Let me just start by saying that Little Rock, AR knocked my socks off. We had no idea what to expect from our adventures to AR but we were very pleasantly surprised! I’ll do a Little Rock guide soon because we ate ALL THE FOOD and did a little sight-seeing and museuming. And it was so good!
In the week leading up to the race, I was watching the weather. In my usual high anxiety way, I carefully evaluated that a cold front was coming through. On race day. Yowsers. We loaded up on warm apparel and even snagged some emergency ponchos from a dollar store the day before. *Side note: this was the only time I was genuinely concerned for our safety in LR. There was a shoplifting situation, and an almost fight in the line. We stuck it out for our $1 poncho. We bought 4 just to be safe.* The morning of the race was cold and rainy. The feels like was 31 degrees so we were all pretty pumped when the race started so we could get our bodies moving.
The line up was AWESOME. The music was upbeat and we had a little dance party as we made our way forward waiting for our corral to start. Bam. We were off. For the first 6+ miles, it rained. It really wasn’t that bad. The course was packed out with bands, supporters, sponsors, LRFD, a spin class on the side of the street, and everyone in between. This was SO helpful for me. These people literally were the encouragement I needed to keep running mile after mile while getting rained on. Did I mention it started sleeting for a brief few minutes?! My poncho did great but there were a few puddles I ended up in and my feet stayed soaked for the majority of the race. Cold and wet feet led to cold legs and I think my friend and I agreed that we couldn’t feel our lower limbs about 6 miles in.
We tried to stay at a comfortable pace but it was pretty cold and we needed to keep moving. Plus, with so many other runners out on the course I personally found it hard to find a good rhythm in the first few miles while we tried to break away from the packs that formed. Also, a side note on runners etiquette. If you are planning to walk, PLEASE move to one side. I don’t care which side. But don’t stop with no warning when literally thousands of runners are around you.
Moving right along. By mile 7 the rain had stopped and it was just cloudy. I even thought, heck, I should ditch this poncho. But alas, I couldn’t really figure it out so I kept it on. A few miles later, teeny tiny hail started falling. It wasn’t a big deal because I was wearing a hat but the wind also picked up and we were running directly into it. Then my hat blew off. I went running the other way towards it. Grabbed it in a sure-to-be graceful move and in the process got hit in the face by teeny tiny hail. It was certainly a brand new running experience for me. For those of you that live in states with winter just please know that Texans are not prepared for these wild cold front days.
My sweet friend ran with me for the first 11 miles. She’s a champ of all champs. And then I lost feeling in my ankle. I told her to go on without me. I had to walk for a bit and loosen up my ankle and get whatever was going on situated. I have been battling foot issues since the October half and I’m looking forward to a month off to give everything time to heal. I finished the race and somehow got my 2nd best time. Definitely not a PR but I also saw the weather and decided I’d just let the day go however it would go.
I was initially SUPER worried about the hills in LR. The hills in Atlanta were way harder and the hills we did hit were short and sweet compared to the brutal Thanksgiving beating my legs took. Now, from what I understand, the second half of the full marathon course in LR is where it gets really hilly. So, if you’re doing that just be warned. But the half course was fine. A few hills that will leave you winded but nothing you can’t do. I say that but I’m also still struggling to take the stairs.
Overall, this was one of the most organized races and volunteer/supporter friendly courses we have had the pleasure to run! And a huge shoutout to the Fire Department – we didn’t have our phones to take a picture but they did a fabulous display of the American flag that we ran right under (twice!)
Thanks to our friends for joining us and congratulations to our friend on his first half! And thanks to the hubs for always being the best supporter and posing for all the post race photos even though we were icicles.
If you’re planning on a half in Arkansas, I highly recommend the Little Rock race! It was so much fun and when I can feel my legs again I’ll attempt a shakeout run.
Official Time: 2:25:26 (11:06/mile)
10k time: 1:06:06 (10:39.mile)
Thanks for stopping by!