Ambassador, Race Day, Recap, Run!

SLO Marathon and Half-Recap

The course was amazingly pretty.   The sun was shining and I really wished I had a better camera than my iPhone in a plastic bag.   There was one spot where the hills and roads lined up perfectly enough that I could see almost 2 miles of road- full of runners.  I tried to get a picture but its hard to snap while running.  🙂

Mile 4 ish?
Mile 4 ish?

There were plenty of water stations stocked with water and sports drink.    Miles 1-10 were all street and miles 10-12 were on a paved bike path running along the railroad tracks before returning to the street.  A little before mile 7, there was even a Cliff Shot zone.   There was a big inflatable and tables lined with numerous kinds of Cliff Shots.   The only bummer was that I had forgotten about the shot zone on the map so when I could see the inflatable in the distance, I thought it was half marathon turn around.  Oops.  There was a “cheer zone” filled with people, and live local bands scattered around the course.  Around mile 12.5, we ran passed some type of conga drum line which was really cool.

The home stretch
The home stretch

The road leading to the finish line was lined with people and flags with plenty of cheering and cowbells.    After being given our medals, we were able to pose for Finisher pictures.  The recovery food consisted of bananas, a protein bar, English muffin, small bag of pretzels and a small Jamba Juice.    I took one of everything but the bananas (blech) but only managed to eat a small part of the muffin and the Jamba Juice.   There was a recovery tent with rollers and ice, and results could be checked in the TekCafe.  The awards ceremony started at 10:00 for the elites.  Crap, they are fast.   About 1:55 into my half, the guy leading the marathon comes ripping past me.  It almost looked like his bike escort was having a tough time keeping up with him.  There were also awards for the challenged athletes, the military division, and age group awards.

Elite Males
Elite Males
Elite Females
Elite Females

With all that being said, today was not my day.  I slept so poorly last night.  I tossed and turned, felt like my sheets were itchy and was warring between having a headache because I didn’t think I had hydrated enough and having to run to the bathroom every hour because I had drank too much. My alarm went off and before getting up I checked the Twitter feed for the race.   The people that had to be bussed to the starting line were already getting on their buses and I was just waking up.    You’d think I’d feel better with that extra sleep, but nope.   If anything I felt super nauseous.  I skipped the antibiotics this morning because I didn’t want to aggravate that.  Loaded up the car and my mom and I were on the way.   She was able to drop me off about 3 blocks from the start line just as the marathoners were starting.

Once getting to the start line, I met up with another SLO Ambassador-Heather- and we chatted while waiting to line up in the corrals.   I was about 5 people behind the 2:00 pacer as we walked to the starting line.    And then we were off.

I lost the 2:00 pacer before the first turn.   Well crap.  My first mile was a 9:00 mile and I still could not see them.   I just kept pushing.  I started to get hot so I ripped off my ear warmer headband.  I thought about tossing it but ending up running with it in my hand for the rest of the way. There was a small incline up to mile 2 but nothing much, leading up to 3 is where the real hills started.    I drove it yesterday so I knew it was coming, I told myself I was running the whole thing.  As I was getting to the top, I was thinking that it seemed so much easier than I had thought.   Yeah, I wasn’t at the top, it was just like a staircase with landings, I was only 1/3 of the way up.   But I managed to run the whole damn hill.   Then we were leaving the city streets for the rural area.   And more hills.  But the view was amazing!

Plastic bags make interesting filters
Plastic bags make interesting filters

I was somehow managing to not pay too much attention to my watch and was running on effort.  That may have been a bad idea.  Rounding a corner, it was time to run through the cheer zone before once more going up.  I really needed that; I was tired.   I ran up until just before mile 7 when I had to take a walk break going up a hill.  I told myself one was fine but I was fading.   Hit the turn around 7.5 miles.  Which meant I was almost at 8.  I love mile 8.  To me, mile 8 means that no matter what I am finishing that race and there are more miles behind me than in front of me.    I checked my watch- 8 miles in 1:20.   6 minutes slower than mile 8 at my last half.   I felt like I was pushing so much harder than that, I got a little emotional.    Or a lot, I sent a whiny text to my mom about how I was so not breaking 2. elevation

From then on it was like my brain had to admit what my body had been unsuccessfully trying to tell me.  It was like it was saying-” I let you run 7 miles straight, but you’re tired and on antibiotics, so slow your roll, you were supposed to take it easy”.    Waah.  I lost count of how many walk breaks I took over the next 5 miles.  I just kept plugging along.    Coming up towards mile 12 was a little surprise.  If my brain had been processing a little better I should have taken a picture.   We had to cross a footbridge to get across the train tracks.   But the bridge was built like a parking garage, with 3 levels from the ground to the top, it actually looked really cool with runners on it.   I ran the levels going up but had to slow down on the actual bridge.  When I did I almost thought I was going to fall; at first I thought I was either more tired than I thought or we were having an earthquake.  Then the woman next to me squealed.  No earthquake just an extremely bouncy concrete bridge.  Concrete should not move like that.   We both booked it across after that.

Hills
Hills

I walked a lot of mile 12.  This is also where the speedy marathoners were starting to streak by.    Then I was in the home stretch, just under the freeway overpass and up a little baby hill, then it was down hill to the finish.   Yeah, I walked right up to the top of that little hill.   According to my Garmin, I still had shot to come in under 2:10 so I flew down that finish line.  Well I tried to at least.  This was also the most crowded finish line I have run across.   I crossed the line and stopped the Garmin.  I collected my medal, took my finisher shot and then looked at my watch- 2:10:14.    So much for flying. I was still hopeful that my chip time would be a little faster.   I then tried to find my mom.  It was crowded!IMG_4010

We finally met up and I munched on a bit of the recovery food.  She took a few pictures as well.  I waited to see Heather who was coming out of the food tent.  She ran an awesome race and PR’d today.  The wind was picking up so we headed back to the car to get my jacket and drop off some of my stuff.  On the way there, I realized that the headband I had run almost 10 miles holding was nowhere to be seen.   I don’t recall ever dropping it but I can’t remember when I last had it!  It was the only all black one I had. 😦

I swear I was trying to smile not smirk
I swear I was trying to smile not smirk

After getting my jacket, we hung out a bit longer.  Saw Lisa from Runner in Training cross the finish line- another PR!  Watched most of the awards ceremony.   I almost had a meltdown when I checked my time in the tech cafe.  There were screens set up in the cafe that showed 2 tagboard websites and multiple laptops where you could type in your bib number and get your results.    My results showed 2:11:14?!!?  While I was spazzing about that waiting to see Lisa finish, her husband pointed out that that could be the gun time and the more official results would be posted later.  Oh yeah, gun time, where was my brain?

So warm and comfy
So warm and comfy

After a quick lunch at Chipotle, we headed home.  It was barely 12:00 but both my mother and I were exhausted.   I was a little cold so I made myself comfortable on their deck in a chaise.  Feet up, compression socks, a bottle of Nuun and my iPad and I was good.  By then my phone had died but I still wanted to post some things.  Great plan but I fell asleep instead.  It was a nice little siesta.  🙂 I awoke to find that I had given myself a new interesting runners tan/ burn and check the official results.   Once I figured out how to read it, it was little better.   This is the first time that I have ever had an official time that is slower than what my Garmin says.  Has that happened to anyone else?timing2

This was a tough one.  There were a lot of hills.  That also seemed to a be a popular theme in everyone’s social media posts.  Thanks tagboard.com (#raceslo), you made me feel better.    Even with it feeling hard, there was never a moment that I felt I wasn’t going to finish.  I knew I was crossing that line, it was just going to be slower than hoped for.   I managed to keep my average pace under 10:00 so I’ll take it!  And I finished in the first 1000 runners!!!  This race was hard but amazing and I can’t wait to run it again next year.   Those hills don’t get the last word!

 

Ambassador, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Firehouse 5K -Recap

I met my goal, but just barely.

Firehouse 5K offers packet pickup at the firehouse the night before and it was a breeze.  My only hesitation came when I saw the sign for an Easter Eggstravaganza being held in the nearby park on the same day.   I asked what time that started because I was concerned that it would affect parking.  It didn’t start until 10 so no worries there!

Right after this pic, the truck behind me pulled out with lights flashing!
Right after this pic, the truck behind me pulled out with lights flashing!

I had laid everything out the night before but right before leaving the house in the morning, I grabbed a long sleeve layer.  It was foggy and a little bit cold but I was hoping it would warm up.  The plan was to head out with my mom and the puppy.  Since it was so close, my dad and brother were thinking about following later.    Once we arrived it was still foggy and I figured that since my lungs have become babies who don’t like weather below 50, I put on my long sleeve layer.  I also used the inhaler again before heading to the start line.   I have had 3 rough races this year for a variety of reasons and I didn’t want this one to be the same.

Fellow Ambassador!!!
Fellow Ambassador!!!

I managed to snag the same parking spot as last year so it was about a block and 1/2 to the start line.   As we were walking up, I heard my name being called.  Huh?  Looking to my right, I saw a couple walking up.  It was another SLO Marathon Ambassador!  It was Lisa from Runner In Training!  Both she and her husband were running too.  It was great getting to meet another ambassador 🙂

Can you see the singer all way up there?
Can you see the singer all way up there?

The start time had been pushed back to 8:45 for some reason but there was a group warm-up put on by a local sports therapy group.   Then the usual pre-race announcements, followed by the national anthem.  I love how they display the flag at this race, and the singer gets to sing the anthem from the top of the big truck!  I’m kind of jealous.  With a blare of the truck horn, we were off!  firehouse elevation

A little under 1/2 a mile is on streets up to the trail, then it’s about 200 yards until we start climbing.   This is where it gets tricky.  All of the trail section is single track.  2 miles of the race is trail, which means 2 miles is single track.  Which for the last mile is ok because the crowd had thinned out.  However, the initial, biggest climb was a crawl.    At one point, I was stuck behind 6 people walking.  The short length of the switchbacks made it hard to try and pass people.  I managed to get past a few but not all.   We were so on top of each other that I could have smacked the firefighter in front of me on the backside.  ( I didn’t!)

so close to finish!!!
so close to finish!!!

After finally getting to the top, I was able to get around some people.  It also leveled out briefly so I picked up the pace a bit.   Then we hit our first downhill.   We went down a different way than we came up, so the downhill was shorter than the uphill.  The trail is shale-like, with some bigger rocks and divets, so you had to watch where you were putting your feet.   I tend to have kamikaze tendencies when running downhill on trails, and I have fallen before.  I skidded out once but managed to reign it in.  Then there was another uphill.  This one was small but I was already tired from the mountain.  It also bottle necked again.    Then it was down hill back to the street.  Kamikaze me came back and I a hit a 6 minute pace for the entire downhill.   Then it was back to the street and across the bridge to the finish line.     I crossed the line and stopped my watch.  Final time- 32:59.  Really?   Yes, it was faster than last year but only by 32 seconds.

I really felt like I was running faster than that.  The only thing I can think is that I probably walked close to a mile of it, between the climb and the bottleneck.  And even me running downhill like a crazy person couldn’t make that time back up.    It was hard to go off my Garmin because it never matched up with their mile markers.    All I really used it for was current pace.    I have to admit that maybe it’s just that this race kicks my ass.

The brother
The brother

DSC02673

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a smaller race, only 3 years old, but it has been impressively organized each time I have run it.   The course is well marked and any time there was a trail split, there was always a volunteer directing which way to go.   There was only one water station but that more due to land constraints than poor planning.    There is also a small health fair.     The crowd was smaller than last year but there was a conflicting race in a nearby town that accounted for that.   The other race is a very popular 10k that draws thousands every year.   It really was too bad that they both fell on the same day.

She's in front of the camera!
She’s in front of the camera!

My family was at the finish line which was cool.  We took advantage of some photo opportunities.  And in keeping with last year’s failed selfie, I have a new one to add to the collection.  I tried to get a photo with my brother and he ducked.  So my dad photo bombed again-

selfie fail!
selfie fail!

Today my legs are feeling the results of my crazy down hill running.  That probably wasn’t the best idea the week before a half marathon, but it was a fun race.  Maybe I will try again next year.  🙂   Running another 5 miles yesterday didn’t help either.  🙂    But the pizza reward for lunch was amazing!IMG_3836

How was your weekend?

Happy Easter!

 

Race Day, Recap, Run!

2014 Wine Country Half -Recap

Previously mentioned jitters aside, I knew going in that I was not feeling this race for some reason.   I was tired, I’ve had a crazy few weeks and I just wasn’t looking forward to that last hill.   I knew under 2 was a shot in the dark and was iffy about beating my previous PR of 2:05:57.   I managed to get to sleep at a decent hour last night but I hated my alarm this morning.  🙂    I had everything laid out last night so getting ready was pretty easy.    A plus about this race is that it had an 8AM start but I didn’t have to leave my house until after 7:20.  And that was just so I could deal with parking.   I hung out in my car until about 5 minutes to start time.    Which was good because it was cold.

I look tired and I haven't even started running yet
I look tired and I haven’t even started running yet

I checked the weather yesterday and this morning and it said high 40’s to start, high 50’s at the end.  I thought about not wearing my arm sleeves, but I put them on anyways.   Which turned out to be a wise choice because the weather man lied!!!  It never made it to the 50’s and the sun never came out.   I never took my arm sleeves off; usually they feel too hot by mile 3.   My legs were cold to the touch the entire race.   When did I get so wimpy?  People are running in snow and ice and I have issues with the 40’s?  Sad, sad.

Took these the other day when it was sunny
Took these the other day when it was sunny

Miles 1-3 felt pretty good, I tried to keep my pace around 9:00.  I hit the first bigger hill around mile 2.5, it led with a down hill,  so I picked up the pace down it.   Mile 4 brought a slow down, I got stuck behind another runner and couldn’t pass due the line of cars driving by!  There must have been 6 or 7.  It was slower but I was still feeling pretty good.     Miles 5, 6, and 7 were another story.

Partway into mile 5, I noticed a tightness in my lungs.  Seriously again?  I was a little wheezy at City to Sea in October and then February’s Super Fun Run 5K was so cold, I had troubles breathing.    I don’t think I have used an inhaler since high school, I don’t even have one anymore. I hadn’t felt like I was pushing it and I felt like my breathing was under control but I slowed down anyways.    By mile 8 I was feeling a little better.  There was little out and back here that I swear felt longer than last year. winegarmin

In mile 9, my Garmin went wonky.  Every mile leading up to 9 I would pass the race mile marker and then my Garmin would beep about 1/10th of a mile later.  Mile 9 beeped but I never saw the mile marker.   They were on wine barrels so I didn’t think I had missed one.  Quarter of a mile later, I found it.    WTH- my pace was making sense for how I was feeling but nothing was lining up.    I was getting tired and my arms were chafing and it was making me fussy.   I wanted to take a walk break (or 2) but I had a feeling I was walking the hill at the end so I just kept running.    There was a man running with his dog, a big dog, so I used that to distract me.  The dog looked like he was out for a morning stroll, he was just trotting along in front of his owner, not even running.

coming up to the finish line
coming up to the finish line

Mile 12 and I hit the dreaded hill.  I managed to run 1/3 of the way up before saying F* it and walking.   Once at the top, I still needed to walk.  After about a minute of that i told myself I was almost done and to get a move on.   Mile 13 was the slowest over all at 10:44.    The finish line was in sight.  As I got closer, I could see my mom and Zoey at the finish line.   When I ran passed them, I gave her a thumbs down sign to show how I felt.   I crossed the line and received my medal, I then headed over to pick up my wine glass. Finishing time- 2:07:08.  Not a PR or sub-2 but it was a 7 minute course best.

IMG_3486Want to know what happens when you finish a race that you are half happy about, partially disappointed and just tired?  You hug random strangers at the finish line.  And I am not a hugger.   She wasn’t a complete stranger but now I feel like a total creeper.    She was a newer work colleague from another location who I have had a few meetings with in the past few weeks.    How’s that for a welcome to the team- here let me share my sweat with you.  Like I said- creeper status.IMG_3507

While a part of me wishes I had done better, but the course was nothing to be sad about.  I finished it and barring a few issues, I felt strong for at least 1/2 of it.   🙂  I beat last years time of 2:14 and according to my Garmin, the overall elevation gain for the race was 1,617 feet.  How accurate are these things?    I celebrated with a tri-tip sandwich, and another trip to the theater to see Divergent again.  This time included movie popcorn, yum!  Oh and the sun finally came out-

relax and recovery
relax and recovery

Now it’s off to bed for me and I get to sleep in tomorrow!!!  I am taking a vacation day, which will hopefully be restful.. Except I have tons of laundry to do and I should work on a paper that is due soon.   And apparently I need to make an appointment to get another inhaler.

How was everyone’s weekend?

Who else raced this weekend?

gear, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Heart & Soles 2014 Race Recap

I was originally planning on running the Buzz 1/2 marathon today but scaled back to a 10K in SLO for a few reasons.  Now, I am completely bummed because I just saw that Run Eat Repeat ran it and I could have tried to track her down, except I am slow, hehe.

Anyways, on to the race.  After my great run on Wednesday, I was super pumped but I also knew I had pushed harder than planned, so I ended up taking Thursday and Friday as rest days.   Friday was also a vacation day for me, so woo hoo!     I made sure to spend some time stretching and working with my foam roller yesterday so this morning I felt pretty good and ready to go.

A little chalk art
A little chalk art

Heart and Soles is a series of races put on by the Cal Poly Triathlon team.  It works as a fundraiser for them and the local food bank.   The race takes place entirely on the college campus.  They offer a 5K, 10K, and 15K and a kids race.   I was a little concerned about hills as the campus is pretty much on the side of a big hill, but there weren’t any big ones thankfully.   I really wanted to do the 15K but thought the 10K was a smarter choice.   😦  This turned out to be a good choice, because I would not have finished a 15K, at least not running.  Maybe crawling.

Pre-race shot
Pre-race shot

The race had 9:00 AM start so I didn’t have to leave until after 7:30.  My race photographer (thanks mom!) and I headed out. Getting there was easy, finding parking was a little trickier, luckily runners tend to move in herds!   Check in was fairly quick, picked up the bib and goody bag and headed back to the car since it was a bit cold.   While not required, a Valentine’s themed costume contest was suggested.   My mother had fun laughing at some of them, including the pace bikers.  The 2 males were dressed in diapers and wings…and that’s it.  Just like Cupid.   One thing about a college race, I felt old.   I won’t deny stalking last years race results to make sure I wasn’t the oldest one.  As it was I was running solo in a couples race.    Luckily it was mostly other solos as well.  🙂

All 3 races started at the same time so the start line was a little congested.  A guy stopped to play with his girlfriends iPod, I went left to avoid them, and 2 people behind me ran into me and I into the first couple.  Oops!   Maybe that was when the problem started or I just hadn’t noticed because I just started running.   A quarter mile into the race, my left lower calf was so damn tight it was painful.  I figured I would run it out around mile 1.  No such luck.   I actually considered turning around at the 5K mark.    But I kept going.  I was so happy to hit the first 10K turnaround.   The course had two out and backs.    I kept running but the pain was turning into my couples partner for the race.  I told myself if the pain ever got above a 4 to take a walk break.   The first came at just shy of 3 miles.    Mile 4 was the roughest, not only did I take a walk break, I stopped completely and tried to stretch it out.    The end of this out and back had a little loop on a dirt path and my leg felt better there.  After that if I could run on dirt by the side of the road I did.   While we were in the Ag section this was possible but once we were back in the center of the school, it was all roads and sidewalk.  😦

I felt like mile 6 had the steepest section of road but my Garmin disagrees.    It was a little past mile 5.5 that my leg finally loosened up.  Seriously? Now?   But there was no way I was sprinting to the finish, I was just trying to maintain.   I hadn’t really been paying attention to my time because I was more focused on breathing through the pain.  All in all, I took 4  walk moments plus that stretch.  I was so thankful to see that finish line.     I was done.  Apparently it showed too, because my mom said I looked gimpy coming up to the line.

Is that a grimace or a smile?
Is that a grimace or a smile?

Once I caught my breath, I let my mother know how close I was to texting her that I was chucking it and walking the damn thing.   Then I checked my Garmin, 55:44.  I’m sorry, what?!!?   I flippin’ PR’d on what may or may not have been my worst feeling race?!  I checked Nike to verify (Yeah I used both), and it agreed.   I was a little shocked.   Once I processed that, I was super stoked, still hurting but excited!!  I was brought a little back down to earth by the first 15K finisher crossing the finish line 4 minutes later.

heartandsoles

Other than my stupid leg, it was a good race.  With all three races starting at the same time, I was concerned that it might be easy to be confused by the route.  But they had people at every corner and turn around who made things very clear.   The finish line was clearly marked as well.  All in all, I would run it again, maybe the 15 next year?

I stretched as best as I could before leaving the campus.   After changing and eating a yummy lunch, we did a little shopping around town.   I kept my compression socks on and hoped that the walking would help ease the tightness.  It helped a little but most of the evening has been spent RICE’ing.  Tomorrow will probably be a day off as well, I have to see how it feels in the morning.  I am not sure what set it off, if it was tennis practice yesterday or maybe the fact that I sat cross-legged on the floor for most of last night.   I just want it to go away.

IMG_3173

And as per usual, I was unable to leave SLO without purchasing some new running gear, now if only my legs weren’t so pale!

How is everyone’s weekend so far?

Who else raced?

gear, Race Day, Run!, Slacker

Slacker to the Sea

City to the Sea race recap!!

Today, I had a 2 part goal.  Goal 1 was stated on this blog under my Goals, Gear, Stats page and what I publicly told people.  I was aiming to finish at 2:10:00 or below.  However, what I kept to myself was that the crazy in me wanted to try and hit 2:04:00.

So damn close!!!!  Official time -2:05:53

 Live Results - City to the Sea

Also because the course is flat to downhill for the first 5 miles before changing to hills, I was intentionally aiming for a positive split.  So backwards I know, but I knew I could bank sometime in the beginning for when I knew I was going to slow down.  It worked!

Elevation Map
Elevation Map

It was dark when I left my house this morning.    And cold.   The start line is about 30-35 minutes away so I made sure to head out with plenty of time.   Found a very nice Chevron and they were nice enough to let me use their restroom when I got into town.   The starting line is literally in front of the Abercrombie and Fitch and I was able to get a parking spot 2 blocks away.  I could see the starting line and crowd from my car.  Since it was so close and cold and dark, I stayed in my car until the last possible moment.

Once I joined the masses (2500 runners plus spectators in a half block space) I tried to find the right pacer.  Since I was aiming for 2:10, I figured between the 2:00 pacer and the 2:15 pacer would be a good idea.   The pacers wear costumes so I figured they would be easy to spot.  Spotted 2:15, he was a pirate, but couldn’t find 2:00.  By then it was a little past 7 and only just starting to lighten up, and we were off!

We crawled over the start line and the next 1.5 miles were chaos.   This pack of runners did not separate like usual.  It was 1.5 miles of dodging left and right, falling back and surging ahead.   The 2:15 pacer was about a block ahead of me, what the heck?  Mile 1 clocked in at 9:08, so what pace was he running?  Too fast. 😦  It had just started to even out when we hit the first water station at mile 2, time to dodge the obstacle course. I passed up the 2:15 pacer here.  It got better after that but I have to say that course seemed more crowded than last year, or maybe it was just the difference in my pace compared to last year.

Miles 1-5 were what I had planned to be my fastest miles and by mile 4.5 I was on track.  At this point, it was the first crossover, so under the freeway we went.    Coming up the other side, there was the second aid station but I was feeling ok.  Hit mile 5 and now it was rolling hills time and time to lose the arm sleeves.   I just kept running.  I told myself I could take a walk break at mile 8 if need be.  After just shy of 2 miles, it was crossover time again, this time over the freeway we went.

Mile 7 was another aid station, this time I took some water.  Now was the part of the race I dreaded, the out and back.  Running down a street and then back up may add miles but it also bites when you see all the other runners coming back and they are so much faster than you.   It should work in reverse when I am running back but it doesn’t.  I thought I remembered the out and back only being ¾ of a mile… nope, it was 1.5!  Ugh, mile 8 was part of that out and back.  Normally mile 8 is my favorite mile.   This is the point when I know that even if I have to crawl, I will be finishing the race, and there are just 5 miles to go.   Having 8 hit in the out and back, just didn’t hold the usual excitement. 😦 This where I finally saw the 2:00 pacer, turns out he was behind me until that point.   He was dressed as a cyclist.  Passed the aid station on the way out and was heading towards 9. And I was still running!!!

Up a hill and across a wooden bridge and it was mile 9, time to lose the gloves.   I was still running but slowing down.  Mile 10 was at downhill slope and then it was the last crossover, back under the freeway.  Here I picked up the pace a lot because I did not want to be stopped for traffic like I was last year.    Powered through the intersection and was met with the last uphill.

This is also where I started wheezing.  Um, what?   I haven’t used an inhaler in years, not to mention, I don’t even have one.   So I took a walk break.  😦  I was so close to running the whole thing!!! I told myself that I would walk for 2 minutes.   I got my breathing under control, made it to the top of the slope and started running.    My toes were hurting and my knees were cranky but I was so close!  I just kept pushing.  I hit mile 12 at 1:53:something.  Hell yeah!  Only 1.1 to go.   12-13 I picked up the pace.  Then just the .1 left to go.  I swear this race seems like the longest .1 ever.

The Finish
The Finish

The finish line was crowded and people were cheering as I ran past.  Not for me, but I can be in denial, right?  Crossed the finish line and the clock said 2:06:54.  Goal #1 done and done!  Just shy of goal #2 and I knew that my chip time would be different than gun time since it did take a while to get across the starting line.

That's me!
That’s me!

My mom and dad were at this finish line, so we took advantage of some photo opportunities and I took the chance to stretch.  Since this was a point to point race, I was also very glad to have them there so I could hitch a ride back.   It was really cold and my mom (race photographer) was not feeling well at all so we didn’t stay too long and chose to bypass the expo.

What you can't see is that my legs are shaking!
What you can’t see is that my legs are shaking!
The pops
The pops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am so pumped that I hit 2:05:53.   It was something that I wasn’t sure I could do, and its great knowing that I succeeded.   My next goal is to break 2:00, eek!!! That’s scary.   I feel pretty good right now, just some pain in my knees.  The real question will be how I feel tomorrow and Tuesday- always the worst day. 😦

Highlights-

Best race sign I saw today- I had just hit the halfway point and was beginning to drag.  I saw some people standing to the side with a sign that read “Keep going, you’re running better than our government”.  I don’t care what political affiliation you are, that was just the touch of smart ass sense of humor that I needed at that point.   The liquid awesome ones were pretty good too.

Best improvement– My medal was handed to me ready to go at the finish line.  Last year they handed it to me folded and wrapped in plastic.  Thanks killjoy.

And–  I ran all but 2 minutes of a half marathon!!  I had no idea I could do that! 🙂

:) So shiny :)
🙂 So shiny 🙂

Hope everyone had an absolutely fantastic weekend, and if you ran or raced- awesome!