Well, I have another 1/2 marathon under my belt!
Today I raced in the Heather A. Freeman Run to the Sun. I like this race as it supports a good cause. Not that there's anything wrong with running a non charity race but I like knowing that the entry fee is going to something important.
Anyway, as promised, we awoke to partly sunny skies, but a miserably cold 36 degrees. Damn that's cold. By the time we arrived at the race at 8 AM, it was a blistering 42. My first 1/2 was this one a year ago, and looking in my scrapbook, it was indeed 10 degrees warmer, but there was a terribly cold rain, so I shouldn't complain.
Before we left - with Marc's typical miserable expression whenever he gets his pic taken!
Marc again wished me luck as he had to hang around for an hour for the 10K to start. The horn sounded right on time and we were off. It took less then 2 miles before we established what would transpire for the entire race. One group jumped out in the lead and then there was a sizable gap and then some other packs quite far behind. I was at the ass end of the lead pack. From mile 2 on, we ran this way - seeming to stay paced with each other.
Here I am at the start. My tapering was right on point this year as I felt of strong mind and body.
At mile 3 we entered a cul-de-sac. Last year a number of racers were coming out of there just as I was entering - not so this time. I saw no one on my way in and as I came out - just before mile 4 - a whole group was just entering. I was surprised - I am still not used to thinking of myself as being a lead pack person.
They had markers noting each mile and when I hit mile 6 I was disappointed to see that their signs were about .25 miles off as my Garmin said 5.74. Last year we ended and my Garmin said that we had run only 12.6 miles and I had written the race organizers an e-mail (I'm guessing I'm not the only one - we are an obsessive lot as a whole) requesting that they re-measure for this year's race.
Mile 7 last year and this year was miserable. It's almost exclusively an uphill battle with one major hill and wide open farmland that just let loose the wind. Largely I was fine except my hands - who would have thought we would have needed gloves in the middle of May when it was 87 degrees just three days ago??!!
I continued to glare at the back of a woman and her husband who I had been steadily running behind - neither gaining or losing ground - from the beginning. They must run together all the time because they were a PERFECTLY oiled unit running as one. They were so in sync it was almost weird. At the 8 mile sign, she reached into her runner's pack and I could see her hand her hubby some gels and she ate some herself. I wasn't sure that she was the only woman in front of me, but I suspected she was.
I thought about taking this time to speed up and make my move even though their re-fueling hadn't really slowed them down. But I knew I had 5 more miles to go, too. Like a sign, my MP3 Player began playing "Steady As She Goes" by The Raconteurs and, silly or not, I took that as a sign to keep the pace.
But I steadily and slowly began gaining on them. At the Mile 9 sign, I had caught them. Realizing this, the girl looked frantic and began running fast to pass me. But she kept looking back at her husband and finally slowed and grabbed for his arm. What the hell did she think she was going to do - drag him for 4 miles? Above my music I heard her say "COME ON!!!" I could hear him say something and then heard "Just GO then!!" And she did. She blew past me. I was hoping that she would burn out, but no such luck - she was GONE.
Bitch. I mean - what a fine racer!
So I kept running and fortunately the last 3 miles of this race (as opposed to the the up and down hills which marks the first 10 miles) is relatively flat. So that last section, knowing that I was almost done and it being a nice surface was pretty cool. I had come to terms that I wasn't going to win and no one was close behind me - save a young guy that I had just passed - so I was able to just run for the fun of it.
I hit the sign that said mile 12 and looked at my Garmin which read 11.44. I was happy to be nearing the finish and was disappointed at the same time that it was about to be over. I was also upset about the discrepancy in the miles. Just over .5 miles later and we turned off our route and met up with the 5 and 10K walkers and runners. I kept waiting and waiting for the 13 sign to appear and then saw a sign that read 6 miles (10K) and looked at my watch and saw that the distance was now correct - no wonder that last mile seemed to long! It was actually over 1.5 miles. They clearly kept the signs all along the 1/2 course the same and just extended at the end!
I took the last turn and saw the finish sign. I knew I had been going along at a pretty good pace and my goal had been to finish in 1:40. I squinted as the red LED numbers got closed and I sailed over the line at 1:39:22!! Goal met!! I heard the announcer say "Jennifer Hudson Mosher just finished her half-marathon. And it looks like Jennifer is the 2nd place female - good job!"
So, here I am again - 2nd place - which makes me the #1 loser, right?
I grabbed the water bottle held out for me by one of the volunteers and they gave me my medal for finishing the half. Immediately - of course - over to the food tent. And then I waited for Marc to finish his 10K.
Final stats: 13th place overall - there were 105 half-marathoners.
2nd place female and first in my age group - I was creamed by a 28 year old.
Marc had a fantastic finish. One of his fastest times and he does not really consider himself a runner!
He placed 18th out of 101 10K'ers and blistered his record time coming in at 51:03.
Collecting my 2nd place finish prize - you can see how frigging WINDY it was!!
For coming in 2nd I was awarded a 1/2 hour massage at a local beauty parlor. Pretty exciting as I have never had a professional massage!!
So at the end of the day I'm pretty happy. I really would have liked to get first, but I ran a good race and simply got beat. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday....