Sunday, April 20, 2008

Earth Day 1/2 Marathon

Wow! Wow. Fantastic, difficult, fun. Lots of great descriptor words for this race. Man, it was hard. If you can run 3 miles and you jump up to 5 one weekend, it's a challenge, doable. If you go from 8 to 10 again tough, but you can do it. I was not expecting the jump from 11 miles to 13 to be so difficult. Oh man, the last .5 miles was brutal.

The course was basically flat but there were a few uphill parts. I know I have strong legs because I may not have been as fast as most people, but when runners started dropping like flies going uphill, I powered on and made it to the top. It was nice to know I had the endurance. They say that the excitement of race day will keep you going until the end even if this is the first time you are going that distance. What race day did for me is make me excited and my pace a little faster than I wanted. But that's ok - I did great for the first 7 miles. I felt really good. And my pace was about 15 seconds faster than my goal. I mainly had a goal to keep me moving along. Really it was just a guideline that I wanted to stick by. And if you consider that I took walk breaks at 2, 4, a shorty at 5 and then 6 all 1 minute each, then that means I was running faster than just 15 seconds faster than my goal pace. I'm proud of this. Miles 8-10 were tough, but I got through them at closer to my actual race pace. Between miles 9 and 10 the time seemed to fly by. So that was nice. Getting to 11, then 12 and finally 13 was a whole other story!

My Forerunner showed a drastic change in pace, and not a positive one. All miles were over 12 min/mile! After mile 12 before getting to 13 I must have walked every quarter of a mile. I told you it was brutal. Three to four of us started introducing ourselves and shouting encouragements as we passed each other between walking. We just kept going back and forth. By mile 12 I could hear them announcing names at the finish line which was like a false bottom. I felt a lot closer than I actually was.

My last walk break was about 1 block long. This lady I had been running back and forth with asked how long I was going to walk and I said "Just to this last corner because then people are watching!" We got to the corner and both of us just bolted. Well as fast as one can bolt after running 13 miles. The last effort lasted about .15 miles and I worried that I spoke too soon and didn't have it in me to finish. But I did. We crossed the finish line at the same time. I didn't even cry I was just so happy. I didn't cry. Until I was sitting by my aunt and she hugged me and I collapsed on her shoulder and said "That was SO HARD!" because I finally didn't have to do it on my own anymore; she could hold me up.
Let me go back to the beginning for a minute. I left out the part how there were almost 1800 people in the race and I was closer to the back of the pack that was lined up at the starting line. When the gun went off and we headed toward the first corner, I am not kidding, there were like 5 people behind me. Total. I was so disheartened, but I kept thinking, run your own race. You know how long this is going to be and you know what you can do. Just keep doing your own thing. Sure enough, shortly after the first mile I started passing slower people and walkers. The longer the race went on the better my position became. I still only finished about 80 people ahead of the last person, but eh. Whatever. It was a small race and I think the level of runners was higher that usual. I mean people don't just sign up for a 1/2 Marathon a few weeks before and wing it (if you're a newbie I mean) so I think people were pretty prepared.

Something very disappointing is that my finish time on the results page is like 2:37 something! First of all, my Forerunner said I did 13.36 miles in 2:36 so something stinks in suburbia. Also, I was a good two minutes behind the gun when I crossed the start line and I think the official time is based on the official start. The better have a chip time at some point otherwise I'll have to tell people that I was pacing 12 minute miles. And I didn't! But I believe you have to go by what the results say when people ask. It's too much to explain (except to your closest friends and your blog) that the results say this, but your forerunner said that and really if you take into consideration the winds speed.......blah, blah, blah - you have to take what the clock says.

I feel great! Each day I feel better and better about the race. Nothing but good feelings about it. I might even sign up for a 10 mile race in June. There is also another 1/2 then, but I think I am good with 10.

It's going to be a good week!

Hello Triathlon training!!!

1 comment:

MissAllycat said...

I'm so proud of you, Em! You totally rocked this race!