Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rochester Half Marathon Race Report

Well I had a big fail over the weekend but it was not with the race.  I only have two good pictures from the half marathon on Sunday.  Opps.

Also after racing on Sunday, I was on a plane Monday morning to Michigan for work.  I didn't return until midnight Tuesday so it was a pretty exhausting trip.

So finally, without any further delay, let me tell you how my half marathon race from Sunday went.

Saturday it rained all day - I took it easy, ran 3 miles early in the morning in the rain then kept myself busy with some cleaning, baking and grocery shopping.  I set out my running clothes and went to bed at my usual time.

Sunday morning I woke up at 5:20am, way before my 5:50am alarm.  I tried to get back to sleep but I couldn't so I got up and started my routine.  First I visited the bathroom and then downstairs to start the coffee pot.  Back upstairs to change into my race clothes and wake up Brian.  Downstairs to heat up my brown sugar oatmeal, back upstairs to wake up Brian.  Downstairs to eat oatmeal and drink coffee.

As you can see, Brian had a hard time waking up before the race.  He did not want to get out of bed and when he learned that it was only 45F outside it made matters worse.  At about 6:15am he was finally out of bed and eating breakfast while I scurried around making sure I had everything.

The time to leave was fast approaching and I was waiting and waiting and waiting.  And I was getting antsy.  The race started at 7:45am, it took about 20 minutes to get to the race start/finish area from home and my planned leaving time of 6:30am had come and gone. I packed everything in the car while I waited for Brian to get dress and then I sat in the car.  I double and triple checked to make sure I had everything and then realized I had forgotten my bib.

My garmin had been acting funny since I took it off the charger that morning - it would not go into power save mode while it was on the home/time screen.  I wasn't really worried about it but I didn't know why it wasn't working right.  Finally Brian was ready and we left the house around 6:50am.

I drove like a madman to the start and was not happy when a slower car got in my way. Brian tried to get me to relax but I was freaking out.  I hate being late, I hate not being at a race early enough.  I felt rushed and uncomfortable.

When we reached the race parking area it was 7:10am.  I jumped out of the car and started getting my stuff together and looked to meet my running buddy.  I strapped on my garmin and when I looked down at it, I froze.  The time said 6:59AM.  It was NOT that time, it was well past 7.  By garmin had frozen and I had no idea how to fix it.  I saw my running buddy and basically lost it, I started to cry because I was just upset about being late and then dealing with my garmin.  Even though she wasn't racing, she had brought her garmin as well but because she is awesome and so helpful she actually knew how to reset my garmin and she saved me from having to run garmin-less.

We took off after that did a short warm up.  The nerves started to melt away as we did a quick loop around the start area.  I needed to go to the bathroom though but the lines were so long since it was very close to start time.  I had no other choice so I found a deserted parking lot and got behind a truck, pulled my spandex aside and peed.  It wasn't the best idea but I had to do what I had to do.  We then met up with Brian - I gave him all my warm ups and headed to the race start.

My running buddy was able to secure bikes for her and Brian so they could bike around the race course and see me.  I was very  happy to have a few spectators around the course plus I knew my parents would be at the finish line.

Soon we were off.  The sun was shining and although it was cold I was happy to be out there.  I tried to remember to smile the whole way because I was happy to be running.  But I was focusing so hard on running as well.  The wind was there at certain parts of the race but I was in a pack for the first few miles that I didn't really feel it.

The first few miles just ticked right off.  I held a steady pace and made sure not to start off too fast.  I knew there were two hills at around mile 3 and 4 and I wanted to get through them before I started to pick up the pace.  The first hill came and went - nothing too crazy or hard.  The second hill came and I just ran up it.  I didn't even feel that tired at the top and I just felt so much more in control of the race after that.  There were some rolling hills between miles 5 and 7 but I knew I would be okay.

I saw my running buddy and Brian at the top of the second hill and of course seeing them made me smile.  After I left them I saw a runner from my running group so I started to speed up a tiny bit to catch him.  After I caught him we chatted for a bit and then ran the next two miles together. It was good to have company even if it was silent.  At mile 7 we started running on the canal and I saw a woman in front of me.  A mile or so ago a few spectators had told me I was the 9th woman which I was so surprised about but so very happy.  I passed that woman on the canal and decided I would try and hold onto that 8th woman place.

As I ran along the canal, a younger high school boy passed.  I left him go but then he started to slow down and I caught up to him.  Then he would speed up and I was I just maintaining my pace.  We played this little cat and mouse game for the next 4 or 5 miles.  He was taller than me so he made a pretty decent wind block and I enjoyed having someone to run with for the slightly lonely miles on the canal since there was not much crowd support in that area.  I knew I was supposed to see Brian and my running buddy but they never appeared.

I was taking my GU chomps every few miles (3, 5.5, 7.6, 9.5, 11.5) and I was feeling good although I was starting to feel more and more out of breath even though my legs felt good.  As I exited the canal and headed into the university campus I heard yelling behind me and knew that Brian and my running buddy had finally caught up to me.  As they rode by they said that I was running too fast for them and they kept missing me at the previous spots they had planned to spectate.  That made me smile as I ran along - at that point I was still trailing the high school boy.

Brian stopped about half a mile ahead and handed me a GU just in case.  The high school boy actually tried to take it from Brian because he thought it was for him for some reason.  I took the GU and just held onto it, I was feeling slightly sick to my stomach and wasn't sure if I could hold a GU down.  I had one more chomp to take which I hoped would hold me to the finish.

We finally made a turn and the finish was 1.5 miles away.  Brian had stopped and took one picture of me as I crossed the bridge.  At this point I really had no idea if I would reach my goal of sub 1:34 - I knew I was going to PR but my garmin was off with mileage that I didn't know if I could trust it.  Usually my garmin is ahead in races because I don't run the tangents that well but as I crossed mile 11, my watch read 10.98mi.  I ended up running the last 6 miles almost with out a garmin since it seemed to be off.

As I made another turn, a girl came out of no where and passed me and I was once again in 9th place for females.  I tried to stay with her but she was moving so I just let her go.  Brian and my running buddy caught up to me on their bikes then and I started to smile as they chatted and tried to get my mind off the race and the pain.  My left lung was started to cramp up as I went through mile 12.  I crested the final hill and could see all the runners ahead of me.  Off in the distance about 100m ahead was a girl in a bright orange tank top.  I started to try and catch her since she looked like she was hurting a bit.

Brian rode beside me for a bit and encouraged me to catch her and to control my breathing since it was out of whack due to my lung feeling horrible.  Slowly I was reeling this girl in, my stomach was revolting and my lung was not working right but I kept going.  My running coach saw me as I was about 100m from the finish and told me to catch the girl in front of me.  I made the final turn and forced my legs to run as fast as they could.  And then I heard a voice I had heard so many times in high school.  It was the mother of the girl in front of me and at the point I realized it was my high school teammate who was in the orange shirt.  She has always been faster than me so I knew the race had not gone as she wanted but I still tried to catch her.

I was one step and one second behind her as we crossed the finish time.  I gave her a hug and asked how she was.  I was so grateful that she had been there because I had focused on catching her that final stretch instead of thinking about the pain.  And if I hadn't tried to catch her in that final half mile, I am not sure I would have run a sub 1:34 half.

It was such an unbelievable day - so amazing to run another PR by about 3 minutes, come in 9th female over all and 3rd in my age group.  After all the choas of the morning before the race, I somehow was able to push past it all and just let my legs do what I had trained all summer for.  During those last few miles I kept telling myself..."This is why you ran 60 mile weeks".

Time: 1:33:42 (7:09 pace)
Place: 51/1729
Female: 9/983
AG: 3/169

Thanks for reading!  Happy Thursday!


The Unlikely Runner said...

Congratulations on an awesome race! I'm glad you were able to relax, I absolutely HATE being late for races, there is nothing worse!! I'm a force to be reckoned with if we are running late on race morning! But I'm glad it was such a good day!

Kim said...

Congrats on the huge PR! Wow! And so cool that you were able to pick it up at the end by setting your sights on someone. So often, people pass me in the end, and in smaller races, in ends up that I don't place in my AG because they will be right in front of me. LOL!

Your morning sounds really stressful. Did you guys discuss what might help to leave on time next time so you have more time before the race (I loved that you peed behind a truck, lol). I struggle getting my husband to leave on time, and have tried so many things to work on it, and get no where. People tell me to lie about what time to leave but that does not seem right, either!

Marlene said...

Awesome report! Congratulations on an amazing race. Seriously smoking time and hello, 3 out of 169?! And top 1% of females! You are such a killer runner. Way to push through the pain and make all of that training count!

Amy said...

Wow!!! Congrats! That pic is awesome!

KellytheCulinarian said...

Wow, way to go on the age group finish!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Awesome race! Way to push hard!!

Rena said...

Proud of you! Way to crush your goals.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what an amazing race!!! Congrats :)

Melissa said...

Such an awesome race report...and RACE! It was incredibly inspirational :)

Chelsea said...

Way to go! Nothing like a little friendly competition to give you the drive to PUSH to the end.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Wow, you did awesome. Way to go! I have been waiting for you to post a race recap so thanks for sharing!!

I would have been anxious about getting there late, too. I hate feeling rushed! It's the WORST feeling ever!

RunningJunkie said...

WOW! What an amazing run! You should be really proud!

Anonymous said...

That is so awesome, way to meet your goals! Keep up the hard work!

Jamie said...

Congratulations on a great race! That's funny about the high school kid cat and mouse game, but I'm glad he blocked the wind for you!

It was so windy that day, but you did amazing!

Laura said...

Congratulations! And so neat that you finished with your high school teammate :)

Molly said...

Once again you amaze me with how fast you are!!! Congrats on the race, I loved your recap, especially because I can picture the course :)

Allison said...

Congrats on the big PR!