Saturday, October 23, 2010

Things I Did Not Know Were On My Bucket List

(me, run a half marathon?  No way!)

Way back last fall, friend Susan guilted peer-pressured recruited me and some other friends to join her in running the Girlfriend's Half Marathon.  I dutifully started running again, starting from nothing (run 0:30, walk 4:30) x 10 and got myself up to a 10K distance.  Then backslid (running by myself is LONELY.  Running after work isn't gonna happen.  I despise getting up early and running by myself in the DARK).  Then, noticing that dates in the calendar were closer than they appeared, started running again in July.  3 times a week, two shorter runs (4+ miles) and a longer run with Susan, starting at 6 miles and going up every week - 8, 9, 10, 6 (rest week), 12, 6, 6.  I was toast after that 12 mile run.  Fortunately I am working at a place where they understand runners. :-)

The Sunday before, Cecil, Susan and I ran 5.9 miles on the Wildwood trail in Forest Park.  In the rain.  There are muscles used in trail running that are not used for road running.  Ow.  Was I going to feel better by the next Sunday?  I got in one more run in the Nature Park over lunch.  (Another good thing about where I am working - easy access to my favorite trails in the Nature Park.  I have missed running there)

Ok, so night before, gear all collected for a run that would be done in temperatures from 42 to 46 deg F, no rain (yay!), and a lot of time thinking I'd really rather ride a 200k...

Pre-crinkled bib

This has been counting down for months

Nice bowl of oatmeal and a cup of coffee.  Susan and Jill appeared, we piled into Susan's car and drove over to Vancouver.  It was cold.  Really cold.  There were runners walking around in SHORTS and SPORTS BRAS!  I got hypothermia just looking at them!  Mostly we stayed in the car; Jill and Susan discussed pre-race anti-inflammatories.  I had already taken my Advil.

"I take these before a run..."

We are very cold.

My former co-worker Jerry was there volunteering; we caught up.  He runs a marathon pretty much every weekend (!)  Cecil and her friend Judy found me right before the start.  We jumped around trying to warm up.  Finally, it was TIME!  We had all split up before starting, so I didn't see anyone for awhile.  First mile was gently downhill.  I had to thread my way among the walkers.  We ran by the Vancouver Farmer's Market and then down to the Columbia River and headed east for about 4 or so miles.  There was mist on the river, the sun was just above the horizon, and it was completely gorgeous.  As I approached the turnaround, I saw Linda, Susan, Jill and Cecil. Heading back myself, I saw Judy.

We eventually split off from the outgoing runners and ran west along a parallel street, then did a hard right turn into Historic Fort Vancouver.  Ran by the old fort, Pearson Airfield, Officers Row, then out the east side of the fort, north a few blocks, then turned back west and through the fort again.  There were some little hills here, nothing to get excited about.

My little toe felt a bit disturbed around mile 9.  About mile 12, my right quad spoke up.  At that point it was "suck it up, almost done".

Lots of families out along the course, cheering on their runners.  Little kids wanted to high five everyone :-)  And then we crossed back over I-5, into downtown, around the block and FINISHED!

Fitz was there waiting (yay! plane landed in time!), and Susan, Jill, and Cecil were there.  I finished only 1:17 behind Cecil...

picture courtesy of Cecil R-S

We hugged.  We took pictures.  We ate and made plans to meet at Gordito Taco in Portland and eat some more.  Changed out of the running gear into dry clothes, adjourned to Gordito Taco (where Linda, Scott and Fitz joined us) for more yummy food outside in the sunshine.

bib number:514
overall place:597 out of 1394
division place:48 out of 111

The average time was 2:30:26.

My pace was reasonably consistent throughout.  I walked through each water station (every 2 miles) to drink some water and ate a gel every 3 miles.  Never felt bad, never had to have arguments with myself.  HR Avg was 155, which, for me, running is pretty decent.  My pace was the best in a very long time for anything over 5 miles.

Race pics here

It is now over a week since the race.  I have been heard to utter the words... next time.


Vertigo said...

Running a marathon is one of those things I would like to do... particularly the Boston Marathon since it passes right in front of my house. :) I guess I just really need a running partner to motivate me since the longest I have run is 1/4 of a mile. :)

Thanks for sharing your story.

bikelovejones said...

Reading this on the eve of my next cyclocross race is inspiring. You never cease to amaze me. I can't wait to hear about you first full marathon...