30 October 2011

Race for a Soldier Half Marathon Recap

I didn't get my race bib until about 5 minutes before the race started- I was a bit stressed!!
I admit, I have been putting this post off!  I think I got a bit burned out on race recaps :)  So here goes, my 4th half marathon in 5 weekends as a brief recap!

I walked into work around 4pm on Thursday October 13th and one of my regular customers stopped me and asked if I was still planning to volunteer at the Race for a Soldier on Sunday October 16th.  I told him no, that I had received an email that said they already filled all the volunteer spots- so he asked me if I would like to run it instead.  For free!  His girlfriend was registered but had not trained for it properly so would not be using her bib.  I told him I needed to think about it, and I would let him know by the next morning.

You are all thinking "what the heck are you thinking about Ms Half Fanatic?" right?  Well, I had resumed my intense training that week and there was absolutely no way to taper- plus I was playing soccer Friday night!  I had done yoga and spin on Monday, track repeats on Tuesday (7 miles), spin on Wednesday and a tempo run on Thursday (8 miles)!!  Yikes!  Also- I would have to go to WORK after the race was over- at 2pm.  However, after about an hour I realized OF COURSE I would take the opportunity to run.  I would rest on Saturday and keep my pace in my training zone so I wouldn't overdo it.  I was scheduled for 10 miles anyways!

Don't I look thrilled to be waiting in line for the port o potties? 
That lady behind me had no clue what personal space was!  She looks happy
about something though...Oh, and it was NOT that dark outside!
The race began at 8am on Sunday October 16th in Gig Harbor.  This race was set up for a fantastic cause, I won't get into huge detail here but here is the link if you are interested:


I was happy to be a part of this race, that is why I signed up to volunteer originally.  I love races that bring communities together to make a difference in people's lives.  Anyways, now that you have the background- here is the quick recap!

10 minutes before race- and still no bib.  Waiting for Reid to find us!
It was pretty cold out that morning, but no rain!  I guess I fooled the weather gods by only deciding to run 3 days in advance!  I wanted to be patriotic for the race so I knew I would be wearing my star arm sleeves and blue shirt, but couldn't decide on the bottom half.  I ended up selecting my black skirtsports skirt over my Nike combat tights, a combination I had not yet run in but I didn't think there would be a problem (I layer skirts over tights often).  WRONG!!!  The two fabrics did not get along and my skirt slid down the entire race.  I was tempted to just stop and take the tights off but that would have been complicated.  Anyways, lesson learned- never assume an outfit is good for running a half marathon in!!

This was no joke the hilliest half marathon I have ever run.  I felt like I was on a roller coaster for the majority of the race and it honestly never felt flat.  Huge uphills, huge downhills, small and steep, windy and long- you name it and we ran it that day!  We did get to run through an absolutely beautiful housing development with mansion after mansion in it.  I spent quite some time trying to decide which house I would like to buy someday!  The community support and volunteers for this race were the BEST I have ever seen.  They were amazing, cheering us on and encouraging us the whole way.  I loved that part, high fiving little kids and seeing tons of handmade signs made the hills a little more bearable. 

Less than 1/2 mile to go- super focused on passing that guy in the red shorts! 
Did not see Will at all.
Rounding the final corner.  I passed those guys too!
My training plan said to keep my pace around 9:42, so I did my best to keep it close.  Here is the mile breakdown (its been too long for me to remember a lot, bummer!):

Mile 1- 9:24
Mile 2- 9:25
Mile 3- 9:46
Mile 4- 9:24
Mile 5- 10:07 (entirely uphill.  for over a mile.)
Mile 6- 9:50 (still going uphill)
Mile 7- 9:38
Mile 8- 10:07 (couple of short, steep ones here)
Mile 9-  9:27
Mile 10- 9:53
Mile 11- 9:56 (a big downhill, followed by big uphill)
Mile 12- 9:36
Mile 13- 8:25 (I ran this mile for the soldiers.  I was tired but pushed it anyways.  I was focused.)
Mile .1-  7:49  (speed- I am speed LOL)

My finish photo- love what you do, do what you love. 
That smile says it all!
Official chip time -2:05:56
Overall place- 446/936
Female place -178/517
Female age group- 23/76
Pace- 9:37 (pretty close to my target pace of 9:42!)

Our medal
Remember my buddy Jason from Ragnar?  He ran as well!
We didn't get to hang around the finish line area for too long but it looked like a fun party!  We said hi to a few friends we ran into and headed home so I could rest a bit before work.  In case you were wondering, working 4 hours after finishing a half marathon is not a great way to recover, especially when you stand up the entire time you work!

What?  I was hungry!
Me and my adoring fans.  Ok fine, my daughter and two of her friends.  They came straight from a
sleepover party to cheer me on!
But in the end I am glad I ran, it was a well organized and fun race with beautiful scenery and a wonderful cause as well.  No more races for me though- until Vegas!!!!

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