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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ole Man River half marthon race recap

This Sunday we ran the Ole Man River half marathon.
The recap: Since we had guests (my sister), David and I stayed at his parents' house the night before the race (we have a one-bedroom so we let my sister and her husband sleep there). After clinging with our toes to the side of a twin bed all night and wishing we were skinnier/had fewer limbs, we got up and got ready to run. I skipped breakfast because I was still having nightmares about Thunder Road and a 26-mile stomach ache. We picked lil' brother Abe up at his dorm. He is STILL sick from early November, and coughed the entire way to the race! This is the race I talked my co-workers into running; it was their first half marathon. We didn't plan to meet up but I ran into them before the start and got a chance to give them a pep-talk.
The weather was cold but nice, basically perfect running weather, and I felt great. I ate a Cliff shot block at the start since I hadn't had breakfast (I also ate one at miles 7, 9, and 11 - more than I normally would since I was hungry!). I brought a 1:40 pace bracelet because I have really done well when I've worn pace bracelets for marathons. I admit that I struggle to evenly pace myself. And I refuse to buy a Garmin. Too pricey.
So anyway, I ran my first mile in about 7:04, slowed down, and rechecked my pace bracelet at mile 4. I was about on pace so I just held it steady. I was distracted for most of the race because I was looking out for so many other runners. Abe would be near the front, I assumed, and started looking for him around mile 8 when the course looped. But no Abe. Leaders passed. No Abe. Lead women passed. No Abe. Abe's teammate passed. No Abe! I was panicking! As the course veered away from the loop, I caught Abe out of the corner of my eye - well back, coughing like a TB patient. He didn't look well and if I'd been closer I would have marched over and made him quit. After that, I turned the corner myself and I started looking for David heading the way I'd just come. I saw him a little later than I had expected to, given the nice weather (David's running is really weather sensitive). Next I kept my eye out for my co-workers. This distracted me for a good long while...because they were pretty far back there. They actually ran it together in over 3 hours - not what I expected but still, it WAS their first. Right after I saw them I was basically in the home stretch, about 4 miles to go, and I glanced at my bracelet - right on target.
The rest of the race was quick and easy. I love how short a half-marathon seems the week after a full! I finished in 1:39:36, easily a PR (my fastest to date was 1:46 and some), 20th female and 3rd in my age group. I like the pace bracelets a lot, but next time I'd knock a few minutes off - that felt too easy.
Abe was at the finish, sick as a dog, poor kid, having run his slowest half ever - including any of his training runs! He ran over 7 minute miles and was hugely disappointed. I elicited a promise from him to take a break and recover. My sister and her husband came out to see us finish and we all waited for David. He finished a few seconds over 2 hours, blaming his lack of shape (the cold weather has kept him indoors), so I was the only person happy with my time.
Sadly, this is my last race of 2010 - it's been a good racing year for me. I went from a slow-poke first-timer just running to keep in shape to a race addict, er, to a gal who likes to run races a little bit and is not the slowest. My next race isn't until February, the Mardi Gras Marathon.
I keep promising myself I'll take up some other form of exercise once I have a running break. Any suggestions?


  1. That's a pretty sweet medal. Congrats on a kick-a** new PR!

  2. Okay, now THIS is the type of race report I like. You rocked it! Man, you race alot. Very cool. BTW, I did my 1 hour and 45 minutes on the treadmill tonight. Wasn't that bad, you should try it :-)

  3. The twin bed the night before was funny. Great job on the new PR and what a great year of running for you!

  4. That's funny that you guys shared a twin bed!! I bet it was quite cozy!

    Well done on the PR! I am amazed by the # of races you have completed this year. You are a machine, lady!

  5. i bow to you m'dear. a new PR is such a great feeling!!

    damn. you brought back a flood of memories. i haven't done that race in years. next year it is!


  6. nice job on the PR!

  7. Dang, nice race! I wished I had done a few races these past few months but I was kind of avoiding the race fees. Hopefully, 2011 will involve more racing.