Chuck!
Picture
The typical pre-race group pic!

Question! What's your next race?

 
 
Picture
Last weekend the Hubbo and I ran in a once in a lifetime race, The Mustang 50th Half Marathon. I know what you are thinking? 50th and one time only? Doesn't make sense, right? It's the name the race used to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang. The race was on Saturday April 19th, 2014 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. My Twitter buddy, George, is the one who first told me about the race a few months back and as soon as I heard it was a one time only event and we had a chance to win a custom Shelby Mustang, I was in! 

Now for the details of the race...

The Medal

PictureMustang 50th Half Marathon Medal 2014
You guys! I love this medal! It ranks up there in my top 5 seriously! It's a nice size, a little bigger than my palm, and even though it represents a brand, Ford Mustang, it doesn't just scream ADVERTISING! Like some medals I've seen. We've already established that I'm a total bling junkie and this one made this junkie really excited! 

The Course

Picture
To look at the course map and really try to follow along it looks really confusing. Luckily for us it was really simple to follow along because the course was marked really clearly. And I certainly didn't have to worry about navigating the course alone because I was definitely not the leader of the pack! Ha!

Also this course was mostly flat. There was one hill and I remember looking over at George and Clarinda and asking them where this hill came from, but in reality, it wasn't bad at all.

We did run on some gravel for a short bit, but also not too bad. Being able to look out at the mountains in the distance was amazing! It was a nice distraction from the heat. 

The Swag/Expo

Picture
Clearly I need to work on my photography skills because this picture isn't centered at all. But anyways, back to the race recap. The swag consisted of this pretty nice race shirt. They had men's sizes and women's sizes which is a plus! 

The Expo didn't really exist. I think other than the packet pick-up table there was only one additional table. I'm not even sure if they were selling anything.

If you look at my bib, the upper left hand corner there is a QR Code. All races can learn a thing or two from the Mustang 50th Half marathon because we could instantly retrieve our results with our smart phones and a QR Code reader! So cool! 
Also - when I went to look at my race photos from the event, they had a video of the finish line and showed me the 30 seconds where I crossed the line! Even more amazing! 

Parking/Shuttle

Picture
The Hubbo and I stayed at the Luxor hotel because it was right next door to the hotel where packet pick up was and it was where the shuttle was picking up runners to drive them about 20 minutes out to the speedway for the race. So parking wasn't an issue for us but we had a little trouble finding the place where the shuttle was meeting to pick everyone up. Luckily while walking through our hotel at 5:00 am it's really easy to distinguish the runners from the drunken Vegas goers who were just coming home from a night out on the strip and we followed a group of runners out to the shuttle stop. The shuttle and the parking lot was about a 10 minute walk from the starting line so not a big deal at all. 

The People!

PictureHubbo, Me, Marvin, Diane, George, Clarinda
This race was an absolute blast because of the wonderful people I met up with! 
George organized a Tweet up at packet pick up and we met up with Marvin and Diane there.

At the race we met up with Katie and Clarinda as well! 

If you are on Twitter you should follow these awesome runners!

George: @GeorgeOkinaka 
Clarinda: @EnjoytheCourse
Diane: @Runninrocker
Marvin: @MarathonPitStop
Katie: @Itsjustkatie

Hopefully this fall we'll get to have a reunion at the Ventura Marathon! The Hubbo and I plan on going to do the Half and so far I think the others are considering it! 
This race is supposed to be set up for PRs and has a post-race beach party! I'm sold and ready to head west RIGHT NOW!
Let me know if you are doing this race and we could arrange a Tweet up!

My Race Experience

Picture
First I need to Thank George for 1. taking lots of awesome pics! and 2. Being my running buddy for the last 10 miles of the race! It was nice to run with someone and have a distraction from the heat!

This race was Half Marathon #2 for the month of April for The Hubbo and I. I had already achieved my goal of a HM PR at the Aquarium run here in Tulsa so going into this race I didn't set a lot of goals for myself. I was worried about the heat because I know I'm not a hot weather runner at all! And you know, Vegas is like, in the desert and all. So there's that.

My goal was to come in around 2:15-2:30 if possible. I started our the first two miles on pace for a 2:15 finish but quickly found out that I wasn't going to be able to hang for 11 more miles. I stopped to go to the bathroom at mile 3 and shortly after that met up with George and we finished the race together. 

I've been having trouble lately with  my blood sugar again and right before the race started my blood sugar dropped. Not Awesome. I felt it drop even though I had my typical pre-race nutrition and had my typical breakfast. Luckily The Hubbo takes a Gu Gel right before the race and he shared part of it with me so help stabilize my blood sugar. It worked to relieve the worst of it, but running 13 miles with low blood sugar to start isn't fun in the desert heat of Las Vegas. Just saying...

This is the first race I've been a part of where the status of the race was changed. We went from a Green Flag (normal racing conditions) to a Yellow Flag, meaning that it was getting really hot and runners should be cautious and be sure to hydrate. The temps started in the mid 60s around 7:00am when the race started and climbed to the 70's by the end of the race with little to no wind and no cloud cover or shade on the course. Humidity was around 43%. 

I finished in 2:37:03. 
I've very sad to report that The Hubbo and I didn't win the car. In fact, no one in our group won it despite the fact that Marvin was SURE he was going to win. Sorry Marvin!

More Pictures!

Picture
George, Me, and The Hubbo rocking our back bibs!
Picture
My typical race dummy photo!
Picture
My bibs always look like they went through Hell after a race!

Question! What would you do if you won a new car in Vegas?

 
 
Picture
You all know that I love to run and that I love to race. I really love to write race reviews too. In fact, half of the time when I decide to pick up an extra race that we didn't plan on it's because I know it will give me some interesting blog material. 

Thanks to my survey, I know that a lot of you like to read race racaps so it's a win-win! Oh, and I love bling. But who doesn't??

Over the last year or so I've been fortunate enough to get to travel a little and participate in some awesome races as well. So far I've ran a race in 4 different states and by the end of April, I'll have added 2 more new states to my list. The Hubbo and I have an unofficial goal of running a half or a full in all 50 States. What better way to see the country? 

In a recent blog post I slipped in a little teaser at the bottom that said I had an announcement coming soon and it's time to let the Ginger out of the bag!

                                               I'm going pro y'all!

No, I'm not entering the professional racing realm to run along Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher, and Lauren Fleshman. I'm not even close to being fast enough to compete with them. I wish!

I'm excited to announce that I am now a BibRavePro! A couple months ago I first introduced you all to Bibrave in the third part of my Favorite Website Series. Well now I am part of a fun group of ambassadors who all share my love for running, racing, and race reviews.

Why Did You Decide to be a BibRavePro?

Picture
When I applied to be BibRaveRro I was beyond excited because it was literally a perfect fit for me and I was hoping it would be a nice fit for them as well! I've been approached by other companies asking me to be an ambassador before but I passed on those opportunities because it didn't feel right. 

I feel like I was already doing most of the things a BibRavePro will do, like running races, sharing race recaps, and talking to other runners about my running adventures, so it was just a nice bonus to get to join this group! 

Also - I don't feel like I have to "sell out" and I can still  be myself and blog about topics that I want to blog about. #IDoWhatIWant 

What is a BibRavePro?

It's someone who likes to run. Check!
Likes to travel (a little) to run races. Check!
Likes to talk about running. Check!
Likes to write race reviews. Check, Check, Check!

What does this mean for those who read RunGingerRunBlog?

Picture
1. You'll be seeing me wearing this shirt in some pics. (Gingers look good in orange right? Oh and I heard that Orange is the new black or something?) 
2. You'll get to keep reading about my running and racing adventures. (Because I think I'm hilarious and ridiculous and think you all enjoy that.) 
3. You'll get to keep reading my race recaps.
4. I'll get to share discount codes for races and running gear with you when they are available.
(Everyone loves to save $ when it comes to race entry fees right?)


Bonus Info!

Tonight at 8:00pm CST I'll be hosting #BibChat while the co-founders of BibRave Travel back from a little race called THE BOSTON MARATHON! Maybe you've heard of it? Anyways.. hop on to Twitter tonight at 8:00pm CST and join us for a chat! Just search for #BibChat and answer the questions and have fun connecting with other runners. 
See you there!

Question! Do you read race recaps before you sign up for a race?

 
 
Picture
A few weeks ago you might have noticed some of my social media posts apologizing for it taking forever to post my survey results as well as my double race day race recaps. Race 1 and Race 2. I posted this picture on Instagram letting you all know I was sad I couldn't post to my blog.
It was because at the time my blog was kind of broken. Limping along if you will. I could log in, write posts, publish posts and all, but if you tried to click on any of the links they didn't work. You couldn't click on the link to comment or to check out my other tabs on my page, nothing.
So I put in a ticket with tech support and waited somewhat patiently for them to address the issue.

I didn't want to blog during that time because I didn't want to drive traffic to my site and then have my blog reading buddies become frustrated by it not working. Also, during one of my calls to tech support one of the options they gave me to fix it was to reset my blog to a point in time when it worked properly, only downside is that I would lose everything I had done after that reset point. So I didn't want to put up a lot of content only to have to redo it later if that was the only solution they could offer me. 

So I waited a week and didn't hear much from tech support so I called to check on the status of the ticket and didn't get very far. Turns out my hosting site had recently underwent major renovations on their side so the call volume was high. Great! I found out that some users were having this problem but not all users. So basically they were saying they were stumped. So back to waiting I went.

Then, almost two weeks after I submitted my ticket to tech support I get an email. Drum roll Please!!!
Turns out I'm the one who broke my blog! 
Oops!
#BadBlogger

So apparently I'm not good at HTML code. Weird.
Who knew that if you added a feature with HTML code that has an open loop it will cause your blog to not load properly?? 
I clearly need to stick to running and writing (awesome, hilarious, witty, entertaining) (<---pick your own adjective) blog posts. 

Luckily I know a super hot web guy and he was able to fix my mistake once the Tech Support email came through. Thanks Hubbo! :) 

So there's my confession as to why my blog was broken for a couple weeks.
#SorryISuckAtHTML

Question! Have you ever tried do something on your own only to have it backfire on you?

 
 
PictureLuchador 5K Tulsa, OK April 2014
Last Saturday was a busy race day at the RunGingerRunBlog house. On Saturday morning the Hubbo and I ran the Aquarium Run Half Marathon and then later that evening my P-town girls, the Hubbo, and I ran the Elote's Luchador 5K here in Tulsa.

Whew! I'm tired just thinking back to that day!

The Luchador 5K was called an Urban Obstacle race. We'll get to that in a minute. But first, check out these costumes! 

You guys! I made my own cape! This is HUGE! I'm terrible at cooking, cleaning, and sewing is out of the question so I'm super pumped that I pulled this one off!


Picture
This is a local 5K put on by Elote's resturant to benefit the YMCA's Y-Kids to Camp program. We signed up super last minute but with just enough time to order our Luchador masks from Mask Maniac and have them show up before the race. The masks we got were about $17 and took about 3ish days to get here. 

The week of the race the pricing was $30 with a costume or $35 without one.  You all KNOW how much RGR and the Hubbo like to dress up so the decision to dress up wasn't even a question! 

The Course + Obstacles

PictureJosh and The Hubbo in front of the starting line!
The course was fairly flat with a few inclines and one bridge. We did have to go down some stairs at one point but I'm assuming that was one of the "urban obstacles" the race put in there.

Let's just talk about these urban obstacles. When we signed up for the race we were so excited about doing a double race day and the fact that the second race was a fun race with costumes I totally ignored those two little words...Urban Obstacles.

Turns out, it was a series of fun little challenges around downtown Tulsa that you had to get through to finish the race. Lindsay, Mindy, and I spent most of the run laughing so hard we barely ran! The Hubbo ran with our buddy Josh and tried to catch the official Elote's Luchadors. The official luchadors had a 5 minute head start and a flag. So not only was this an obstacle race, it was a capture the flag game too. Josh was fast enough and actually caught one!  

I tried to get pictures of as many obstacles as I could, but I was kinda busy, running, laughing, navigating obstacles, and laughing. 

One of the first obstacles we had to negotiate was the Green Country Roller Derby girls hitting the runners with foam bats as you ran by. Hilarious and Scary! 

Here are the obstacles I did get pictures of...

Picture
Hopscotch!
Picture
For this obstacle we had to ride a little square scooter board thingy about 15 or 20 feet to then get in line to make a goal in Frisbee golf. In other news, I suck at Frisbee golf!
Picture
This obstacle was only for those who were 21+ because it was JELLO SHOT TIME! Warm jello shots are not good by the way...
Picture
Tire crawl obstacle.
Picture
This was a water stop and obstacle combined. While navigating the kegs they were handing out shots of water in tiny little shot glasses. Stay hydrated!
Picture
Limbo! This is surprisingly difficult with a cape on.
Picture
The very last obstacle was right at the finish line and you had to run through a smaller Luchador wrestling ring and get by to Luchadors. Hilarious!
Picture
This was the BEST 5K I've ever participated in! Not because I got a PR, because I didn't, but because I was having such a good time hanging out with my friends. 
The race gave out age group awards but put a funny spin on them. They gave out "trophies" that were dressed up like tiny luchadors but instead of calling them First Place, Second Place, Third Place they had funny names such as "Not Last Place". I think they were old soccer trophies that someone jazzed up with some superglue! 

Picture
After the race we all stuck around and enjoyed our Nachos and beer that came with our registration fee. We watched the Elote's Luchadors wrestle and then we went inside to hydrate. By hydrate I mean, take shots. Can you guess which one of these is mine? 


Hint! I don't like Jagermeister. 

Question! Have you ever made your own costume for a race?

 
 
Picture
Last weekend the Hubbo and I ran a local half marathon called the Aquarium Run. For me, this was my Lucky #7 Half Marathon. 
We ran this race once before back in 2012 and it was my very first half marathon so I was excited to come back and give this one another shot. Up until I ran the Route 66 Half Marathon in November the Aquarium Run was my PR race. 
This is a smaller (about 700 finishers in the half) race that benefits the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks, Oklahoma. 

The Medal

PictureAquarium Run Medal 2014
Let's start this recap off by talking about the medal.
The Aquarium Run 2014 medal is a little smaller than I was expecting. When I ran this race in 2012 the medal was a totally different style, shape, and size so I was expecting something along those lines.
Overall, I do like this medal, I just wish it was bigger. I know, I'm a total bling junkie. It's bad. It's hard to see but there is engraved writing on the front that has a really pretty blue color in it. If it has been scaled up, it would have been easier to see. 

The Bib

PictureAquarium Run 2014 Bib
If you are like me, you care more about the medal than the bib, but this year I was impressed with the bib so I'm giving the bib it's own section in this recap. In the past, the bib just had a band of a solid color, blue I think, and a black number. This year the bib was all fancy and stuff and had an actual design that went along with the theme. The theme this year was Running with the Bull Sharks. I didn't even know that Bull Sharks could run! Mind. Blown. ;)

The Course

Picture2014 Aquarium Run Course Map
The course is 100% FLAT!
That is probably the number one reason I decided to run this race again this year. I wanted to get another Half Marathon PR and I knew out of all three of my races this month, this would be my best shot. 
It's not the most exciting course, but I knew that going in.

The half starts right in front of the Aquarium then you make a quick loop through a parking lot and then head across the bridge to the east side of the Arkansas river where you do an out-and-back before heading back across the river to the west side to go back to the Aquarium/finish line. The worst part about this course is that when you come under the bridge you can see the finish area when you hit mile 12. If you can get past that mental game, you're fine. The weather was really great for this event too. It started in the mid 40s and warmed up to the mid 50s by the time we were done. There was a little wind but nothing too crazy.

Parking & Swag

PictureAquarium Run 2014 Race Shirt
We got to the race about 45 minutes early to park because we knew that there is a one lane road to get to the Aquarium and we didn't want to get stuck in line. The 5K also started an hour before the Half so there were going to be a bunch of people already there. If you do this race, plan to show up a little early to get a good spot.

If you are coming in from out of town to do this race, there is actually a Holiday In Express right next to the starting line. Pretty convenient. 

The Swag for this race really isn't bad considering it was so affordable. I think it was $40 or $45 and you got a nice bib, a medal, a t-shirt, typical post-race food and drinks, and a ticket to get into the Aquarium the day of the race. 

RunGingerRun Results

Picture2014 Aquarium Run
I'm super excited to say that I GOT A PR!!!
I ran this race in 2:13:09 which is a little more than 3 minutes faster than my last half marathon PR.

29th out of 77 in my Age Group
293rd out of 705 Total Half Marathon Finishers
Total Number of Females: 446
Total Number of Males: 259

I knew going into this race that I wanted a PR. I had 3 goals to shoot for.

1. Sub 2:10 Finish
2. Sub 2:15 Finish
3. Just beat my previous PR by at least 1 second.
And my 4th and unofficial goal was to just NOT DIE. Whew! Glad I made that one! :) 

While I didn't reach my #1 goal, I did hit my #2 goal. Before the race, I looked up a pace chart and knew that I needed to average about 9:55 per mile for a sub 2:10 finish. When the race started out, we had a tailwind and I was feeling great so I was running faster than 9:55.
BIG MISTAKE!
I ended up getting a PR at the 10K distance but I wasn't there to run a 10K, I was there to run a half marathon. So I ended up struggling through miles 9-13. But I was able to  hold onto a a fast enough pace for the second half to at least reach my #2 goal, so I'm really happy!

When I was running I hit the wall around mile 9. I was running alone at that point and decided that I was just going to turn my music up and push through. I'd already ran a huge chunk of the race and I didn't want to give up on my PR with 4ish miles to go. Someone who was still heading out to the turn around yelled at me, but by the time I realized they were talking to me (because my music was loud) they had already passed. I turned around to wave but I'm not sure if they saw me. If that was you, I'm sorry and Heyy!!!

Soon after that a little boy started talking to me too. That's when I knew I needed to take my ear buds out and be social. He was out there running his 3rd half marathon and was so cute! He had to be 10 or so. He complimented me on my back bib (see pic below) as he flew right on by me. 

Shortly after the little boy took off a friend of mine from High School met up with me and we ran a couple miles together. It was a welcomed relief because I was struggling and it gave me someone to talk to and distract me.

Right after I crossed the finish line an Instagram buddy of mine, Mary, recognized me and said hi. As soon as I stopped running my legs were hurting so bad, I wasn't able to stick around much and talk. I also did get a pic with her either.
Bad Blogger!

After the run we went inside to get some food and I ran into a Twitter buddy of mine. I think it's so fun to meet my social media buddies at races! Also it was nice to put a face with a name.

Here are my splits:
Mile 1: 9:57
Mile 2: 9:46
Mile 3: 9:42
Mile 4: 9:44
Mile 5: 9:53
Mile 6: 9:49
Mile 7: 10:00 (This was after we turned back south and had a headwind)
Mile 8: 9:58
Mile 9: 10:15 (Here's where it started to get HARD!)
Mile 10: 10:24
Mile 11: 10:27 
Mile 12: 10:15
Mile 13: 10:23

Picture
My Motivational Back Bib!
Picture
The Gingers in the corral shot before the race.
Picture
The rest of the RunGingerRun Crew before the race!
Picture
Post Race Hubbo Pic!
Picture
This is the FIRST time that my Garmin time matched my chip time!

Question! How's your racing been going lately? Any PRs you want to share?

 
 
Picture
Sometimes as a blogger its hard to know if you are connecting with people. When I publish a post I have no idea if anyone will even read it. 

Lately, I've been contemplating some questions about my blog and in a recent post I set up a survey and you all helped me gain some AMAZING feedback! 


I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who completed my survey! This was such a fun process and I learned a lot from just 8 simple questions.

Side note - My blog is not fully functional right now, but I didn't want to wait any longer to post these results. It may work fine for some of you or others it may not allow you to click any links. I'm super sorry and will continue to harass my hosting company until they fix it! :) 

Background Info About The Survey

I set up the survey so that you didn't HAVE to answer every single question if you didn't want to.
I also set up some of the questions so that you could select multiple answers.
The survey was capped to 100 participants. 

Q1. Select Your Gender (Not Ginger)

I wanted to ask this question for a reason. I wanted to know who reads my blogs more, Guys or Gals?

Turns out Girls Rule and Boys Drool! 

But really, I wanted to know if I occasionally blogged about girly things like my existence with PCOS or my love affair with Birchbox if the majority of you could relate in some way or would be completely uninterested.

Q2. How did you first land on RunGingerGunBlog.com?

I use Google Analytics to see where my blog traffic is coming from but this question was to see how you FIRST got here.
I'm not surprised that Twitter was number one, but I didn't realize it would be that far ahead!
Are you on Twitter? Are we Twitter buddies?
Here's my handle: Run_Ginger_Run

Q3. How do you keep up with blog posts?

Here's the secret behind this question.
With Facebook constantly changing their formula on who sees a Page's post and who doesn't (which is a lot of you) I've been contemplating removing my Blog's Facebook page and just focusing on my other outlets like Twitter.
BUT, thanks to this survey, I've found out that FB is my #2 platform for people keeping up with my blog. So it gets to stay around.

Q4. What do you like to read about on RGRB.com?

Bloggers are always looking for inspiration for things to blog about. Now I know a little bit more about what you like to read so I can keep doing that.

Also - 4% of you jokers said you can't read! Ha! I hope you are enjoying the color pie charts. 
I wanted to make this survey informative for me but not a drag for you all. So I tried to add in some funny survey options. Thanks for being good sports!

Q5. Which Twitter Hashtag do you follow?

I already knew that Twitter was my #1 platform for exposure for my blog. I just wasn't sure if people follow the same Hashtags I do. Now I know. I also got a few write in comments for:
#beerchat (<--- Yes! Can we be friends?!?)
#ultrachat
#halfmarathontraining

Q6. Should I change the name of RunGingerRunBlog.com?

I'll let you all in on a secret.
I've been contemplating changing the name of my blog. I don't really have any ideas as to what, but I wasn't sure how people would react.
Turns out, for the most part, you all like this name. I'll keep it for now.
Some of you commented that it's a little long or I should drop the "blog" at the end and I agree!
The first domain I tried to buy was www.RunGingerRun.com and unfortunately, it wasn't available. I looked again just now and it's still not available. Boo!

Q7. When do you read blogs?

This question was probably THE most helpful one. I wasn't sure what time of day people really get to read blogs. It turns out, it's pretty much random. Whenever people have time they read blogs. So I'm just going to keep posting the way I do!
I post to my Facebook Page once in the evening time when the blog is published.
I post to Twitter 3-4 times because things move so fast on there.
I post to Instagram, Pinterest, and Dailymile once for each blog post.

Also - I use Hootsuite to schedule a post to Twitter so it can tweet at different times for me after I've set it up. 

Q8. What could I do to make this blog better, more interesting, or more entertaining for readers?

This question was an open comment question and I had a lot of you leave some awesome feedback! Here are some of the comments:
(The comment is in BOLD and my response is in italics

I hate sponsored posts and giveaways.
Good to know. Thanks! I'll try to keep those to a minimum. 

I read the blog mainly for race recaps in case I'm doing a race you've done previously. You usually provide a nice summary of the event and how it's organized which I like to have before trying a new race.
I have good news! I have a several races coming up this month and a big announcement coming soon!

I want to know more about training. Speed training, interval training, cross training, eating habits and I want to know what worked and didn't work, I also want to hear about injuries and how to avoid them.
I'm not an expert in any of these areas but I'd be happy to share what I'm doing so you can experiment and see if anything I do works for you. Remember! I'm a Ginger, not a Doctor!

Do some races with your followers and write about the experience. More personal and memorable.
I would absolutely LOVE that! In fact, at the Mustang 50th Half Marathon, I'll get to meet a Twitter buddy of mine, George! He's Twitter Famous! :) 

Post more pictures!
Well ok! I'm certainly happy to do that. Remember, I just had to remove over 3700 photos from my iPhone, so I got pics for days y'all! I was trying to keep the pictures to a minimum because I didn't want everyone to think I was totally self absorbed, but really, I probably am! Ha!


Thanks again for taking my survey! Sorry this post was a little long but I learned a lot and had a ton of fun with this project!