Thursday, May 23, 2013

No One Said There Would be Math in this Race: The Heroes Half Marathon Race Recap

A few months ago I started training for a half marathon.  I signed up for the Heroes Half, a race that honours and donates to the military.  I was planning to run it on my own, but Erika offered to join me.  Run a race with a friend, who also happens to be an Ironman??

My training was going really well; I was actually hitting a lot of the times in my speed work and was feeling good about things.  That is, until the week before the race, when I rolled my ankle by landing only partially on the sidewalk during a training run.

I decided to rest from running until the race after running twice more that week.

The day before the half I convinced TriGuy to come with me to packet pickup, so we could spend some quality time together.

We got there and the place was empty...because we were 3 hours early.  Because why would packet pickup be at a normal time? why would it be easily findable on the website? I didn't hunt for the time more carefully.

We decided to go have lunch, then went home and I went back later on my own.

The day of, I was pretty pumped.  I had slept amazingly well, woke up ready to go and completely ignored the fact that my foot felt worse.  Surely it was just nerves.

For this race, Erika asked me if I wanted to sub 2:00 (run it in under 2 hours).  We agreed to go out and just see how it went, considering my foot and my training times.

For the record, running with Erika was awesome.  She, like Ann Marie, was happy to talk the entire time to take my mind off the endless miles.

The race started up a hill and over a series of bridges.  We saw a number of people returning from the 10k, but then we started to see half marathoners coming back!  The first guy we saw was running with a child in a stroller!!  No kidding!

He WON the race and got himself in the Guinness Book of World Records!

We trotted on, into the water treatment plant and started the return portion.  Just after the 9 mile marker we saw the 10k turnaround, so I said:

 However, a half marathon is 13 miles.  

Math:  it's not really my strength.

We eventually realized there must be an extra loop somewhere before the finish for the half marathon.  And sure enough, there was.  As we got to the 10 mile marker, I said:

Erika said that if we kept under a 9:30 pace we could potentially sub 2.  I might have gotten cocky at that point.

That's when all of a sudden my body said "What was that you were saying?  Hahahahahaha!"  And then I couldn't breathe very well so I had to slow down.

By then the heavens had opened up.

We got soaked.

We were into the last interminable couple of miles that looped around the marina and through the parking lot, when a gentleman called out to us.  He asked if we could pace him, as he had nothing left in the tank.  We age groupers are all about the community and not the competition so we happily said yes.

As we got to the last mile, Erika had a plan.

We followed Erika's advice that it would hurt now, but it was ok because it would be over soon.  I sprinted as much as I could and then saw TriGuy waving and taking pictures!

This time I did not stop.

Erika slowed up a bit in order to cheer me through the finish.  I took a moment to catch my breath,

then got my medal.  Erika and I congratulated the man who ran with us, took a few more pictures with TriGuy, and then we headed home.  (Incidentally, while we were driving home the sun came out.)

I sat with my computer and stalked the results site until the times were up.  I was pretty stoked to find out I ran 2:04:17.  A fabulous new PR!  By NINE WHOLE MINUTES!!

So now I think I'm ready to start training for a full marathon.


This weekend I'm linking up on Yeah Write's Moonshine Grid.  Come join us!



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