This is my 1st race recap for the blog. And to tell you the truth, there will only be one more to follow. At least for this year.
See, I am a fair-weather runner. And I live in Ohio. I’m sure you understand. The weather is starting to turn (though it is 73 degrees today- Mother Nature is laughing at me), and I tend to bitch a lot when I run in colder weather.
Case in point…last year, in October, I ran a 1/2 marathon in Columbus, Ohio. It was in the mid 50′s that morning and I complained the WHOLE time we were waiting for the race to start. So, my goal for this race was to not bitch about the weather. I know- most runners have a finishing time goal. I had a goal for that too, and I’ll get to that in a minute. So, I am proud to say I did not complain about the cold. I sucked it up, and it ended up being beautiful running weather. I wore my skirt sport running skirt, and a long-sleeve shirt I received from running a half marathon in Disney.
Now, about my finishing time goal for the Akron half marathon. Those of you that have been following along with the step competition posts, know that my motivation hasn’t been the greatest recently. That has translated into not a whole lot of running time. I knew I could do this (I have already completed 3 half marathons this year), but I also knew it was not going to be my fastest race. I wanted to just enjoy myself, the run, the atmosphere, and to just finish.
The 1st mile went along smoothly. There wasn’t a great deal of dodging people that I normally have to do at the start of a race. I overheard a runner say that her little group were doing 3:1 intervals (3 minute run, 1 minute walk). I thought that sounded really doable for me. It would let me save my energy to get through the whole race comfortably. So that was what I did…3 minute run, 1 minute walk.
All was going well. The 1st text I sent Nick: “Just passed 6″. I had a twinge in my right knee, but nothing bad.
Next text: “I’ll be a while. My right IT band is bad. Passing 9 now.” At this point, I had dropped to a 2 minute run, 1 minute walk. Just wanted to keep moving.
Last text: “11. I hurt. Boo”. Mile 11 to 12 was all uphill- which was killing me. I walked quite a bit of this uphill section. Once it leveled a little, I went to a 1 minute run, 1 minute walk. And to be honest, it was all I could do to get through that 1 minute run. I did stop at the last medical tent, which was right after the mile 12 marker. Looking back now, I don’t know why I stopped. The lady stretched the IT band, but after this many miles, it was past the point of getting better after a 2 minute stretch. So, I wasted at least 2 minutes, that really didn’t make a difference to my knee. Anyways, I just wanted to be done. The last mile had wonderful crowd support, and I do have to say that I love having my name on my bib. Struggling through that last mile, to hear strangers call my name, and tell me to keep pushing. Reminding me that I am almost done and that I’m doing a good job.
I needed those encouraging words.
Rounding the corner, into the stadium, I was so happy to see that finish line! Limping, I crossed the finish line, with only a quick glance at the time. Nick was in the stands, right by the finish, so I was able to see him and give him a kiss. Then I needed to keep walking. I really liked the finishing area set up. The finish line was at 1st base, then we walked to home plate, where we were given water. 2nd base, we were given our finishers medals, food, and Powerade. 3rd base, you could get your picture taken…then the runners could exit into the stands, where family and friends were seated. I circled back and met Nick, and we quickly left. I’m not one to stick around after I finish running (usually because I have a hotel to check out of!), and this was the fastest we have been able to find each other and get out of the crowd.
Overall, I am happy with my time. It wasn’t my fastest, but it wasn’t my slowest time. I am running the Columbus half marathon, in 3 weeks…I will definitely be wearing my knee braces for that!
And we're off!
One of the bands along the route
Along the Towpath
At the finish line! Photo courtesy of Nick.
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