Monday, November 7, 2011

Red Baron Half Marathon Race Report

It was AWESOME!  I rocked it! SuperDad & Thing 1 rocked it! Man, what a day!
Mandatory Pre-Race that kid is getting tall!
Check out that dude stretching on the starting line. Really?
The day started out early, but with the time change and the extra hour of sleep I got, having to work 7-11am before heading to the race didn't seem too bad at all.  In fact, it was a good, smoothe morning on the trauma floor & I finished on time, did a quick change & headed out to meet SD & Thing 1 at the race.  They got there ahead of me & got our race numbers/tshirts so I didn't even have to stand in line.  Good deal! The weather was beautiful! It was a perfect fall day, 50 degrees, sunny & I was about to run a half marathon with my family.  When I got there I was a little disappointed to find that Thing 2 had decided to stay at home, but I understood. He had a BIG english project to finish up.  Race photographer Mum volunteered to send frequent updates to Thing 2 so he didn't feel too left out.  Race photo Mum is awesome! As we stood at the start, SD turned to me and asked: Did you ever think we'd be running a race like this together??? Nope. Never in my wildest dreams.  I never thought I'd be a runner & SD thought his days of running long distances were over. In fact, his last half was this very race in 2002! Never underestimate the power of a teenage challenge.  When I said I'd be running this race (for the shirt;)) Thing 1 said he'd like to do it too. Then he says to SD.....I think I can beat you now.  Well, the gauntlet was dropped & SD picked it up & with a 4 week training plan, set out to keep his speediest runner of the house title.....Thing 1 actually trained....they were ON!

We are off! The beautiful CCC campus :)

Mile 3
Believe it or not, I'm walking on air....;)
The Red Baron starts on the campus of Corning Community College, a place near & dear to my heart as this is where I went to nursing school.  We started in the shadow of the nursing & science buildings & I reflected how far I'd come in the past few years.  I was happy. I was going to run with my family...even though it was the loosest sense of the term since I didn't see those speed demons after the gun went off...but it was enough to know they were there joining me in this challenge.  We wound through the campus & into the adjacent neighbourhood & immediately began tackling the rolling, relentless hills that encompass the first 5 miles, culminating in the local version of Heartbreak Hill. I started off well, though I thought I was probably pushing the pace a bit when I saw my first mile under 10 minutes.  I was feeling ok & thought that if I could get a couple minutes in the bank I wouldn't be too behind when I hit the BIG ONE.  Running photo mum was waiting at mile 3 taking photos.  Thanks! I was pretty pumped to realize that I ran through 4 miles in around 38 minutes.  I was doing WELL! At mile 4 I put my head down for the mile slog to the top.  I didn't look up. I didn't want to know how much I still had to endure.  When Big G beeped 5 miles, I grabbed my Gu & took it before I hit the next water station. There wouldn't be another until mile 9.  This is a low key local race. Water was at 3,5,9 & 12 only. That's it. If you wanted more or other fuel, you had to carry it.  I didn't mind.  After all, I only paid $20 to run & it was for a good cause.

The last mentionable hill comes just before the 10K mark. I hit 10K in 59:45! The first time I've done it in under an hour in a longer distance! Yay for me! Miles 6-9 are downhill.  I think I might  have uttered Weeeeeeeeee!!!! at one point ;-D  I was a bit concerned when I felt a sharp pain on the inside of my right knee....didn't impeed my running, but was a bit annoying.  Any idea what that is?  (Probably my crappy form...which I have had an epiphany about. I will address it in an upcoming post)  By the time I got to mile 9, I realized that because I was STILL hitting sub 10 miles, my goal of a 2:10 was not only attainable but beatable.  I was pumped.  The last area is flat, which was a relief.  I gave this race everything I had.  I held nothing back.  During the last mile I reeled in 7 annoying people that passed me during the downhill.  Gotta say I loved that. 
1:36:02 a 39 minute PR!
1:35:14 a 2 minute PR!
I finished strong. 2:05:34 & I was done!  Saw SD & Thing 1 and asked how their race turned out.  It was a close call.  SD caught Thing 1 around mile 12 and beat him by 48 seconds! Wow!
SD 1:35:14 11 minute PR!
Thing 1 1:36:02

The best part of this race was that although I had a secret in-the-back-of-my-mind goal of 2:10, I really was out there to enjoy the race & spend time doing something I love with my family.  I finally realize that I ran well. Not just well 'for me', but well for any regular runner! 9:34 pace is nothing to belittle myself is a GOOD pace & I'm proud of myself for having fun, giving it my all & being able to acknowledge the change in me over the past year.  I am no longer just a beginner....I am a runner!

Post race photo by Thing 2: OMG! They are making me take another family photo!
Plus....I got my shirt! My Club 'O Crazy now has an official membership shirt:
Official member of the Wine Baron Club ;-D


Angella said...

You ARE a runner now!! I cannot wait to run my first have no idea how inspirational it is to read your story. Great job!! :)

Julie, the mama said...

AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! Wow! I bet you are still walking on air after that time.

Jose said...

Wow! Congrats to you all on your PRs!!.... yep, it's official, you ARE a runner!!

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

Great job to all of you!

Jim ... 50after40 said...

Stretch Armstrong at the starting line is funny. Awesome ... and three PR's, what a great day - but that was probably nothing compared to running with your family! Congrats to everyone!

Nelly said...

Wow you have a fast family! Like Jim said, congrats on the 3 PRs!

Coy Martinez said...

Well done!! You look STRONG in those pics! And you're smiling! That counts for a lot in the end!

Neon Blonde Runner said...

Congrats on a wonderful half marathon, and a fabulous PR!!!

Thanks for the congrats on my first marathon, I really appreciate it :) I've joined your club now, haha.