12 April 2012

High Speed Pursuit Half Marathon Recap

Lovely shot in our hotel room
Last Saturday morning I woke up around 6:45am to get ready for my first half marathon of the year.  We were staying at a hotel in Boise so I wanted to leave plenty of time to get myself all put together, wake the kids up and eat some breakfast before heading to get Cynthia.  The race was scheduled to start at 10am which was nice since Boise is an hour ahead of Tacoma.  We had a rough time getting up early all week, kind of crazy how just one hour makes a big difference! 

The tough part about racing away from home is the weather- when I was packing and watching the weather channel the day we left the prediction was for warm weather all week and in the 60's for race day!  I even packed a sleeveless shirt just in case it was really warm, I never even imagined it was going to be cold so I didn't throw in arm sleeves or a long sleeve running shirt!  Well, guess what- the temperature outside was only around 38 degrees, and it wasn't going to get much over 43 before the race started.  Good thing I at least had a jacket so I brought that just in case.

At Cynthia's with our "arm sleeves"
When we got to Cynthia's she had ran to Target and bought some long socks to use for arm sleeves and then we could toss them if we got warm.  Took a few photos and left the kiddos with Will's brother and headed to the race start area.  We were lucky to get a very close, front row parking spot and headed to grab our timing chip and tshirts.  While standing out in the freezing cold wind we realized that the arm sleeves were probably not going to cut it and decided to wear our jackets.  The sun was out, but the wind was cold!

Will hanging out in the back of our car, trying to stay warm!
Just before the race, there was a little "high speed" pursuit
Soon enough the race gun sounded and we were sent off out around the prison grounds.  The 5K, 10K (which Will ran) and half marathon all started together but it was a fairly small group so it didn't seem to be a big deal.  The 5K broke off after a mile or so and the 10K ended up with an out and back course around mile 3.6 and then it was just us half marathoners out in the big open desert.  Cynthia and I were just running this for fun, with no particular goal in mind so we made sure to stop at the water stations and around mile 2 we decided to start our music- I wasn't going to be much for conversation since my cough was still really bad and I needed to conserve my breathing and make sure I kept my pace easy.  Plus, she has been having problems with one of her shins so she needed to pay attention to that as well.  Some pair of runners we were that day!! 

Mile 1- 9:17 *getting warmed up
Mile 2- 9:07 *feeling good
Mile 3- 10:09 *water stop, start music
Mile 4- 9:43 *feeling good, the 10K runners turn back and we move onto pavement
Mile 5- 9:17 *pavement, no wind- feeling great

Mile 5ish water station stop
After mile 5 there was a water stop and I knew that would be my best chance to take my gel with water- it was an espresso one and I HAVE to chase it with water or else it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  But it is my favorite one because it isn't too sweet.  We snapped a photo real quick and headed off again.  My lungs were feeling pretty good and I was able to keep from having fits of coughing so I was pretty pleased with our pace.  Not too fast, not too slow and on track to finish around 2:05-2:10 which seemed about right.

Mile 6- 10:52 *stopped to take my gel at water station.  took a photo.
Mile 7- 9:30 *hello espresso gel, out in the middle of nowhere at this point!
Mile 8- 10:21 *long, steady incline here- I worry about keeping my breathing in check
Mile 9- 9:56 *I survive the hill, start my fantasy about the java chip frappuccino

Just after mile 8 I remember suddenly feeling really good- like I could keep stepping up my pace and I was going to be ok.  That was my plan- well, that and having a grande java chip frappuccino!  It was all I could think about, it sounded so good.  Which is odd, because I don't even remember the last time I had any frappuccino, let alone a java chip one.  I just kept running, thinking just how good that drink was going to taste, and I was even going to have WHIP CREAM on top because darn it, I earned it! 

Then all of a sudden it hit me.  Mile 9.5- we turned a corner onto the side of the highway and the wind was crazy strong.  I could see the runners ahead of us walking and straining into the wind- it had to have been about 20 miles per hour and it was never ending.  Which is probably good because I swear if it had just suddenly stopped I would have fallen flat on my face.  Cynthia and I took turns running in front of each other but it really made very little difference.  I couldn't even look up because I could feel my hat lift every time I did, and it was probably a good thing that I was wearing my glasses because they offered some protection to my eyes.  At one point I glanced up ahead and my hat went flying off of my head and I had turn around and run after it!

Mile 10- 10:48 *the wind starts
Mile 11- 11:40 *the wind continues, we stop at the water station to breath for a second
Mile 12- 11:59 *more wind.  took a few photos.  wish I could hop in the back of a truck. Up, up, up
Mile 13- 11:38 *is the wind ever going to stop?  The answer is no.  Happy to be DONE!

Mile 11.5 or so.  That is one forced smile on my face!
We stopped at the water station around mile 11 to take a breather and get a rest from pushing into the wind.  It was absolutely exhausting!  A full body workout, kind of like running under water I suppose.  We got to the top of a hill (oh yeah, did I mention these final 3.5 miles of wind were also uphill?)  and were going to be turning to go in a different direction.  We snapped a few more pictures here before setting off on our final mile.  I was hopeful that the wind would let up a little but no such luck- it was just pushing us sideways AND from the front now as we walked/jogged up this enormous rocky hill.  At that point our fun race stopped being fun for me and I just wanted to be done!

Thought it would be funny to take a picture of our skirts blowing in the breeze. 
Not really too sure WHERE my skirt is!!!   
Finally we headed back onto the prison grounds and I knew that we were close.  We kept leap frogging with several of the runners- it seemed as though everyone was needing walking breaks at the end of this race.  Finally I could see this lady coming up behind us and I didn't want her to pass so I told Cynthia she was on our heels and we cruised in the last quarter mile of the race.  I grabbed her hand and we crossed together- our "fun" race was finally over! 

Hey look, my skirt is back!  Almost done-  Just. keep. moving.
Good thing we were wearing shorties under those skirts!
Love this- my hubby should be a race photographer. 
Holding hands as we touch down on the finish line.
There was a nice setup of food at the finish line which was appreciated- I had a breakfast burrito and some chocolate milk.  My lungs were pretty mad at me and I was doing a lot of coughing but otherwise I felt pretty good.  Soon we were freezing again, that crazy wind just kept on blowing and blowing so we didn't stay around too long.  This was my slowest half marathon ever, but given the circumstances I am calling it a success.  There are just some things we cannot control, but if I was given the choice between rain and wind- I will take rain each and every time!

Total time-  2:15:13 (cynthia beat me by 1/10 of a second) 
Average pace- 10:17
Age group place- 10/18
Female place- 25/45
Overall place- 55/90

Later that evening we went out for a nice sushi dinner at an Irish Pub (yes, you read that correctly) and then walked down to a frozen yogurt shop for our tradition of dessert after our big races.  It was mighty tasty!  Oh, and about that java chip frappuccino- I never had one.  But I did have a grande 2% coffee frappuccino instead and it hit the spot.

A well deserved treat!
An email told us later that at the one hour mark the wind caused the timing mat to flip over as well as knocked a computer off of the table and they lost times for about 9 minutes of the race.  This effected many of the 10K runners finishing during that time frame.  Will was ok, he finished right after they got it all hooked back together, but wouldn't that be awful if you weren't recorded as you came into the finish line?

One of the race photo's.  Will says I look like I am running to the library. 
My glasses didn't bother me at all, and may have been helpful in that wind. 
Cynthia said she had tears streaming down her face but my eyes were just fine!
I finally went to see a doctor on Tuesday to see what in the world was wrong with me- I have viral acute bronchitis.  Awesome, so I am taking lots of medicine and resting so I can get myself healthy again.  Probably not the best plan to run a half marathon with bronchitis- the doctor just looked at me and asked if I finished the race when I told her.  Yes.  Yes I did!       


  1. Wow. Great recap. I can't believe the wind (and you were so sick, poor thing).

    I don't thing I've ever run a half with only 90 finishers. Kind of cool.

  2. I think we survived cause we ran with each other :) Otherwise I'm sure I would have just walked and let the girl in the gray shirt pass me lol.

    I seriously LOVE the pic of us holding hands. And also the one of us zooming past will with our skirts flying.

  3. Nice job! Sounds like it was windy ;). I hope you consider a 60 mile relay a big race because dessert after that sounds awesome!

  4. Great job! That's funny you "lost your skirt" for a bit! I think my sparkle skirt did the same disappearing act at the Santa Runs. AND Will totally is a fabulous race photographer!!

  5. WAY TO GO!!!! You rock. And I Lovveeeeee those blue outfits, they are so adorable. I don't like this diagnosis... are you making a quick recovery?! I hope so!