I don't even know where to begin with this race report. It's so hard to believe that the Honolulu Marathon has come and gone and it's already been over a week since race day! Sorry to keep you all waiting so long. After the race we spent the week in Honolulu being tourists and relaxing with our friends. More on that in another post. If you have read my blog for a while, you all know that I always start with the medal, so here we go! 

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Honolulu Marathon thanks to Bibrave's BibRavePro ambassadorship. You can learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro & check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews. As always, all opinions, typos, and silly pictures are my own.

The Medal

PictureHonolulu Marathon Medal 2014
The picture on the left is the front of the Honolulu Marathon Medal and the picture on the right is the back. I think this is the first medal that I have that is two-sided! 
When we crossed the finish line we were handed a shell necklace right away. Then we walked further into the finisher area and picked up our cotton finisher t-shirt and medal. It was a pretty smooth process. 
The medal is about the size of my palm so it's not the biggest medal I have, but not the smallest one either. I love how it perfectly represents Hawaii and even though the sponsor (JAL = Japanese Airlines) is on the medal, it's not the main focus of the medal. I hate when races do that! 

The Start/Finish Line

PicturePhoto Cred: Honolulu Marathon Facebook Page
The start of the Honolulu Marathon is like no other start I've been a part of! The race starts at 5:00 AM so it is still dark for a couple of hours at the beginning of the race and instead of using a starting pistol THEY USE FIREWORKS to kick off the race!!! How awesome is that?! 

The starting corrals are different in the fact that they do not assign corrals. You just line up using the honor system and the signs they have posted showing about where you should stand if you plan on finishing in the 4 hour range, the 5 hour range, and so on. We lined up towards the back of the 5 hour range. 

The finish area was in Kapiolani Park. There were vendors selling more race gear, food tents, the finisher shirt tent, the medal tent, and even a GIANT Jumbo Tron which was on a time delay so you could watch yourself finish the race! 

We saw so many people running in costume during the race. We saw a bride  and groom, Japanese Anime characters, Hula girls, and even a man and woman who did the Tango the whole race!! (Yes she had a red dress on and walked backwards!)

This was taken after the first water stop at mile 2.5ish!

The Course/Weather

PicturePhoto Cred: Honolulu Marathon Facebook Page
I couldn't have asked for a better course and weather for this race! We were slightly nervous going into this race because of the heat but it turned out just fine. The course was mostly flat with the slight hill around mile 8 or 9. I wouldn't really call it a big hill. Just a gradual incline as you are running near Diamond Head. You hit it on the way back as well, but we almost didn't notice it at all. This is definitely a flat course with plenty of scenery to keep you occupied! We even saw a rainbow on the course! Seeing that rainbow during the marathon made my whole day! Well, that and the Malasada! 

The weather was definitely in our favor for this race. I know you all already know, I'm not a hot weather runner. But who could pass up the chance to run a race in Hawaii with NO time limit?! Not this Ginger. As we walked out of our hotel we immediately noticed the light rain. I remember thinking to myself that I never even considered checking the weather because, you know, it's Hawaii! So I was pleasantly surprised to have the light rain. It rained off and on for about 75-80% of the race. Thank Goodness! Around mile 19-20 the sun came out and that's when I started to really slow down.  It would  have been a super long day if the sun was out the entire time! 
I can't remember what mile we were at but we did have some strong winds but they didn't last long. 

The Swag

Every runner in the finish area was welcomed with the smell of warm and fresh Malasadas! They were really good and it was all I could think about for the last few miles. It is sort of like a  funnel cake ball covered in sugar. 

All finishers got a cotton t-shirt, a medal, a malasada, a shell necklace, and our bib.

I kinda wish the bibs were a little more fancy being as they are pretty plain, but with over 31,000 runners and the fact that they  even let people sign up for the race at the expo, I understand why they  would want to keep them simple to keep costs down. 

The Expo

PictureFredrik and I at the Honolulu Marathon Expo!
We landed in Honolulu on Friday afternoon before the race. Hawaii is 4 hours behind Oklahoma so when we landed at 3:00, it really felt like 7:00 PM and we had been traveling since 4:00 AM. Long day! So we waited to hit up the expo until Saturday. When we got there it was like we stepped into a different world! It was so crazy and awesome to see that everything was in English and Japanese! This race has a very strong presence from Japan so it makes a lot of sense to have all the signs in both languages. I've never ran a race that has been so diverse and it was really cool to experience that in Hawaii.

During the expo I had a goal of meeting a couple people. One of them was Fredrik who works with the marathon marketing team and does social media. I asked a few volunteers if they knew who he was or where I could find him and no one seemed to really know. Finally I just sent him a message through Twitter and 10 minutes later we were chilling in the expo! 
It was great to finally put a face with a name being as we had been tweeting back and forth for several months leading up to the race! I was totally expecting him to look like a Native Hawaiian but turns out he's not. He's a tall, thin, white guy with an Aussie (I think) accent! 

The expo was definitely big enough for all the runners and vendors and really easy to navigate. It was also easy to get to from our hotel so that was nice. 

My other goal was to meet Sam with FlipBelt. I just recently got my very own belt and fell in love with it immediately! You can read my review here. 
She's a totally cool chick who is super relaxed and fun to talk to. I wish we could have stayed and talked more about running and everything but her booth was very busy selling out of belts so I let her get back to business! If you ever see her at an Expo be sure to stop by and say hi! 

My Experience

PictureTypical Corral Selfie!
Due to the warmer weather in Hawaii and being as we ran a marathon just 3 weeks prior to this race, we planned to take this one easy. We planned to use an interval method so I could avoid getting too hot and because we knew there was no time limit to worry about. We ended up running the first 3 miles non-stop and then picked up our intervals of running 3 minutes and a brisk walk for 1 minute. I also decided that since we were taking it easy, I would give live tweeting during the race a try! It was a ton of fun and I got a lot of encouragement from all my Twitter buddies! If you ever run a race for fun, you should try it once just to do it. I had so much fun going through all my tweets/notifications after the race! 

We ended up finishing in 6:24:00.

I really think we could have finished in under 6 hours even with our run/walk method but we had a few stops on the course and I'm pretty sure they  were 10+ minutes due to long lines at the bathrooms. 

This is a huge race! It had over 31,000 runners and even though there are 26 miles to spread out, you never really spread out. You have to be on your game the whole time to  make sure you don't bump into people. You've been warned! 

The first few miles of the race are in the dark and have you running around downtown Honolulu. We saw a lot of businesses decorated with large Christmas light displays which made the race feel fun and festive! 

The course takes you along the shore line not too far from Diamond Head and there are a few opportunities to see the ocean. It was so beautiful! What was even more beautiful, was seeing all the green mountains off in the distance with the low rain clouds hanging around. It gave the race a cool ambiance and backdrop that made everything feel all majestic and stuff! Don't even get me started on the fact that we saw a rainbow during the race. I almost died!! 

Around mile 19 or so I hit the wall. Our walk breaks got a little longer and our running was a little shorter. I was still having fun and the volunteers were still cheering loud and proud. So overall I was doing ok! I've just come to the conclusion that marathons are just hard! I have one more full marathon planned in 2015 and then I think I'll retire and stick with half marathons. We'll see!If full marathons aren't your thing, and you want to run a race in Hawaii, the same race organizers hold the Hapalua Half in April. 

I seriously can't recommend this race enough! If you are looking for a special race for a milestone or an anniversary you MUST. DO. THIS. RACE!
The course, the scenery, the fireworks, the rainbow, the ocean, the list goes on and on! 

How you think I feel during a marathon...
How I really feel during a marathon...

Question! Where is your next race or vacation or race-cation?

PicturePhoto Cred: Honolulu Marathon
You guys! It's finally here! The Honolulu Marathon is just a few days away! I can't believe that we signed up for this race in April and now race week is upon us! To say that I'm excited is a huge understatement! 

To add to the excitement, as part of a new project I'm taking on as part of my BibRave Ambassadorship, I got a fancy new GoPro camera in the mail today! I'll be able to share more on that later but I'm super excited it got here just in time to go to Hawaii with  me! 

My Race Plan

PicturePhoto Cred: Honolulu Marathon
Let's be real clear right off the bat people. This race will be warm.  I've said it 100 times already, I am not a hot weather runner. I've been stalking my weather app on my phone and watching the temps in Honolulu for a while now. It. Will. Be. Hot. 

The race starts at 5:00am and we'll be running almost 2 hours before the sun comes up so that is on our side. The course description, according to the website, says "The terrain is level except for short uphill grades around Diamond Head."  So that sounds promising to me.

The Hubbo and I have the plan to run the whole race together. We haven't done that in a while so that will be nice. We also realize that we ran a marathon 3 weeks ago so we plan to take this one at a much more relaxed pace. In fact, being as the Honolulu Marathon has no time limit and race walkers are very welcome, we plan to do a run/walk/run strategy for the whole race. We haven't figured out the exact intervals yet, but we just want to sit back and enjoy the race and the beautiful scenery! So this will definitely NOT be a PR race for us, but we plan to have a good time! 

Packing For A Race and Vacation 3,819 Miles Away

According to Google the distance from Tulsa, OK to Honolulu, HI is 3,819 miles. That is a very long way to go if you forget something! Here's my plan. I will pack all my my race day needs in my carry on. If something happens and my bags get lost, at least I won't to have to buy all new running gear at the Expo. So anything and everything I need for the race will be carried on. The rest of my belongings will be packed in my regular suitcase. 
I may toss a few other important things in  my carry on bag like my swimming stuff and flip flops. That's pretty much all I need the rest of the week, right?

Confession: I'm an over-packer y'all!
It's true! Every. Single. Time. 

If you don't believe me, look at this picture. This is my living room the day before my first out-of-town race.  From the looks of this picture it appears that I would have been gone several days or at least traveled a great distance. Do you want to know where I went for my first out of town race? To Oklahoma City. A measly little 1.5 hours away from Tulsa and for only 1 night! 

The struggle is real y'all! 

You can't see it very well, but in that blue bag on the left side of the picture is my toaster and a loaf of bread. Yes. A freaking toaster!!!! 
Don't worry, since we are flying I won't be packing my toaster this time. But no promises that I won't pack far more outfits than I can possibly wear while we are there! I mean c'mon. You never really know what you are going to do until you are there and you may need 2 outfits a day, right? Ladies back me up on this!

Fun Facts About The Honolulu Marathon

Picture2013 Finisher Medal Photo Cred: Honolulu Marathon
  • The race starts at 5:00 am
  • The race is kicked of by a Fireworks display!
  • It is the 3rd largest race in the US
  • Over 30,000 runners participate each year
  • There is no registration cut-off
  • There is no time limit
  • This race is only a full marathon or 10K race day walk
  • The Elite 1st place winner gets $40,000!
  • The men's course record is 2:11:12 set in 2004 by a Kenyan
  • The women's course record is 2:27:19 set in 2006 by a Russian

Question! What is your favorite Racation destination you've been to or want to go to?

PicturePhoto from Addaday.com
You all may remember that about a week and a half ago I ran a marathon. If we want to be technical and slightly obnoxious about it, technically I ran the world's shortest ultra marathon coming in at 26.5 miles! 
Let's be real. 
Runners, especially myself, love to talk about running. Sometimes we talk about it to an obnoxious level. AmIRight? No? It's just me? Okay, moving on... If you read my race recap you know it was a very tough day for me. Not only did I miss my PR and goal by one hour, but I had horrible cramps in my quads and feet. Not fun. Luckily for me, I had recently acquired a new recovery tool. I had an Addaday Ultra Roller Plus Series C roller waiting for me at home. It was perfect timing and just what I needed to start my recovery process. After all, I have another marathon in just a couple weeks. Hello Honolulu Marathon

Disclaimer: I received an Addaday roller thanks to Bibrave's BibRavePro ambassadorship. You can learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro & check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews. As always, all opinions, typos, and silly pictures are my own.

Disclaimer #2: I'm a Ginger, not a Doctor. If you are having any injury issues, please go see a professional. 

Why I Chose Addaday Series C

When I was contacted by BibRave and they let me know that I had the opprotunity to try out an Addaday product of my choice, I was pretty excited. I'm an average runner with normal aches and pains after a long run, but I've also been battling issues with my feet for a while now. Hello Plantar Fasciitis! It's definitely better than before, but I have to stay on top of it or it tries to come back. 

So when I was looking over all the options I noticed a few things about the Series C first.

1. It was smaller than some of the others. I like the idea of being able to pack this in my luggage being as we plan on running a race in all 50 states.
2. It had 1 little red gear. When I read more about that specific gear, it was listed as a way to work on your Achilles area which is where my feet problems stem from. Boom! Sold!!
3. I've actually tested out the Type C before at my local running store and I knew it was good to work on my IT Band. 
4. I didn't realize it at the time I picked it, but when I got home from my last marathon I was in so much pain, I couldn't even walk, and I definitely didn't have the strength use my regular foam roller. This was a good way to start the recovery process because I could control how much pressure I put on my quads without having to hold myself up off the floor. 
5. For the guys: I can't attest to this personally, but my fellow BibRavePro, Jeremy, says the Addaday Rollers don't snag the hair on your legs. 
6. The Type C has a medium firmness to it which allows for a deep tissue massage. I didn't want something too soft or too hard. So this was the best option for me. 

How I Used My Addaday Roller After My Marathon

When I got home from my marathon my quads hurt, my feet hurt, my calf muscles were tight and everything just hurt. After I showered, I was able to sit on the edge of my couch and start using the roller on my calf muscles and quads. I started wit my quads first and got them to relax a little. Then I was able to move down to my calf muscles and then eventually my Achilles.

Once I got all of those areas loosened up, I was able to move to the floor and work on my feet. I used the regular gears and the small red gear on different areas of my feet to get the blood flow moving. Then I propped my feet up on the coach while I was laying on the floor for about 5 minutes to help some of the blood drain out of my feet. The next day, my feet, calves, and quads, were all totally fine. After all of my previous marathons, I normally would still be having trouble walking the following day. Not this time. My back was sore but I didn't roll out my back. Lesson learned! 

In the picture above, I'm rolling out my feet. I just put the roller on the floor and roll my feet back and forth. It really helps to loosen it up after a long day or a long run. 

Get Your Own Addaday

You can see a full list of their products by clicking here. They have seven different types of rollers as well as a wealth of information on how to use them on their website. 

You can also find their products in your local running stores like, Fleet Feet and Red Coyote Running just to name a couple. You can click here to find a store near you. 

The Addaday Type C is listed on their website for $40. The rest of their products retail from $19 to $45. 

They might also be the perfect stocking stuffer for your favorite runner! 

Check out what my a few of my fellow BibRavePros have to say about the rollers they picked!

Jeremy - Ultra Plus Series Pro
Angie - Universal Roller Type D
Melissa - Ultra Roller Plus Series C

Question! What is your post-race recovery ritual?