If you had asked me anytime while I was running how I liked that half marathon yesterday, I would have used some major profanity while describing it. I used some major profanity while running it, actually.
Now that it is over and I am warm and happy, I can say it wasn’t that bad.
I signed up for this half marathon kind of last-minute because I wanted to run one before my marathon. It was a small race- the Red Baron in Corning- and I didn’t really know what to expect. It was daylight savings, which means the kids woke up at 5am instead of 6am. That made for a long morning, but I went to bed early anticipating that one. Besides being one of the most windy/cold days ever, the race was weird in itself. It began at 1pm. I liked that because we could go to church in the morning, but how the hell do you eat/get ready for a race at 1pm? By that time I’m hungry for lunch, but I can’t eat lunch. I’m thirsty, but I don’t want to overdrink. You see my dilemma here? I ate 5 pieces of Braxton’s Halloween loot with my oatmeal and called it a morning.
Grab your popcorn- here’s the exciting play- by-play!
Miles 1-5 were all rolling hills with minimal wind. I was keeping close to a 7 minute pace here and I felt good. The hill that brought mile four to mile five can only be described as a mountain. I ran it and enjoyed the downhill that came after. But then…
Miles 5-7 were basically all super downhill. It might sound crazy, but I don’t like that. My legs are not used to that. I enjoy rolling hills better. There were so many people sprinting all-out down these hills, but I tried to keep a steady pace.
Miles 7-10 were where I began to get angry. We turned onto a main road and the wind was whipping right in my face. It was cold and we stayed on that flat, boring road for two miles. Because it is such a small race, there were no runners around me, the roads weren’t closed (and no one was manning our road crossings), and there was no crowd support here. I slowed way down as my legs grew tired. I had a Gu at mile 9 hoping it might help pick me up.
Miles 10-13 the wind stayed in my face. There was one point when there were no signs or road marshalls to tell us where to turn. I stopped and waited for a fellow runner to come up. Thank God he’d run it before to tell me where to go. There were also zero mile markers from here, so I had no idea how far I was in the race (I did not wear my watch, unfortunately). It was extremely frustrating. The finish was timed manually, which was old-fashioned, but worked just fine.
Now all that said, I really don’t like to be so negative. I can see it with a clearer perspective now that I’m not cold and grumpy. With it being such a small race on a small budget with only volunteers, I can understand why these things happened. The volunteers at the water stops were awesome- and standing out there in the cold could not have been fun. Huge thanks to them. The signs were getting blown down and away. The after party and refreshments were great and there was a lot there. I LOVED the vegetable broth to stop my incessant shivering!
When I made it to the end, my legs were extremely heavy and ready to stop, but I found a little kick when I saw my family there. Braxton was jumping up and down yelling “Mommy, Mommy!! Hooray!!” That alone made it worth every windy mile. The finish line was extra sweet for this race already, but having my babies there made it even sweeter.
I finished in 1:39 (matching exactly my previous PR from the Oak Tree Half), placing second in my age group and 5th female overall (small race or not, it’s still pretty cool). Brax wore my medal all the way home:) I can’t say for sure that I would have done better in different conditions, but I would have at least felt better. I’m happy with it, though. And I’m happy it’s over.
Mom, Bri, and Aunt Sandy- you guys are literally the best support ever. I may have the motivation to train for these races, but you are the reason I am able do it. Thank you so much for being there through it all. I am so lucky to have all of you in my life<3
I am scared now of cold wind in Philly, but I also know the experience will be completely different. Only one more twenty-mile run and let the taper begin!! I can’t believe it’s almost here! Bring it on, November!
As for the weekend in baby land, Friday night we took them out Trick-or-Treating for the first time door-to-door. Braxton loved it! He ran from house to house so excited to pick out his candy! Lottie watched in amusement, wishing she could get her little paws on a chocolate. Soon enough, little lady, soon enough!
Happy November!! Marathon Month!!