Road Runner half marathon

September 26, 2010

Here is a recap of my half marathon weekend...

On Friday morning I thought I'd call the 2 local hotels one more time to see if we could get in closer to the marathon instead of having to drive in or take shuttle in the morning.  Luckily there was just a cancellation and we were in!  I was so excited on how much easier this was going to make our morning!

Friday evening we arrived in Akron and got checked into our hotel.  Our first stop was to the expo where we picked up our bib, packet and race technical shirt.  We only a had a few minutes to look around so we checked out what we could and headed back to the hotel to grab my camera and head over to Papa Joe's for dinner with Jill and her family and another couple that was friends with Jill and even Joel and Zach drove out.  

What a great time at dinner!  Pasta, wine and running stories, what more could you ask for the night before a race?

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After dinner Chelsea, Ben and I headed back to the expo and then over to see the start line.  They were still putting it together.

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We also searched the road for the blue line that would follow us throughout the marathon!

Then it was time to head back to the room where we put our timing chips on our shoes, got all gear together and tried to get a good nights rest.

I awoke a few times throughout the night startled that I may have overslept, to find it was only 12pm or 1 or 2am... then it seems just as I closed my eyes again the phone was ringing for our 4:30 am wake up call...

I forced myself up and out of  bed and tried to begin to prepare for the events ahead.  First things first, I needed some breakfast, but mainly coffee... we headed downstairs to the restaurant to find Jill reading while waiting for the restaurant to open.  With each ring of the elevator doors, more people joined us in awaiting the doors to open to the restaurant.  It was after 5 and they said it would be open at 5...

Needless to say breakfast didn't go as planned, but finally did happen. Once we finished breakfast we headed back to our room for some last minute details and stretching.  Sent a text to Jill and we were off to the start line.

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I love the excitement just before a race. The nervousness you feel in your belly, the crowd, the music blasting, the announcer pumping you up and the clock counting down.  And of course there is always the last minute trip to the bathroom to be sure your bladder is empty before the run, and of course the line you wait in...

I have to say in all the races I've done runners have always been the nicest, most courteous group I've been around, but apparently when waiting in line for port a potties, some people feel they don't have to wait like the rest of us!  Here we were after a good 10 minutes in this long line and I saw someone just hovering in front of the bathrooms, I knew her plan and knew that she was not next in line since Chels was in front of me, etc.... she tried to squeeze her way in front of me and I kindly told her there was a line we all had to wait in, apparently she just snuck into the one next to me when I walked away! If you saw these lines that most people patiently wait in, it just wasn't right.

anyhoo, back to the race...

This time I brought my camera and my phone and neither were too much of a bother to carry. There was a pocket in my shirt for my phone and my spibelt held my camera, along with some beans.  Just before the race began I started my ipod and listened for the start.

Its funny how in a big race like this the starting gun goes off but its quite a bit until you get moving. That is how you have the clock time and your chip time, because it usually takes a few minutes to get across the start line.  This time we crossed and just over 2 minutes, the Cleveland marathon it was 5-6 minutes until I crossed.

I started off at a slower but steady pace, I didn't want to sprint out and then tire out too quickly, but then after a few miles I realized I wasn't really pushing myself and it was then that I set mini goals in my head.  Like to pass a specific person I saw, or when I saw a girl's bib that said,"it's my birthday" I made it a point to get up to her and tell her happy birthday.  But most of the run I kept to myself and tried to be more observant of my surroundings.  By mile 7 I thought okay, over half way there, but then did the math and realized that was at minimum another hour of running, so that didn't help.  At mile 9 I felt great and was pushing myself to run harder.  I read the signs of the crowd, a pregnant woman held a sign that read "would you rather be in labor" and with a chuckle I realized nope, running is much better!

Mile 10 to the finish I really wanted to push it, but as we split from the full marathon route and headed down a towpath trail I quickly realized that it would take all I had to get up the hills that were ahead of me.  Who knew how tough a 5% grade would be?  When I finally felt the grade easing up I pushed forward for that last mile and crossed the finish line with the clock reading 2:15:07.  I was thrilled with my time, as one of my goals was to PR, and after reading the course description which claimed that you shouldn't expect to PR in this race, I was pleased!  We then checked the official times and I figured it was about 2 minutes or so from when I crossed the start line leaving my official chip time of 2:12:46!  

Proud... you betcha!

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