Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nation's Half Marathon Race Report and Running Angel

Yippee! 13.1 done and done well. I'm super happy with my race morning, which doesn't happen often. Let's start at the begining:

Friday night: Pasta party with friends and family. Lots of kids, lots of food, lots of laid back talking. I left from there with two girls to go to our hotel. We figured since the race starts at 7am a hotel stay in the city would be perfect. It was about 5 miles from the race start. We got to the hotel and asked for a cab at 5:45am. They told us "No problem. Just tell us in the morning." We went up to our room and I laid out all my stuff. It was a good amount of stuff.
I had a brilliant plan. I only brought what I was going to wear to in the race. I threw away my toothbrush at the hotel (had a new one at home waiting for me) and the sweats I wore to the race I hope got donated to people that can use them. It was really nice to go to the race with nothing extra. No bag to check. Nothing weighing me down. Maybe I'm moving towards minimalist running?

Saturday am: Wake up call at 5:15. Brushed my teeth. Brushed my hair. Started to get dressed. I put on my my gear and pinned on my number. Ready to go! We walked downstairs to the lobby and asked about a cab. We did notice about 10 other runners waiting and no one looked happy. We finally were told "The cab will be about a 3 hour wait." I almost passed out. I couldn't believe it. Metro wasn't really an option. What to do? We were a little tired and overwhelmed which equaled a lot of runners just standing there staring.

A girl (can't remember her name) from Philly said her dad would drop us off! Yeah! Our running angel. I still can't believe it. We piled in their car. A girl from Philly running her first 1/2 marathon, a girl from Charlotte, a girl from Winston-Salem, me (from Fairfax), and a girl from Cancun (I know, I am jealous too). We left right around 6am to go 5 miles to the race start. After getting turned around and making some crazy turns we got dropped off 1 mile from the start. It was 6:55! We missed the National Anthem. I still needed to hit up the porta potty too. I jogged with Philly to the start. I got to the porta potty, took off my sweats, and got to a early coral. I had no clue which pace I was jumping into, but I knew I was running my race. It didn't matter.

Race Time: I had a fantastic run. I loved every minute of it. No ipod, no water, no worries. I typically get race anxiety horribly. Everything about this morning should have made me crazy with nerves. Nope. "Trust your training". Coach Rob had me prepared. Mile 1 a good friend ran by and slapped me on the butt. Mile 2 another Fexy runner ran by and slapped me on the butt. Mile 4 more Fexies were cheering/screaming from across the road. Mile 6 I literally ran into Sam's cousin. We hugged and he ran with me for a minute. There was some GREAT music on the course and even better spectators. Mile 8.5 both my quads were shot. That has not happened to me before. They hurt bad, almost felt bruised. It hurt to run at a 10 minute pace and it hurt to run at a 9:30 pace. So....I just ran. I didn't walk once (one of my goals). I also didn't get any water or take my GU. Maybe that was a bad choice, but that's what I did. I had good energy and mentally I was soaring. At mile 10ish another Fexy passed me and slapped me on the butt (nice theme huh?). Right after that another Fexy, that I hadn't met yet, gave me a high five. Wearing team clothing sure does have it's perks!

I crossed the finish line at 2:11:30. A PR. I can hardly walk today, standing up sucks, and sitting down is awful. I don't care. I left it all out there. Every piece of me is out on that course. I would not have gotten to that race without Philly's Dad driving us and I wouldn't have completed that race without Sam and Coach Rob.

I only got one picture at the race. Sam forgot the camera in the car - oops! Hopefully the professional race pics come out....might have to get one of those.

Me and Adam after the race
My job now is to write down all the key components of my race and my goals for April. Next weekend is a 10K - Sam's first road race. Yeah! It's tapper week and recovering week for me. The 10K is all about Sam. Be looking for a picture of us crossing the finish line holding hands!

Thanks for all the support - it's been a great season so far. 2 races and 2 PR's.