Sunday, October 3, 2010

A half marathon was my long run!

I decided to run this half marathon as my long run this week.  I couldn't face the thought of running 14 miles alone again.  I had to work yesterday so was not able to go to the group run that I have been going to the last few weeks for 16, 20, 12 and 20. 
I had to get up at 4am, leave at 4:45am and drive an hour and 40 minutes to get there. 
I heard from friends who have run it before that the second half has some hills; they were absolutely right!  I was running under 9:30 miles the first 6 miles and was worried that I was running too fast and would have a really hard time the last few miles.  Immediately after crossing the halfway timing mat we made a left turn and there was the first mountain!!  From there on I did not run under 10 minutes until the last mile.  I'm not sure what came over me but I had 8:49 for the 13th mile!  I think I just wanted to be done!  I could hear people around me say that the hills stop after the 10th mile.  I can't really remember but I think there was some uphill after 10 but not as bad.  the last mile seemed to be fairly flat, the finish was downhill. 
I was surprised that they were handing out those shiny blankets at the finish!!  I was freezing and was glad to have it.  I couldn't find my car.  I kept walking and following where I would see a large group of people walking but nothing looked familiar.  It was on a college campus.  I was getting very frustrated since I was freezing and I had to go to work.  I saw a group of people in black and yellow suits which said "staff" on them so I asked and a man took me on a golf cart.  He dropped me off at the edge of the field where the cars were parked and I still had a hard time finding the car.  It looked much different than when I got there with all the cars.  FINALLY, I found the car and headed to work.  I showered and changed into my uniform at one of the stations and manned a medical tent at a fall festival in a small community in our service area.  (A shift that absolutely nobody else in the entire company could cover so I agreed to do after running a half marathon)  A very interesting afternoon but that is for another post!! (tomorrow maybe)

There was a man running the half that I've heard about; he dribbles 3 basketballs!  I saw him by the start line; I believe he starts near the back.  I heard a lady say that he passes her every time and she can't believe that a man dribbling 3 basketballs goes faster than she does!!  I thought to myself, ok, that can be my goal to not let the basketball dude pass me!  I don't remember at what point it was but all of a sudden I could hear the basketballs behind me and then the sound got closer.  This course has 2 portions on gravel trails and I think that slowed him down because I realized that I didn't hear him anymore once I was on roads again after the first trail section.  But...later on, maybe around mile 10 or 11, maybe later, Ican't remember, but I began to hear it again and it was getting closer again.  Well, he never did pass me so that makes me feel better!!  Maybe it was nearing the 12 mile point that I heard the basketballs because I did run the last mile faster than any other mile.  I wasn't aware of him finishing; I'm sure I would have heard the basketballs.  They moved the finishers right on through the area and toward the post-race area.

Sooooo, anyway,  
2 weeks till "M" day!!!!  Grand Rapids, Here I come!!!!!!!!!!!!

Exhausted Runner Nerd

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