Race report, part 2 (probably not as exciting as part 1)
So, despite the garage door trying it’s best to prevent us from getting to the race, we made it on time to the start line and even had a few minutes to stretch and get loosened up. “I can’t believe we made it,” I said with a hoarse voice from the Tarzan-yelling.
Eyegirl took a puff from her asthma inhaler and we put it in my cycling jersey rear pocket. I think it was actually a great choice to wear the cycling jersey. Maybe I looked like a dummy, but I hardly noticed having the inhaler in there, compared to my shorts pocket, where I am always worried things will fall out.
We agreed in advance to walk the first mile, especially since a good warm up is supposed to be helpful in preventing an asthma attack. (We are new to this asthma stuff, and need to soon write about the story of how we discovered it.) It’s tempting to start running at the beginning of a race, especially when everyone is buzzing past you, but the more experience we have accumulated with running, the more we are starting to realize that a little bit of walking doesn’t seem to affect your overall time that much.
So, we crossed the first mile marker somewhere around 15 minutes and started at our usual jogging pace. The weather was pretty much ideal, we thought and the scenery was nice, lots of leaves changing color and the course snakes through the State Park. One thing that we both found frustrating though about the route was that in a number of places, the course loops back on itself, so you see the runners ahead of you coming back for a long time and not sure when the turn around is going to happen. On the plus side, this did mean that we got to see the leaders blazing by at their insane 5 minute pace.
Anyhow, we plugged along, mostly with my bum dragging behind Eyegirl at least a few steps. (My pre-race prediction was that I would start strong, feeling good and wanting to run faster, and then somewhere around the middle, I would be dragging and Eyegirl would be just getting into high gear. Pretty much came true.) I was worried because we had forgotten the energy chews in the scramble to leave, and the banana smoothie was the only thing she had to eat. But of course, she is a champ and blasted through the race, proving you don’t need much special equipment to get it done.
Normally it bothers me a little that endurance athletes use the term “suffering,” especially cyclists, to describe what they are doing. After all, we run and ride our bikes for fun. But for this race, I really did feel like I needed to gather up some willpower to keep going through miles 10-13. (Maybe because we didn’t train nearly enough on the longer distances.) For the last mile, I kept wondering, where is the finish line?
We eventually saw it, and crossed with our best half marathon time yet, 2:36:40, still not too speedy compared to some of you folks out there, but about 5 minutes faster than our previous attempt! Another reason the cycling jersey came in handy: Normally when we finish a race, I grab a banana, granola bar, and water, then realize after it’s too late that I wish I had picked up some more snacks. This time, especially since Eyegirl had not had too much to eat, I grabbed a bunch of things and put them in my pockets. This worked out great, since I mentioned that I had also forgotten my wallet and we were going to have to make it home before we could get some lunch.
Thanks to all of the volunteers who helped with this race!
Unfortunately we don’t have any pictures from the race itself (forgot the camera in the scramble), but here is an “after” picture: