Sunday, May 1, 2011

A surprising personal best at Sunday's Flying Pig Half Marathon

My finisher's medal.
The whole morning before the race started I was wishing I wasn't there.

I don't mind racing in the rain ... when it's warm, but the weather at today's Flying Pig Marathon/Half Marathon brought cold temperatures (60 F is cold for me anyway) and, though I was dressed for rain, I was utterly dreading it.

As usual, I got to the site extra, extra early. The race started at 6:30 a.m. and I was there at 4 a.m. I just like to have that much room for margin of error and to get a good parking spot. I got ready, took a half-hour nap, then walked to the starting line corrals, or Pig Pens.

It was beginning to rain at that point, a cold rain, one that goes to the bone. As I was walking to my Pen, I stopped a couple times in a porta potty (there was no line and plenty were vacant) to just get away from it.

I toughed it out and got to my Pen, moving my way forward so that I could seek shelter under an overpass. I was not looking forward to racing in this rain. (Have I mentioned that yet?) It was barely 60 degrees and the wind blowing off of the Ohio was certainly not warming things up. I was going to be miserable. I wanted to just get back in my truck and leave.

I didn't even hear the gun go off I was so far back; I just started moving forward with the others. I began walking past people so I could start sooner than later so I could get the race overwith and get out of what was sure to be miserable, rainy conditions.

As I was walking fast, and especially as I began running after crossing the timing chip mat, I was delighted to observe that the rain wasn't nearly as cold as I thought it would be. Indeed, pretty soon I realized how good it felt.

It rained for about the first 45 minutes of the race. Once it died off, I pulled out my iPod and kicked off the music with Adele's Rolling in the Deep.

There were 6-7 hills on the course, a few of which were on bridges. I kept telling myself to take it easy and pace myself because I wanted to be able to report that I ran the entire 13.1 miles...

My race bib.
...And I am happy to report just that!

From mile 7 onward, there were many times when I wanted to take a break and walk. Plus my HR was pretty high. I just slowed down on my run and brought it back to a comfortable mid-170s.

Miles 10-13 were the hardest. You know you're so close, but still have a few miles to run. Thank goodness for the iPod, especially the last mile. It began to rain hard enough to warrant tossing the iPod back into my Fuel Belt, so I did. Pretty soon I realized I absolutely had to have it to get through this last mile, so I pulled it back out. Luckily, the rain turned back into a mist and thanks to R.E.M., Fall Out Boy and Live, I was able to push through.
I picked up my pace the last quarter mile and crossed the Finish Swine.

Second half marathon DONE!

I couldn't believe I'd run the whole thing without even stopping and especially without even stopping to stretch. I think in my first/last HM, I had to walk a little bit on mile 11 or 12, and I stopped multiple times to stretch.

That is probably why I knocked EIGHT MINUTES off my time over my last HM! Woo hoo! I thought for sure that I'd see an additional 15 minutes on my time for this run given how little I'd trained and when you consider the obstacles hills can be. In fact, I told my husband the night before, "I'll be surprised if I come in under three."

Needless to say, I'm very, very pleased with my performance in this race. Most importantly, though, I'm glad to now be home in warm, comfy clothes and already daydreaming about my next race.

That is, of course, always easier to do after a race instead of during.

TOTAL TIME: 2h 40m 09s

OVERALL: 7,342 out of 10,870

DIVISION: 583 out of 985

GENDER: 4,040 out of 6,859

P.S. For those of you who are curious, I did NOT see the streaker that got Tased by the cops. Sorry.


Meredith said...

SOOOO proud of you. YAY! Get some rest and give me more details tomorrow. Congrats. Meredith

Lora said...

Thanks so much, Meredith. Will be going to bed early tonight for sure.

Mike said...

Congrats! I hate running in cold rain as well. Nice to hear it wasn;t that bad.

Molly said...

WOOOOOW! That's a great PR - congratulations!!!!

Lora said...

Thanks, Mike! It was definitely a relief to realize it wasn't so cold.

Lora said...

Thanks, Molly. It was a nice treat at the end of a long morning for sure.

Bill G said...

Congrats. Waiting is the hardest part of bad weather events. We should be able to walk to the start line and just take off when we are ready if it is below 60, or raining, or windy :)

Enjoy your recovery!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on the race

Lora said...

So true, Bill! :) I always have this pensiveness about me before the start I can't seem to overcome. Once I've started, that's completely gone.

Lora said...

Thank you very much, Mr. Diesel! :)

KatieTri's said...

Yeah! Congrats on the PR! Way to dig deep and get'r done. :)

Lora said...

Thanks, Katie! I knew that tenacity was in there somewhere. Love how racing pulls that outta ya.

Rebecca Luschek said...

I started in pen E too :D great job on your finish!!! That was my first HM. I will def do more loved the atmosphere!!

Lora said...

Hey, nice to meet you, Rebecca! Can you believe how long that starting line was? Big, big, big congrats on finishing your first half! Woo hoo!

John said...

Great job on the HM! This is my first time to your site, what a wonderful blog!

Lora said...

Hey, thanks, John - and that's very kind of you to say!


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