Monday, March 22, 2010

MERCER ISLAND HALF MARATHON!

I have so many thoughts and emotions and not sure if I should write everything down...One part of me is really happy with my race at it being my 3rd half marathon...but the other is not. I hate to be negative so let’s just talk about the GREAT stuff! This was the first race that I was doing with no family members running with me (my mom and I ran 2 half marathons together last summer and my dad and I did a Sprint Tri together), but a whole lot of NEW friends which made me excited. I am lucky to live in an area with a handful of local bloggers that have all connected so I was really looking forward to meeting new friends, not just friends, but running friends. I have never gone to a race and know that many people but yesterday I felt like I had a running group. We were all different paces but running the same race which made it so fun.

Many emails where passed around to figure out meet up time, carpool, LUNCH afterwards and so on. Mel and I decided to carpool since we are nervous Nellie’s and wanted to get there with plenty of time. Numerous lessons learned regarding getting there early and being prepared! Note to self…if there is no line at bag check….CHECK your BAG then! Oh well…I always learn things the hard way! It was so much fun riding up to the race with Mel. We haven’t seen each other in a while and it was just fun to catch up on life. We have known each since our elementary days…though she will say since Jr. High…maybe she is trying to forget those days? We grew up in the same town and reconnected when it was time to plan our 10 year high school reunion! Fun times!

We met up with Kerrie, Zoe and Kasey but never ran into Amanda until after the race. It was fun to actually put names to faces and see them LIVE and not just over bloggy land pictures.

Finally we got to the starting position after having to do a little rock climbing. Mel is a little taller than me so I kept asking her to tell me what she could see since I could see nothing! The race started and I felt good! I started to relax and didn’t think I was going out too fast…I would think differently of that at mile 7! The first 6-7 miles went well and I was doing shockingly well for my pace and was excited to see what I could do on this hilly course. The views were amazing and the volunteers were EXCELLENT. I love seeing smiling faces and people encouraging me as I run…it helps me… a LOT! I started to get a little tired and knew I had a hill coming at mile 7. I was wearing my jacket since it was supposed to rain but since we had no rain and I was hot I figured it was time to re-organize. I walked while I got re-situated and took my jacket off. I was worried that starting up again would be hard, but it wasn’t and I had a lot more energy. Was feeling good and then Zoe and Kerrie found me and I ran with them for a few miles. I wish I had more energy to talk but I was so tired that I just listened to Zoe encouraging/pace Kerrie as we ran for a few miles. I needed some more water so I stopped to fill up my water bottle as they ran ahead. I hope my marathon training helps me with the mental aspect as I get into longer miles. I feel good until around mile 9, 10 and 11 and it just gets tougher. Mercer Island was challenging because when those miles come…it gets really hilly. Hills in the beginning of the race when you have the energy are way easier than hills, hard hills at the end. I never thought I would get a great time on this race because of the hills. I do hill training since that is what I have around my house but I know those hills and have run them and know what to expect…the unknowns mess with me when I am tired. Mile 11.5 was a half mile hill and figured I could walk it faster than run it. I was still shocked that my time was OK even though I had walked a little. Sometimes walking can help…though I don’t like to do it and that too messes with my head. In a race I start not to care about times and ask why I am even doing this…Pay…for a RACE???? Am I crazy? Yah I think to be a runner you have to be a little crazy!

I know after the race I will question what I could have done to do better, but it becomes so mental…you know you will wonder "what if"…but you really don’t care when your tired and mentally done. Oh and thanks to the wonderful course planner they had one last gift…a hill at the finish line…so sweet of them! After getting up the hill I saw my MOM and her husband, Pat at the finish line, but I had to go around 2-hula hoopers…NICE! I am sure I would have PR had they not been there…jk! Smiled with my arms raised high…praising God that I finished! I forgot to stop my Garmin…shoot…only by a minute or less.

I waited for my mom and Pat and Mel, Zoe and Kerrie were right there so we got a couple pictures before my mom had to leave. It was so fun having other participants to talk to about the race…right after. We went and got some food and met up at our FANCY meeting place (it was a fancy dumpster shed) and got to congratulate Amanda on her PR and also wish her a Happy Birthday!
A few more thoughts:
  • I know to some people walking is not a bad thing…I don’t think so either but it’s so hard for me to feel like I did a good job when I walked…even if it was short. I really think I could have PR had I not done that.
  • I am also frustrated because I train on hills and feel like I should be able to do them. I don’t think I have ever run as tough of a course as this one though.
  • I surprised myself that I did so well in the first 7 miles…I do feel like I am becoming a better runner and those miles proved that.

We are ready for lunch!

Mercer Island Half Marathon Stats:
Miles: 13.31
Pace: 10:10
Time: 2:15:23
Calories: 1710

The pace on the race report was different than my watch and I couldn't figure out why....then I realzed that they think we ran 13.1 but no...we ran 13.3. 
Splits:
Mile 1: 9:19
Mile 2: 9:27
Mile 3: 9:20
Mile 4: 9:29
Mile 5: 9:44
Mile 6: 9:56
Mile 7: 10:16
Mile 8: 11:44
Mile 9: 10:14
Mile 10: 10:23
Mile 11: 10:52
Mile 12: 11:39
Mile 13: 10:12
Mile 14: 10:02

And there you have it!

10 comments:

TMB @ RACING WITH BABES said...

Great recap! Sounds like you all had so much fun racing together! I'm going to make it out there next year to race with everyone if it kills me!

Kerrie T. said...

You did awesome! That Mile 11 hill was tough. It almost broke me. Seriously. Our pace is pretty close. I think it would be fun to try to meet up for long runs. We could always run with Mel's Fleet Feet group on Saturdays. Zoe may want to go, too, depending on her foot.

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Except for the hills, sounds like fun! Now you've finished your very first half, right?! That's great! The Seattle marathon hills in '08 had me walking, too. When the soreness has passed, you'll be ready to run another one!

Julie said...

Nice job!! You are no longer a half marathon virgin:) I love meeting up with blogger fiends....it looks like it was so much fun!

Jill said...

This was actually my 3rd half marathon. It was the toughest course by far, but with Tacoma Narrows half as a close 2nd...Tacoma Narrows had hills in the begining and downhill at the end. I like it to be harder in the begining and easier at the end.

Karen said...

Looks like you had a great time!

ajh said...

I bet it was fun to have new friends there (and old) but it is also very cool that you have run with family before. I love running with my kids! Sometimes I stress about the parts of a race I didn't like instead of focusing on all the good parts. It's amazing how much we beat ourselves up. You did great! Now you know what areas you want to work on. (so easy to say but not do for me at least)

Melissa said...

You did great! Congratulations!!

EricaH said...

Great Job!! and how neat to be able to run with so many other running bloggers. :)

Badgergirl said...

Sounds like it was a good time! Great job!

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