Wednesday, October 3, 2012

BAM! 1/2 Marathon #2 in the books!

I was really nervous for this race!  I hadn't been that nervous for my first half two weeks ago, but maybe that's because it was taking the place of my last long training run for this past Sunday's half marathon.  It all started in January when my BFF from High School sent me a message to tell me it was time to make good on my talking about running a half marathon.  You see, if you missed it earlier, I was running my mouth about wanting to run a half marathon some day at her baby shower the previous Christmas.  She was home, and pretty pregnant, but not THAT close to her due date, and had run Disney with her husband with little Baby in the oven.  Apparently the thought that someone could do that prompted me to blurt out loud my secret desire to do a half.  She got excited and exclaimed: "We should do one together!  I've never done one in NY!" and, looking at my pregnant friend, forgetting how driven she is (we really haven't hung out much since high school, being that she went to WVU, then moved to NC, and I stayed in NY for college and got a job about 30 minutes from where we grew up) thinking that it wouldn't really happen, I agreed.  Enthusiastically, I might add.  Then comes the fateful message:  It's time to sign up for the Corning Wine Glass Half.  The medals are cool (Not medals: Hand Blown Corning Glass!), you get a wine glass and champagne too!  Okay, it sounded cool...and was sooooo far away!  I hadn't even gotten my treadmill set up in the basement yet (but it was in the garage!  Bless my husband for finally realizing that every year I said I wanted a treadmill, it was true, I really did want one and I love/hate it).  So there it was, and it seemed so far away!

I made a plan of attack:  Start running and fork over money to race so you will be motivated! And so my New Year's Resolution was born.

 I didn't get to hang with my friend and her husband as much as I would have liked, mostly because I didn't get down to the expo until around 4:00 and then by the time I found them they had to go check into their hotel.  I called my hotel and verified my room, but didn't drive out there to check in until after dinner.  They stayed in town, and I stayed near the start line (um...whoops.  the start line to the full marathon.  I need to read a map better next time!).  While waiting, I thought I would freshen up a bit so I was more dinner-presentable instead of crazed-mom-in-a-hurry looking (I didn't shower that day so I could pack for me, for T who spent the weekend at Grandma's house and get out the door on time to take him to soccer practice too and get on the road)
My little ham at soccer practice: Orange slices are one of my favorite parts of sports too!

Imagine my dismay when I opened the hatchback to find my toiletry bag to find...nothing.  I forgot it.  And with it, my deodorant, toothbrush, all things shower related, phone charger, fruit snacks (what I fuel with on long runs) my breakfast oatmeal, my portable coffee pods, my water bottles....basically everything except my running gear and pajamas.  I burst into tears and called DH who reminded me that I could go buy everything and it wasn't a waste because it's stuff I use anyway.

So after dinner, I checked into the hotel, then walked across the street to replace it all (or most of it).
All this stuff cost more than my hotel room.  Sigh.

I didn't sleep very well that night, terrified I would not wake up in time.  I woke up too early, got ready to go, loaded the car and checked out of the hotel by 6:30.  I arrived at the race start by 7, which was WAY too early, as the race didn't start until 8.  I didn't mean to be that early, but I panicked when I read the last shuttle from the finish would load at 7:30 and I wanted to make sure I had a parking space, and give myself I-got-lost time (I've been known to need that time!).  So I hung around the school for a while, where they were letting runners stay warm.  I had plenty of time to second guess my outfit, lack of gloves and all other things stress inducing.  I visited the portapotties.  Found my friend and her husband, then got in line for the portapotties again.  Upon exiting, they were making announcements to find the start, and hurry...I jogged down the road, crossed the start line and before I knew it--no anthem, no announcement, no gun shot or whistle--we were off.

The course was relatively flat...and very well marked, in both miles and kilometers.  I had to do subtraction the whole time to figure out where to eat my replacement gummies, since the course was labeled for the marathon.  There were also pacers, and I thought I might try to hang with the 2:10 pacer and ahead of the 2:30 pacer, but after the first couple turns in the road, I lost both people with signs (maybe they ditched the signs?!)  I was a little worried-my watch was also in that bag I left at home.  I figured I would have to suck it up and run 'naked'.  It was sort of fun, but I didn't realize how much I looked at my time while running.  I refrained from asking everyone whose garmin beeped near me what our pace was, what our time was.

In the end, I finished 2 minutes faster than my first half a couple of weeks ago. I was pleased, although I had expected a bit faster than that.  I felt great at the finish.  Downed the most amazing chicken noodle soup ever, and contemplated my time.  Turns out...I think I LIKE a little bit of hills on my routes.  Every time I've been pleased with my times, there have been some hills (expected or otherwise) and I had so much left at the end of this race that I wondered if I had been subconsciously 'saving' myself for the hills that never showed?  The course description does say flat and fast, but sometimes there's a hill in there somewhere.
Ta-Dah!  We did it!

I found my friend, who finally broke 2 hours (after 12 halfs!!) and her husband who ran with her, and her family.  We stayed around until after the marathoners started to come through, then they took off.  I found my checked bag, and my shuttle to the start and off I went.  I wish I had more time to spend with my friend, but other than that, I had a great weekend.  The 4 hour drive home was not fun, my legs and hips were so cranky I made them sit in a seat that time, and I felt it a bit on Monday, but I seem fine now!

Yesterday I signed up for my next 5K just to make sure I keep it going!  (It's this weekend...4 racing weekends in a row.  yikes!)

Sunday: 13.1 (plus a little .1 jog to the start line!)
September 63.3 (not as high as I expected, considering 2 half marathons...but not awful for my first month back to work either)
This week: 13.1

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