Friday, June 29, 2012

100 Days

It was pointed out to me that the 2012 Chicago Marathon is only 100 days away!!  I had to count to verify that that number was indeed correct.  It is! 

Have I mentioned yet that I'm SO EXCITED for this marathon??  Oh, I have?  Well, I hope you like hearing that because it won't be the last time you hear about it!

I'm not as excited about my long run of 9 miles tomorrow.  I know I can pull out 9 miles.  I just don't want to.  The low tomorrow is 72. The low. The high will be about 93. I'm not usually one to complain about the heat but ...  I'm tired of the heat!  Can we just get a week of highs in the 80's with low humidity? That'd be great!

But no sense in complaining. It is what it is and I gotta do what I gotta do.  So 9 miles at 7:00 a.m. it is!! 

In preparation for a better marathon this time around, I have been trying to hold up to some of the goals I set for myself.  I have been much better about stretching.  There are times I cut it way too short.  But I'm trying to stretch before and after runs, also after gym workouts, foam rolling, etc.  I'm sure it's making a difference and will no doubt help me prevent injuries and feel better during the marathon that during the IL Marathon (hello quad pain!!)

I've been much better about hydration.  Well, it is definitely easier to hydrate during hot weather because ice cold water takes so good!  The one thing I really have to work on is my hydration on Saturday's after my long runs!!  It could be 5:00 pm and I may have only consumed 2 glasses of water post run!

I've been a little hit-and-miss about my strength training but I'm excited for what's to come after this next week.  First, I try to get it in.  I've been dedicating at least 1 gym day to strength training.  But the rest of the week, I tend to slack off.  Just getting in my running is all I want to do (or can seem to manage) before I collapse on the couch at the end of the night at 8:30 p.m. to eat dinner and watch tv!  BUT...a run friend does his own personal training and has offered to give me 2 free sessions (July 11th and 13th).  I also purchased a few months back some bootcamp classes (which I heard were really good) and I have 15 of those to use which I'm starting on July 9th and will do it every Mon/Wed for approx 2 months!  So I will definitely be getting in my strength training for the next couple months.  I need it! I'm getting weak and too flabby!!  NEED TO BUST MY ASS!!  But I was proud of myself for getting in some lower body and core work during my lunch the other day.  That is a definite possiblity next week and for when after these other sessions end!

By the way...I'm really excited for the 2012 Chicago Marathon (in case you haven't heard that yet).

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Running & Half Marathon

I thought last year was hot.  Every Saturday for our long runs the temps would be about 90 degrees and humid.  I generally enjoy running when it's "warmer" outside.  However, when the temps get past 90 degrees, it can get pretty brutal, especially if it's humid (which in Chicago, it generally tends to be).  This summer seems to be an even hotter one!

If you are training for something like a marathon or half marathon (or any race at all) and you live in the midwest, you need to train in all kinds of weather.  For the Shamrock Shuffle 8k that takes place in Chicago every year either in March or April, it has been 30 degrees and snowing or 70+ degrees!  For the Chicago Marathon in October, it has been anywhere between 30 degrees and 85 degrees. 

It's a huge pet peeve of mine when people skip out on runs just because it's hot outside (or raining, or there is snow on the ground).  Sure, once here or there is fine, but you can't NOT run all summer outside because it's hot.  You can't run on the treadmill all summer and hope the marathon will not be hot!  You never know what race day will bring.  So put on your big girl panties (or big guy boxers????) and take your run outside.  You need to get your body acclimated to running in these weather conditions.

Just make sure to be safe
- Hydrate well the day before and during the day. 
- Bring some water with you on the run. 
- Slow your pace.  It's ok to go slower.  It's ok to take a few extra walk breaks.
- Run with identification or an emergency contact number.
- If possible, run with friends.
- Try to pick an area that has some shade. It really helps to not have the sun beating on you the whole time!
- Wear sunscreen.
- Run earlier in the morning or later in the evening if possible.  Yes, I said get acclimated to the weather but if you have the opportunity to run when it's 87 instead of 93, go for it, which is what I did last night.

Tonight's run should be fun.  The high today in Chicago is supposed to be 99-104.  We have not seen a 100 degree day since 2005!  I have also not run in 100 degree temps.  I'm meeting up with my run group and my friend Maggie is having a special run (she is an ambassador for the Fort 2 Base run and is having a special fun run for that) so I don't want to miss it.  I'm trying to formulate a plan now.  Maggie is bringing ice.  I'm bringing my water bottle.  I'm also thinking of just running 5 minutes/walking 1 minute for 3 miles.  Either that or run at an 11 minute mile pace and not walk.  I'm thinking I might go with my first original option (both will probably equal a similar pace by the outcome).

On another note, the Rock N' Roll Half Marathon in Chicago is coming up on July 22nd.  I've done this run (formerly Chicago Distance Classic) every year since 2006 except 2007 when I severly stretched a ligament in my knee slipping on ice.  I'm not sure why I love this run so much.  Maybe because it's a staple run for me, a given that I will be doing it.  It's fun.  I run for my charity group for the last 4 or 5 years. 

Normally this run is in August (not sure why they moved it to July this year!!!) and it starts very early, at 6:30 am.  It's also a run I generally PR at.  Last year I had a wedding the night before (read about last year's run here).  I set limits to leave at 10:00 pm and only consume two drinks at most.  That failed (obviously) and I had 6-7 drinks and left at midnight (getting home at 1:00).  I got three hours of sleep, was a little hungover and even though I also drank water all night long, was concerned that I may be (or get) dehydrated.  I drank 2 glasses of water before I left the house and made a plan to stop at every other water stop to drink water, normally I may not have stopped until mile 9 to get water.

We were lucky because the day was overcast (it tends to be warm even for 6:30 am) and even started to drizzle at the end.  During the run I stuck with the plan of stopping at every other water station.  My garmin messed up in the first mile due to the dreaded tunnel near the beginning so it didn't work properly.  I also hurt my IT band during the run around mile 8.  That made me stop at 8 to stretch and stop and mile 9 to stretch even longer! I think I lost a minute or two during mile 9.  I wanted to PR but didn't care what my time was during this run at this point.  I felt like crap and just couldn't wait for it to be over!  I didn't think there was any way I was going to PR.  And I did!  By about 40 seconds!

This year for me, it's tough.  Sure, I always want to PR (who doesn't), but I also know the smart thing to do it run comfortably.  I haven't been speed training or training to PR.  I've just been trying to bounce back from all those injuiries I've had over the spring.  I've been (knock on wood) injury free since about 2 weeks prior to the marathon on April 28th and definitely do NOT want to get injured again!  I'm still training for a marathon (which is my number 1 priority and the only run that I REALLY want to PR FOR SURE!!).

So, with this half marathon less than a month away, my thoughts are turning towards it.  I guess I will have to see what the weather will be like for the half this year.  With the way this summer is shaping up, the weather may just kill me!  And I will probably try to start at a comfortable pace and see how I feel.  The competitiveness with myself is always going to be there. But I'm pretty good with reading my body when I'm running.  I'm also pretty good with not being stupid (even thought I think stupid thoughts beforehand sometimes).

Monday, June 25, 2012

What I see when I run...

Before I begin on what I see when I run, I've been having weird dreams lately.  Sometimes it's a dream about a girl in my run group not being able to workout with me because she has to get the tattoo of a middle finger on her butt touched up (true dream story).  Sometimes it's a more terrifying dream like last night.  Briefly, I had a dream that I was talking to a guy near my home and my garmin was quoting horror movie lines (not real ones, made up dream ones).  I kept trying to get it to stop and couldn't. Finally I told the guy, "I don't know what's wrong with this!"  He then proceeded to take me by the throat trying to strangle me.  I was crying and pleading with him to stop.  Not sure where but there was another guy there too.  I was stabbing my guy with a butcher knife but he still wouldn't stop.  He was also trying to stab the other guy. Needless to say, it was a violent and bloody mess of a nightmare.  I woke up crooked on my bed and afraid to move.  I felt almost confident that if I moved, someone was going to be there to kill me!  After about a minute of lying awake, I reached over to grab my phone to see what time it was.  I was thinking it had to be between 2 am-5 am.  It was midnight (12:05 am to be exact)!  I just went to bed an hour before that!  I finally got the courage to straighten out on my bed but it took a while to fall back asleep, at least 1/2 hour.  I'm no stranger to horrible nightmares, where people are trying to kill me.  It may seem weird but I've been having these dreams since I was little.  Usually I can't get any help no matter how hard I try.  I've always wanted to find a dream expert to help me decode these dreams! 

On to the more fun topic...neighborhood art...

Often times I run in my neighborhood around my house.  I take different routes depending on weather, distance and whether it will be light or dark outside.  A main street in Tinley Park is Oak Park Avenue.  If it's dark or I just want straight flat out and back, I will run down this street.  It goes right through the heart of Tinley.  Out and back from my house is a total of about 4 miles.  Last year (and maybe before), they had benches that are displayed along the street as art.  I'm not sure of the history behind this (and I'm sure I could google it) but I believe the original ones were done by schools and children.  Some of you may be from this area or surrounding area, so if you know, go ahead and fill me in. 

While running along this street, it's kind of nice to have something different to look at.  This year they changed most of them.  They also have a theme this year (not sure if last years were a theme or not).  The theme is musical (movies, etc).  Last night I decided to take an evening walk before it got dark.  I had a family party and ate more than normal and needed to get the food moving around.  And the weather felt pretty nice so I thought a couple mile walk sounded good.  I headed out close to 8 pm so I knew I wouldn't get to all the benches as I had limited time before it got dark.  I also missed a few benches because people were sitting on them and I didn't want to #1...take their photo, and #2...tell them to get up for a minute. lol.  Also, some of the benches are so large that it's hard to get the whole thing in a shot without standing in the street.  I did stand in the street for a few but sometimes I didn't want to get hit by a car so I did the best I could!  :-) 

I thought you might like to see a few of these benches!  I probably took pictures of about 2/3 of the benches and took an hour walk.  This equalled to 3.11 miles (or a 5k), which was not planned so I thought it mildly amusing.  Ok, I don't get out much!  Anyway, I plan to take photos of the rest another time.  Here are the ones I did get.

Behind a fence so it's hard to see

My favorite one!  My mom was a piano teacher for 25 years!

I'm wondering if this was left over from last year??

In front of the VFW building

What do you think??  Kind of interesting feature of my neighborhood.  And nice to look at when you are out running for a change.  I'm kind of excited to show my mom these (she never gets out to my neighborhood) and I think she would appreciate the music theme to them.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Long Enough?

My little blog hiatus lasted...what?  Two days?  That's long enough, right?  Well of course, I couldn't stay away too long right now.  Why?  Warrior Dash photos were posted!!

Jumping over 6 foot flames (clearly!)

A non-forced Kelly pose!  So much fun here!

Yup! Definitely 6 foot flames!  I was actually a little nervous to jump over these!  Wtf Amanda!

Posing after maybe the second obstacle with Kathy

FINALLY getting out of the mud pit. Made for a good laugh!

Laughing so hard because I embarrassed myself so much at the end infront of ALL my friends! lol

I went to the Cubs/Sox Crosstown Classic at Comisky Park (or whatever the parks name is now) last night with my family and we had SO MUCH FUN!  Especially since the Cubs won AGAIN!  Two days in a row.  It was a great game all the way through, very close score.  I wasn't counting my chickens before they were hatched though as the Cubs tend to throw the games away in the 9th!  Although trash talking with Sox fans did start in the 9th!  Who, me?  A trash talker??  Never!

2 Cubs fans and a Sox fan (my nephew Tony, my dad and me)

Cubs fans representing at Sox park!

Comisky Park

Tony, my dad and my mom. This is an exact replica of a photo taken at Yankee's Park in 2003!

8th Inning.  It was here I realized we might have a shot! Praying for a win!  True Story!

The whole gang after!  In order of height obviously!


Found Genevieve!  One of my FN Runner friends!  2 row behind me!
 Fun times!!  5k run tonight (it's a hot one out there...90's).

Monday, June 18, 2012

City Girl vs. Rustic Girl - Warrior Dash 2012

"For every minute that you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

First things first:  I may be taking a little blogging break for a week or two for personal reasons. But I'll be back!  I may still be reading yours, just not posting on mine!

Second things second:  My cousin just had a new baby today and I'm so excited for them!

Third: My nephew is still in town for a couple more weeks and we have a lot planned.  My June is extremely busy but my July and August will be slow (and boring) after he leaves!  My dad got us all tickets to a cubs/sox crosstown classic game tomorrow night and I'm so excited!  I've never been and have always wanted to!  He got extra good seats too!  Needless to say we will all be buying him beer tomorrow night!  I have the "Short Run on a Long Day 5k" on Wednesday.  And either Thursday this week or Tuesday next week, I'm planning on taking my nephew Tony and my cousin/Goddaughter Anna to Great America!!  Love amusement parks!!


I've wanted to do the Warrior Dash for a couple years now.  I decided I would do it this year no matter if I knew anyone or not!  Luckily, I have met many crazy runner people since then and many of them were signing up for it, so I did as well!  But who needs to train!  I figure, it's the "baby" of all the mud runs.  I could handle it.  I like to pride myself that I'm more "rustic" than "city".  After all, growing up I always went camping (in a tent on the ground, no fancy stuff), canoeing, white water rafting.  I've been skydiving and bungee jumping.  I could do a few little obstacles!

Before leaving...I called in reinforcements (city girl!)

Hello Kitty bandaid...what every warrior needs before battle
I met up with a few of my Frankfort/New Lenox Run Group to carpool there.  Thanks to Lisa decorating her van, we went in style!

We got our packets and hung around waiting for more of our friends to show up.  We were going to start in the 10:00 wave.  It's always fun to see this at a race...

Temps were a high in the 90's.  At 7:00 am it was 75.  Come run time it was mid-80's.
Before photos:

When we were waiting to start, we saw a guy (a rather large guy) wearing speedos, a black with white lace bra and wings waiting to start.  Unfortunately we didn't have our cameras since you really can't bring anything due to all the mud and water you will be going through.  Also, when we were starting, they had the temperature on a clock and it showed 85 degrees.  It was pretty hot and we just wanted to get started!

Course Terrain: Awful!  I know it's a mud-run. It's not going to be a nice flat run surface.  The ground in the first half was patchy grass and weeds and very uneven. Not good for someone with bad knees, ankles and feet!  The second half was slippery muddy mess, uneven, and at times it was like crossing a river with rocks and sticks, etc.  My friend Kathy and I took it all very slow and walked during many parts to avoid injury.

I was surprised when the first obstacle came around what seemed like mile 0.75.  The first obstacle was Mortimer's Crossing where you cross on a rope (holding rope handles).  As I started crossing, I realized I was completely terrified that I was going to trip or fall or something and fall to my death below, the 6 feet to the ground (city girl!)!  I managed to get across although slowly.  Kathy and I continued to the next obstacle which was the Trenches where you crawl under wood on your hands and knees in dirt and rocks.  I figured this would be hell on my knees and I was right. But the rocks and hard dirt were horrible!  I couldn't wait for this to be over!  It was hot and as Kathy and I started running after, I said to her "Who said this was going to be fun??" (city girl!)

When we came to the third obstacle, it Petrifying Plunge, it looked like the most fun.  It was like a big slip and slide and we were excited that there was water pouring from it, because we were hot!  We slid down the slide and landed in a big muddy pool.  Kathy and I were laughing!  We thought this was so much fun and we were muddy and dirty!  It also cooled us off.  Now, I don't really remember the order of all of the obstacles and they are wrong on the map, so I'm just going to go with what order I thought they were in.

I believe the 4th obstacle was Vertical Limit.  As we were running towards that one, I saw a pole that you had to slide down (like at a fire department).  I said to Kathy, "I do not like sliding down poles!" (city girl!).  The first part of that obstacle was climbing a wall on pegs, which I had no problem with (semi-rustic girl!).  But then I had to slide down a pole and I grabbed on it and freaked out!  I stepped back and let someone go ahead of me.  Kathy had already done it and I yelled to her that I didn't think I could do it!  I tried again and stepped back again.  I probably did this 4 or 5 times and let countless people go ahead of me.  I was petrified!  Totally terrified!  I've never done this even as a child at a playground! I've always been afraid of this!  I honestly was looking for another way down but there wasn't one!  I had to do it to get down!  I kept yelling at Kathy that I couldn't do it!  Random people were trying to help me and give me tips and advice to get me to go down.  Finally one said to just use your hands, grab on and just shimmy down with your hands, not to really do anything with your legs.  I finally stepped off the ledge and started walking my hands down.  After about 1/4 of the way down on the pole, I just wanted to get down so I dropped to my feet.  I think it seemed like I landed harder than I really did and several people asked if I was ok. I told them I was fine and Kathy and I ran on.

The next obstacle I think was Vicious Valleys where you had to stand between two V-shaped walls on little pieces of wood and shimmy across.  I have no idea why but I was a little afraid on this one too (city girl!) and went really slow, apologizing to all the people behind me!  

There were a few obstacles that really didn't give me much trouble: Road Rage (crawling over cars), Hard Rain (where you climbed over a wall with heavy muddy rain pouring on you), Storming Normandy (where you crawled under barbed wire), Giant Cliffhanger (which was anything but! You just had a slight incline that you had to walk on), Cargo Climb (where you climbed up and down on a cargo net).

When I came to the Giant Wall, this is the one I had been most afraid to do.  I tried 3 times to climb on the rope but failed all three times.  I think I mentally gave up because I already didn't think I could do it!  I am disappointed that I couldn't muster up the mindset to get me through this obstacle but I ended up just going around it.  FAIL!  And totally city girl!

The other one that kind of gave me a little trouble at first was Chaotic Crossover.  Kathy and I had trouble figuring out how to start this one. Basically you just crawled over cargo net.  When we started, I actually fell on the cargo net (again, thinking I was going to fall to my girl!).  I recovered and started using my knees and hands.  It was hurting my knees and soon when I got the hang of it, I used my feet and hands.  It became much easier but it was a lot of strength on my shoulders.

The second to last thing was the Warrior Roast where you jump over fire.  It wasn't very high but seemed much higher to me and I ran hard to took a huge leap (there were two that we had to leap over).  I bet when I see these photos, it looks like I'm trying to jump over 6 foot flames!  Haha!

The final part was Muddy Mayhem where you crawl under barbed wire through a muddy swamp.  If you stood up and just ducked under the wire, the crowd would boo you!  They wanted you to get muddy.  I kind did the doggy paddle and also used my hands to crawl through this but the water was pretty high.  Didn't matter, I like to get dirty!!  :)  (Rustic girl).  Then we came to the end of that and they had a tarp or something so when you tried to crawl out, you would slide down. I think it was worse in the middle, which is where I was trying to get out at.  I couldn't get a grip and kept sliding down. I heard the rest of my run group cheering me on (and probably laughing at me!) and I couldn't help laugh myself.  Finally, I went to one edge and noticed it was easier to get up on that side.  And I was done!  But not before I almost slipped on the way out!  (City Girl).

Muddy Mayhem
We posed for pictures.  And then Kathy and I took showers.  We were fortunate and a friend Brian was raising money for St. Jude. He raised enough to give a few of us bracelets that allowed us in their tented area.  This had food, drinks and portable showers!!  While the rest headed for beer, Kathy and I headed for showers and food (city girls!!)

I know...that's hot!
My warrior partner Kathy and I after (obviously)

F'N Runner Group After

The whole group after

The medal - dirty finger nails and all!
 Later my cousin was going to get a mani/pedi and wanted me to come. I was going to go to keep her company but not get one (only had 2 mani's and 1 pedi in my life).  After this warrior dash, I thought it would be a good idea.  My nails and toes were in bad shape!!!

Much better!  The nail lady had her work cut out!  She kept shaking her head in disgust! (definitely city girl)
I had a lot of fun doing this and can't wait to see the ridiculous pictures the photographers took of me during.  I may or may not do it again but if I do this one or any other one...I need to work on my upper body strength.  What I could not believe was how afraid I was to do many of the obstacles!  That was a shock and humbled me a little bit!  I guess I am a little more city than I thought I was! 
I'm also proud of myself for completely most of the obstacles even though I was terrified!  I didn't know I would feel that way!  One got to me mentally and I still would like to complete that one.  Not sure if I will do this again or not, but if I do this one or a different one...I will work on my upper body strength just a bit!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Rocking the Positive Splits

A couple friends of mine, Maggie and Kelly, were running the Jim Gibbons 5k on Thursday, June 14th at 6:25 pm.  I've been signed up for a lot of runs and wasn't going to sign up for this one. So for weeks, I had been saying "no" to this race.  Plus I really don't sign up for a lot of 5k's.  Mostly, if they are in Chicago, they are pretty costly (for a 5k).  Then two more friends, Susan and Wayne, said they were both signing up for it.  Susan put more of the pressure on me to sign up.  I debated for a week.  Finally on Tuesday (last day of online registration), I decided to sign up.  After all, it was for Leukemia research, so it's a good cause.

So, you want to run a 5k?  In fact, I now had the Jim Gibbons 5k on Thursday (yesterday), I have the Warrior Dash on Saturday and I have the Short Run on a Long Day 5k next Wednesday.  Yes, that's 3 5k's in a weeks time.  For someone that never signs up for 5k's, I'm not sure how I let this happen!  Haha!

My PR for a 5k was from November 2010.  I was a faster runner back then.  It was before the marathons and before my injuries.  My time was 27:55 (8:59 pace).  I'm still not sure how that happened as I was horribly sick and almost didn't go. But it was a local run right in my neighborhood (the course went past my house twice).  I didn't have a garmin back then and I have no idea what my splits were.  I haven't beat 29 mins for a 5k since then!  But then again, I usually run like 1 a year!

After kind of a rough 2 days emotionally for me, I was feeling pretty beat up inside.  So while at work on Thursday, I could not wait to take my anger out on this 5k.  So I was pretty glad I ended up signing up for it.  I knew that I would not beat my PR, but that didn't mean I couldn't try anyway.  I figured I could use this as a base for upcoming 5k's and just see where I'm at.  I've never been a fast runner (obviously!). 

In fact, with the anger I had built up that day, I was pretty confident I would kill this 5k!  Haha!  I knew better but it was fun thinking it!  I sort of had a plan.  I would run about 9:10, 9:00 and 8:50 for my splits!  What??  I haven't run faster than a 9:30 mile in months?  Pffftttt!  No big deal!

Kelly and I drove from work to Lincoln Park where it was going to be at.  We met up with Maggie and walked to a spot for a pre-race photo.  Susan joined us as did Britt and Lauren.  Britt and Lauren came up to spectate since they lived nearby!

Susan, Me, Maggie, Lauren, Britt, Kelly

Me and Susan
After this we met up with Wayne and his friend Tony.  While heading to the start, the "fast runners" Susan, Kelly, Maggie and Wayne all went to the front.  They run in the 7:00 mile pace for 5k's (around 7:30's more or less).  Tony and I stayed back by the 9:00 min mile marker. 

Remember, my first mile was going to be about a 9:10.  My garmin was clocking fast so these splits are probably a few seconds off.  But according to my garmin, my first mile was an 8:50.  While running that mile, I was going to slow up but couldn't.  Then it was nearing the one mile mark and I figured I should finish out that mile and then slow up the second mile and crush the 3rd.

Yeah well, I knew if I started the race too fast that I would crash in the second.  And that's what happened!  My second mile split (according to my inaccurate garmin) was 9:18.  But I was still really close to hitting a PR if I could pick up that 3rd mile!  Or not...

My 3rd mile was a 9:23.  Nice negative splits Amanda!  Haha! 

My official time came to 29:03 (9:21 pace).  I checked out the other 5k (Cupid's Chase) that I ran in February on my birthday on one of the coldest days of the year (thanks for that Mother Nature!) and my time was a 29:05 (9:22 pace).  So I guess I PR'd for the year!  Sometimes I have to remember what you might have been at one point isn't necessarily what you are right now.  So maybe I'll work on it from this year forward since a lot's happened to me.  And I have to remember, I'm not training to PR 5k's. I'm training to PR my marathon.  So I gave this 5k a solid effort with NO speed training or training for it at all.  If I was putting work into these, I'm sure I'd have no problem getting down there again.

Kelly, Me, Wayne, Susan, Tony and Maggie (Post-Race)
I had a good time with my friends and relieved some anger.  I feel a little better too after talking things out with some friends and pushing myself hard in a 5k. All in all, it was a productive evening. 


Saturday is the Warrior Dash. I'm super excited to go!  I've wanted to do this the last two years but haven't.  I'm scheduled to go at 12:30 but I'm going to run it early, at 10:00 am with a group of my running friends.  I think we are going to have TONS of fun!  So excited!  Seriously!  Except that the high is going to be 90 degrees.  Ugh! Mother Nature!  STOP!! 
Wait for the race recap on this one!!