Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Race Recap: Iron Mom Half Marathon

This was the best Mother's Day I can remember since becoming a mom six years ago. My little family of four packed up the camper and headed south six hours to Paducah, Kentucky, home of the Iron Mom Half Marathon. My two favorite recreational activities are running and camping... so this was the perfect gift for me.

As we made our way across the Ohio River, leaving Illinois and entering Kentucky, I was already in awe of the richness of nature in this part of the country. If you ever have the chance, be sure to include northwest Kentucky in your travel plans.

We headed straight to the packet pickup, where I received a custom race bag (with goodies inside) and a tech shirt - both in a pretty teal blue color. I was happy that for once, the women's shirt wasn't mini-sized.  My size fit! After setting up camp outside Calvert City, I tucked in early for bed. The race start was early... 6:30 a.m.

When the 5am alarm sounded, I grabbed my pre-packed bag of race clothes and snuck out of the camper. I did a quick change in the bathroom, stopped for a big coffee and headed towards the start line (a 1/2 hr drive from camp).

I cruised right into downtown Paducah and had no problem finding a parking spot (love small races!). I headed straight for the bathrooms... OMG, they had the cleanest, most sparkling white porta-potties I've ever seen in my life! Then I found the ladies from Moms Run This Town. Several chapters were represented at this race and it was nice meeting so many great mommas!

My goal for this race was to have fun... find my race happy mojo again. I purposely left the Garmin at home and went old school with a regular stopwatch to record my splits. I knew I was back in the Bible Belt when there was a pre-race prayer, similar to my Alabama race. I like it, but it just doesn't happen anywhere else. The starting gun went off and I ran by feel - which means I went out too fast. The 2-hour pacer (and his big pack) were right on my tail from the start. I couldn't seem to pull away from them. Grrrr. Shortly after mile 2, I heard him say, "Huh, I think we're a little fast."  8:45 pace, ya think?
Mile 1 - 8:45
Mile 2 - 8:48

Huge flag hanging over the course - at the beginning and at the finish

Some rolling hills introduced themselves in the next couple miles. We cruised through some neighborhoods - nice houses, lots of trees. The little hills were actually a nice reminder for me to slow down.  I wasn't suppose to be pushing; I did just run a marathon two weeks before! Happy pace, find your happy pace...
Mile 3 - 9:15
Mile 4 - 9:07
Mile 5 - 9:30

At the mile 7 marker, I saw my family (mom, dad, hubby and two kids) from down the street. I gave them a SuperMom leap and some high five's before continuing onward.
Mile 6 - 9:19
Mile 7 - 9:05

Shortly after I saw my family, we entered into a park area and ran down a really nice gravel trail. I really enjoyed this area and the change of scenery. Every 3-4 miles through the race, there was a relay transition zone. The one at mile 10 was full of energy and lots of cheering. It was fun to run through!
Mile 8 - 9:25  *GU
Mile 9 - 9:49  *walked water stop
Mile 10 - 9:19

The final miles were standard city blocks, nothing too exciting... but we made our way back to the riverfront and a finish line packed with cheerleaders. I heard the announcer eagerly calling me in - "We have a Superwoman making her way to the finish." I swear he said it three/four times or was I hearing things?  With all that fanfare, I decided to be goofy. So I gave a couple Superman "fly" poses as I came down the stretch. Hey, it got me some extra cheers! Haha!
Mile 11 - 9:26
Mile 12 - 9:38
Mile 13 - 9:25
and change for the final 0.1
Coming in for my big finish!

While I was so close to a sub-2, I'm not going to even fret about it. I stayed true to my goal and ran this one happy without straining. Race day temps were absolutely ideal. The course was done well. Volunteers were over-the-top encouraging. The start and finish lines were smooth. I really have nothing negative to say about this race. It was perfect!
Nike tank (with my own SuperMom emblem added), SparkleSkirts tech skirt,
ProCompression socks, BondiBand headband and I made the cape.

Kentucky - State #14
Half Marathon #16
Official Chip Time 2:02:10
9:19 average pace
Overall #182 out of 593
Div F30-39  #37 out of 176

Just over the river from Paducah is Metropolis, IL... home of SUPERMAN! Being so close in proximity and already dressed in a SUPER costume, we decided to make the short drive - if not simply for the photo opportunities...

Because we all feel a little INVINCIBLE after a race, right?!


  1. Great Race recap! I think I have to put this one on my list!

  2. So awesome! You did a great job - 2:02 is nothing to be upset about at all! Way to go! Love your costume, too! :0)

  3. Congratulations! Out family loves to stop in Metropolis on road trips to Florida! I think my younger boys love that you can buy live bait in a vending machine even more than the Superman statue!

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  5. Congrats Jess!Love your outfit! My brother got married at the Superman Festival in Metropolis last year. He is a dire hard comic book collector and Superman addict. And, yes he wore a Superman costume and his bestman was dressed like Jimmy Olsen (Lex Luther was in the wedding party as well!)

  6. Love your photo with superman! Sounds like you had an awesome time. Great job!

  7. This sounds like such a fun race. I love your costume and the fact that you went to Metropolis for a photo opp!

    **runs to snag her cape**

  9. You look like you had a blast and what a way to finish!

  10. Sounds like an awesome weekend!! We drove thru the home of Superman but it was late evening and we didn't get to stop.. I really wanted to because it sounded so so cool!!!

    Love your costume you had for the race and your supermom poses!

  11. That finish line shot is priceless! Go Jess! So glad you had a fun race - it looks like a beautiful course. I can't wait to go camping soon - it's one of my favorite summer activities too. :)

  12. Love reading your race recaps!! You put the fun back in running!! Way to go Jess!! Great job!!

  13. Your finish line pose makes me laugh and smile so big - it looks like you REALLY had fun with this one. Those medals/shirt logos are adorable - and I LOVE that y'all went down to Metropolis! How fun!

  14. I love it! You ROCK lady!

    I've been over to Metropolis before. There's a gambling boat there too :) But yep, my hubs loved it there for all the Superman corny stuff :)

  15. sounds like a great race!! a few years ago when I was driving back from St. Louis we stopped at Metropolis for some photo ops... its always a good idea to do. Glad you enjoyed your Mother's Day all around

  16. Your race sounds like so much fun! And I love the high five sign. That is a great way to keep the kiddos entertained!

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  18. Love your outfit! It looks absolutely fabulous and you did an incredible job!

  19. You look great & I agree! Running and camping are my fav things too :-)
    What a fun race and your recap was fun to read AND MOTIVATING!!!


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