6'0 tall, former athlete, mother of 3, struggling to keep up on the RUN of daily life.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Capital City Half Marathon May 17, 2009

Stats for Capital City Half Marathon:
13.1 miles
Time: 1:43:39
Pace: 7:54
Sunny day, rolling hills, no wind, surrounded by runners of all shapes sizes and ages.

Just near the start line...a ball of nervous energy!!
My supportive hubby running to take photos while carrying my heavy camera.
Activity just before GO!!
The front of the pack. Note my red-head buddy is on the far left in the red race tank stretching.
And we are off!! the lady next to me looks so determined..

Mile 1 (7:03):
Coming into the race I was more nervous of being in sea of people at the start than I was to run the race. I have a phobia of crowds. Thank goodness I am tall so I can see above most everyone. Hubby and I got there early so we could get a spot close to the start line. His plan was to walk/jog to two spots on the course and snap a few photos, bless his heart he wore the backpack with my heavy camera. I could not decide if I should take off my long sleeve shirt….so I kept it on BIG MISTAKE more about that later. Everyone poised to start. My heart was beating with anticipation. GO!!! I scrambled to maneuver around people, reminded me of the busy hall-ways in high school. I realized that I TOTALLY forgot to start my Garmin, DER.. The tightly packed group spread out quickly SWEET!! I found a comfortable spot toward the front of the pack. Nearing the Farmers Market and Port of Olympia area there was a STENCH…thankfully that only lasted for a small distance. I loved running next to the water admiring the sail boats and the outfits of other pretty runners. Dave planned to meet me at the end of the scenic stretch and there he was with the camera, I smiled, waved and sped by.
I moved to the right so Hubby could get a good photo.
And here I am...buzzing after mile 1
Love the leg muscles of me and my fellow lady runners.
I am not in this picture but Dave wanted to show the LINE of people, pretty cool

Mile 2 (7:23):
Just after mile 2 there was a gradual CLIMB for most of the next couple miles, so I kept with the fast pace to gain some speed to make up for my slower pace on the incline. I was going FAST, fast for me but it felt good. I was passing people left and right, my main goal was to stay in front of women in my age group, while running it is pretty difficult to tell someone’s age.LOL.. I kept on trading spots with a little blond with braided hair, a water belt and muscular thighs, that girl was determined. As she past me I thought I would for sure pass her later (never happened). First water station but I was not ready yet, I smiled at the volunteers.

Mile 3 (7:48):
Time to CLIMB!! The Capital City ½ Marathon is HILLS, rolling hills, steep hills, monster hills, not much flat to enjoy. My legs were strong as I ran the gradual incline, mentally I compared it my training hill on Sunrise, although this hill was much longer, just over a mile. The roads were lined with flush green trees, BEAUTIFUL!! I kept to the right, trying to avoid meandering in front of people. I passed 33rd street, my favorite number made me smile.

Mile 4 (7:48):
The end of the climb was tough. I felt my legs slow as a girl in a lycra pink tank-top passed, I thought about asking her where she got it but resisted the urge. I am guessing that chatting about shopping is bad race etiquette. Water station, this one I was ready for. I grabbed a cup for an adorable boy in an oversized volunteer shirt. Everyone smiled and clapped, I LOVE the energy of those on the sidelines. I thought hmmmm, I am not even a 3rd of the way there.

Mile 5 (8:02):
The roads were closed off, well sort of. There were times when I darted to the shoulder to avoid traffic. This stretch of road was a no-shoulder residential section. A man who looked in his late 70’s was all decked out in red white and blue flag clothing was walking with the runners, guess he thought it was a good day to stroll, I doubt he even noticed all of us running past him, PRECIOUS!! My head phones would not stay in, what a PAIN!! I am tempted to take them back and try again. I realized that I do not like to run to Justin Timberlake songs and there are a few on my IPod, SKIP SKIP SKIP. I passed the first race-promoted viewing site and say families with signs, noise makers and big smiles. I hoped that Dave would make it to where we planned to meet.

Mile 6 (7:56):
Starting to get hot and annoyed at my STUPID choice to wear long sleeves I could focus on nothing else. I unzipped the top portion and got some relief. Just as I was passing a house with the street number 3333 an older lady in a pink Danskin Triathlon tank glided past. She was graceful and effortless, like she had done this a million times and was out for a jaunt in the park. I envied her grace as I clomped over a tree branch.

Mile 7 (7:39):
This part of the course seemed a bit unplanned. We swerved through ugly neighborhoods turning and wavering left, right, left… I was glad I was with a small pack of people or I would have been really off track. My plan was to take a Gu at the midway point with some water. Many of the water stations came without warning, thankfully the one at mile 7ish was on a straightaway, so I pulled the Gu pack from my rump pocket, forced down an orange flavored grossness, tossed the refuse in the trash bin, grabbed a water and was OFF. Pretty darn smooth for no practice with taking Gu while running. A lady near me grabbed a water sponge, I am not sure if I will ever do that I am not a fan of being wet while running. As the heat increased I sort of wished I had grabbed a sponge.

Mile 8 (8:00):
I was HOT!! I thought about taking my shirt off, stopping and re-pinning my race number to my t-shirt, NO I was not going to waste my momentum fixing my stupid decision. I knew I would see Dave on the next mile and wished I could toss him my shirt but instead took it off and wrapped it around my waste with the race number facing out. RELIEF! If I would have just worn my t-shirt, less distraction, Oh well. A man passed me with black long sleeves, gloves, a lycra beanie cap and another shirt, WHY? OK that guy had to be roasting. The temp was not overly hot, but as you run the body temp, STRANGE. (FYI he finished just behind me...LOL)

Mile 9 (7:25):
All I could think about was seeing Hubby, I hoped that he didn’t get lost and would make it to see me. I was mentally preparing myself for him to not be there but also truly praying for a familiar face, the one person who was there just for me to cheer me on and take my picture. The guy with my Blue Gatorade and a smile to keep me going, he was planning to be at the bottom of a tree lined decline. As I rounded the corner and sprinted down I saw him and started waving like an IDIOTLOL.. I think I had lost all inhibition at that point and just wanted to make sure he saw me. Dave ran a little with me and handed me my YUMMY blue Gatorade. It was refreshing, seeing him was wonderful…but it lasted about 15 seconds and I was off.
The rare decline on the course...ZOOMIN!!
Here I come HONEY!!!
Oh geez these are out of order...he got to the spot and took a picture of the pace car. I was nowhere near the pace car, pretty cool pic.
Next up the hill that nearly defeated me.

Mile 10 (8:46):
I had heard a man at the starting line talking about the hill at mile 10 being the toughest part of the course, I took a mental note. After running 9 miles a hill that would take your car effort to drive up is HELL. I kept my stride, I fought, I tried, I was pooping out….people started to walk and I REALLY wanted to join them. This race had been nice until this mile, it was TOUGH!! My breath was labored and just then a man in his 30’s looked at me and in a calm voice said “Slow down and breathe.” There are many angels in the world, that day he was mine. He had no idea the impact those 4 words had on me. He gave me the permission to let myself recover, I was fighting and what I needed to do was recover for just a minute. I slowed my pace but never stopped, and I got my breath back. Toward the middle of the hill an impromptu band in tie-died shirts played an off tune version of “Eye of the Tiger,” internal laughter and a big thumbs up for them.

Mile 11 (8:31):
DEFEATED by the time I reached the summit of Mount Killed My Legs (LOL) I tried to maintain focus with a fuzzy head and groggy body. At that moment I let the question enter my brain “Why am I doing this?” which followed closely by “How am I ever going to finish a Marathon?” My internal struggles and negative thoughts were partnered with an increased urge to urinate. WHAT? I had never had to GO while running, guess I over-hydrated. There was no way I was going to stop! I was too close to slow down. I prayed my mommy bladder would keep it in. Suddenly I realized I was nearly alone, there was one tall runner in a red shirt in front of me and nearly no one behind me, STRANGE. I sped up to make sure I would not lose the pack.

Mile 12 (8:21):
There were signs lining the road that said “You are almost there,” and “Don’t give up.” I tried to focus on those words but inside I felt DONE. I flipped through my IPod desperate to have music to get lost in….VICTORY I found my song, “Untouched” blared in my ears and the thought “You have 1 mile left and you are going to beat your goal” lifted my spirits. The last 3 miles were the LONGEST miles of any I have ever run, which I will admit was mostly mental, but having to GO did not help. I ran past the last water station trying not to look for fear I would wet myself. The volunteer waved and smiled, all the volunteers were GREAT!!

Mile 13 (7:45):
The last mile… There was a 5 mile race going on which ended in the same location as the half, hmmmm I think that the people who were finishing when I was running were there for the t-shirt. GET OUT OF MY WAY I AM TRYING TO FINISH MY FIRST HALF MARATHON!!! GRRRRR… They walked 3 wide as I dodged traffic to get around. Ahead I saw the girl in the pink lycra tank, I knew she was in my age group and wanted so badly to pass her, but at the end of a long race 200 yards is a lot to make up. She would win today, but overall I felt great I did not get past by many females and I knew that I would beat my race goal. Finally all the hills were in my favor, the last bit of the race to the FINISH is down hill, SWEET!!! Brittany bellowed "Womanizer", my anthem to the Line..

Mile 13.1 (6:55):

I SPRINTED, my long strides felt amazing. I turned my shirt around so my race number showed. The streets were lined with people cheering and taking pictures. I could not find Dave, but I knew he was there. Not shy I waved with 2 hands to the crowd, PRIDE grinning my cheesy dimpled smile. SUCCESS!! VICTORY!! I was pumped the announcer said “There is an energetic young lady.” You bet I am! The clock said 1:43:39. My goal was 1:45, AMAZING!! That is sub 8 minute miles for 13.1 miles. I saw Dave poised with the camera and video. He was taping and all I could think about was going to the bathroom, DORKY race video coming soon. I gave him a kiss and ran to the Honey Bucket, thankfully there was no line.

I don’t have my overall standings yet…so look for that and my post-race thoughts in the next couple days. All in all I am super excited to be a Tall Half Marathon Mom.

Here I come!! Note 5 mile walkers to me left..
Waves and smiles!! LOVED THAT FINISH LINE!!
The race Map
Relaxing and watching people get their awards...
So that is it....more STATS and a DORKY video coming soon..


Being Robinson said...

Oh WOW! That's an amazing time. YAYAYAY and congrats. You are super speedy. Your first time out pace is my ultimate I hope I can run a half marathon that fast one day pace. You are incredible!

Last note, my speedwork days the past week were done at the pace you ran that half. HA. I need to come train with YOU!

Kelly said...

I completely agree with the above poster- I can't even keep that time for a 5k, not to mention a half marathon!!!

Great job!

Tall Girl Running said...

Incredibly impressive. Congratulations!

With a little more training and race experience, you could be poised to bring home some serious hardware. Keep it up!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Wow, stellar time, and great race report! Love all the pics too!! Well done.

Jill said...

Oh Mel and am so proud of you! What an amazing race you ran! Your mile 10 brought tears to my eyes because it's shocking how a few simple words can calm you! Great job, love the detailed report! THANK YOU! I love that Dave was there the whole way for you. What a great support! I can't believe you kept such a great speed the entire time...way to go!

Velma said...

Holy crap - you are fast. Who says tall people aren't fast. WAY TO GO!

JTC said...

Congratulations - what an awesome time especially with all the hills! Thank you for the link to the 1/2 training plan.

Oz Runner said...

great race report, great pics, and amazing time! i would love to have a time like that....way to go...

Melanie Tait said...

Well done on the race, Mel. What a terrific time! You looked like you were loving it in each of the pics. Loved your race report. So inspiring.

Lynette said...

Yay Mel! I am so excited for you:) You ROCK!! I may not ever run the distances you do, but you inspire me to do my best in prep for next year's Race for the Cure.

J said...

Great job on the race! You rocked it with an awesome time!! You are super speedy! Love the pictures of you through the race...it is nice to have a guy who takes pictures of you!!

Felice Devine said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome! You are so speedy! What a great job!!!

Unknown said...

wow - you're a fast one!

love all the photos, you look like you had fun.

especially like the leg muscles photo - muscles on women = sexy strong!!

Rookie on the Run said...

You are one speedy woman!! Awesome time & pace!

I love the pictures... you look like you're having so much fun in all of them. Even in the Mount Killed My Legs pics.

Kudos to your husband for being able to keep up with you and take lots of pictures!

Denise said...

Thanks so much for that sweet comment you left yesterday. It brought tears to my eyes. All the supportive comments have been overwhelming. I appreciate your kind words.

IzzyBubbles said...

What an AWESOME time!! I totally agree with FWR, I hope I can run a 1/2 someday that fast, I'm just hoping to run something under 2 hours the next time around!! I'm not even sure I could do a 5k that fast at this point. You ROCK!! Can't wait to see how you do in your first marathon. :)

Aron said...

wow AMAZING job on a super SPEEDY half marathon!!! love all the pics too! CONGRATS :)

Mrs. Mom said...

Just read this! Sooo encouraging esp since my first half is next weekend! I love your attention to detail. I can't wait to write about my own victory! :) Thanks for sharing!!!