6'0 Tall wife to Muscle Man, mother of 3, full time career woman, with an addiction to running wherever her size 10's will take her.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Frightfest Half Marathon 09 Race Report

I signed up for this race in SMALL town Rochester, WA because the Half Marathon was just $40, well you get what you pay for!! Race time was 10:30AM and we had an hour drive...the boys were with Grandma and Grandpa so we got to sleep in until nearly 8AM.. SWEET!!

Packed up the car and headed out. It was SUNNY and beautiful but as we drove further South the rain cloud were getting closer and closer. I had high hopes to wear my Giraffe costume but brought backup gear for RAIN.

We arrived at packet pickup.. 3 people with Boxes.. Little bags with a tacky white cotton t-shirt and a BIG race number.. No Timing chips.. Swede Hall, race central, was a dark building suitable for a ho-down or shotgun wedding. Thankfully there were bathroom with real toilets!!! YIPPEE!!

As I pinned on my race number the dark clouds opened up and dropped buckets of water. We ran to the car to get my Rain gear.. UGH!! Poor Giraffe would stay in the car. I changed and got my Garmin ready to go, takes FOREVER on a rainy day.
Here we are in the gravel start line...umm start area. I was fussing with my Garmin so much that I totally forgot to get my Ipod ready. Then a mid weight fella said "Go." OK I guess we are running.. NOTE: The man to my left with the torn shirt and ponytail beat me, I LOVE running you can never judge a book by its cover..
There was a 5K, 10K, 10 Mile, Half and Full Marathon. All out and back courses. It was impossible to tell who was running what. I almost wore my fuel belt because I had no idea where the water stops would be.. In hindsight I should have.. Oh well!!
Mile 1- 6:55 pace
All smiles at mile 1, I wish this photo was not blurry.. As usual the race excitement makes my legs CRUISE, way faster than I should be going. I told myself to slow down, but instead paced the first mile with the big boys. Including a man in a yellow Marathon Maniacs tank top, gold chain and shorts. Did he not know it was POURING RAIN??
The course Map was BAD so Muscle Man opted to stay in the car and read his book. He could have seen me over and over along the course as it was one LONG STRAIGHT BORING course.
This is our "new to us" car. We sold his dram car to get one for half the price. I am not only a decent runner but a GREAT negotiator on the car lot..got this baby for $2K under blue book!!
  • Mile 2- 7:24 pace
The rain continued.. One of the ear buds from my Ipod was cutting in and out, my jacket was swishing, I stepped in a puddle, I was IRRITATED!!! I left my favorite rain coat at home DUH!! For all the annoyances I held a strong pace.
  • Mile 3- 7:39 pace
Still on track for my GOAL pace but slowing a little. People were turning to head back for the various race distances. I had planned to Chomp and Gu at regular intervals but with the unexpected water stops I was LOST and totally thrown off of my plan. I took my Gu Roctane was earlier than expected because I wanted to have it with water.
  • Mile 4 - 7:56 pace
I love to run outside especially with the Fall Leaves. I however do not like to run on LONG flat roads which seem to go forever, and I don't like to run along the side of the road on uneven pavement. LUCKY ME, the entire course is described in my previous sentence. As my pace slowed I was ALONE!! No one in front, no one behind.
  • Mile 5- 7:58 pace
At this point the front runners were heading back to the start. I knew I was in front as I had passed all of the women. I might WIN a Half Marathon!! Some walk/run Women were heading toward me?? Ummmm color me confused!! How were these women in front of me? My guess was they started early and were running the Marathon. I cheered them on, one woman had colorful capris and a bright smile, I could tell she was so excited to be running a Marathon. I felt bad for her to have such horrible weather and such a BORING course.
I hit the turn around and slowed to a near stop to drink a cup of Gatorade. UGH the water stops were annoying, I need to get a handheld ASAP!! I turned and ran for a bit then saw my competition, I am HORRIBLE with distances but it seemed that she was about a quarter mile back. Black shirt and pink shorts. I cursed myself for stopping to drink.
  • Mile 6- 8:03 pace
My legs felt heavy and I was getting hot. The rain stopped and my swishy coat was driving me crazy...I broke my own rule and wore gear I had never run in before. I decided to focus less on my pace and to just cheer people on. I am not sure if people were annoyed but every runner I passed I said "Good Work!" or "Way to Go" and waved or did the double thumbs up. If I was going to get through this race I was going to do it by focusing on things outside of myself.
  • Mile 7- 7:58 Mile 8- 8:16 Mile 9-8:13 pace
This part of the race is a blur. I kept telling myself to "Make it work" and as Lacey told me "Be Fierce." I knew that my Goal time was out of reach, my legs did not want to run 7:33 miles. But I knew I was in first, which was an AMAZING feeling. I was getting thirsty and knew I should Gu, I thought I saw a water stop, AKA Car with little table next to it, so I took half the Gu. It was actually a car that had broken down road side. LUCKY ME I had a mouth full of Gu and nothing to wash it down with... NICE!!
I knew I was getting closer to Swede Hall and only had a 5K left to race. I also knew I was still in front and that I was see Muscle Man at the 10 Mile mark. I took off my coat which had my Gu and Chomps, I held it and planned to pass it off.
  • Mile 10- 8:27
There was my hubby. I was TIRED and truly did not want to run another 5K. I had cut short come of my training runs and I could tell that I was not in the shape I wanted to be in for the race. Factor in the Rain, Lack of Fuel, and wardrobe malfunctions and this was not my day.
I smiled as best I could. This picture is what the ENTIRE course looked like. I thought I would like a semi-flat course, but what I would have given for a little hill to mix things up. As I grabbed my Gatorade from hubby he ran a little and asked if I wanted him to run with me.. It would be nice to have the company so I said yes. He ran to the car and I continued on. This part of the course was not well marked but I am pretty savvy so I figured it out. The FRONT RUNNER was not happy at all with the course markings and let the Course Director know after the race. He said he had to ask for directions several times.. Ummmm it is an out and back?? Not sure how he could get lost??
  • Mile 11- 8:35 pace
I was losing focus. When I run with hubby I go his pace, which is slower than mine. I could feel my legs slowing to his pace. It felt good, but this was not in the plan. I was tired and I know that once I slow I am not good at speeding back up. I said "You are slowing me down!" Yes I am mean!! So he sped up but I could tell he was struggling.
  • Mile 12- 8:36 pace
"I am going to die" I yelled! I think if I was alone I would not have lost it, but running with my husband I let my vulnerability in. NOT GOOD! "I need you to keep me going." We ran side by side not talking. I realized that Pink shorts was gaining on me. As we got to the turn I asked "Where is she?" She is 100 yards back. "S---!" My legs sped up. I felt sick, the Gatorade and Gu were not sitting well. Then my sole mate said something that I LOVED "Every step you take is closer to the Finish!" The usual "You are almost there!" Drives me crazy while racing, but his words were just what I needed.
  • Mile 13- 8:22 pace
I was giving it all I had. I was so tired and so ready to be done! My plan was to leave every ounce of energy on the Course and I was doing just that. I was running as hard as I could on this day. "Where is she?" "60 yards back." OK I have to speed up. With that I left Muscle Man and sped up. I could tell she was running about 8:15 pace and had been the entire race. She was gaining on me as I slowed. If I could get down to 8:00 pace I would WIN! Winning was what kept me going.
  • Mile .37- 7:52 pace
The course 13.37 miles. REALLY?? UGH!! I hit the Half Marathon mark and still had forever to go!! I was in front. My PR pace had passed, but I was going to WIN. I nearly wet my pants (common for me) as I crossed the makeshift Finish Line. 1:47:20, I think?? #1 for the women!! Pink shorts crossed just after me, official result are not up yet. I said "You were on my tail the last 5K." she replied "Great race!" We both were happy to be done.
Here I am in the parking lot Finish area. Note the characters in charge of the race LOL!! Small town races are great because I can WIN! The overall organization is seriously lacking. I doubt I will run this race again..
I was wet and needed to change. As I changed I chatted with Andrea?? She was wearing Boston 09 shorts!! Yep she had run Boston and was telling me all about it. We swapped stories. She had run a BQ race at Rock 'N' Roll Seattle but is not sure she can afford to go in 2010. I should have asked her what her next race was and when/where she trained. But I didn't! I am hoping I can find a way to re-connect because I would love to train with her.
My Giraffe costume was DRY..which was nice because I ended up wearing it to Trick or Treat with the kiddos.. Thanks again to Tangle Wit Designs if you want a fun hat go check out the handmade creations!! The awards were not going to be given out until 3:30PM!! We had things to do so I got my Trophy...the Winner got a Trophy, bummer I wanted a Medal.. I am 333% sure I would have won the costume contest, I handed out a few business cards to people who liked my hat.

I ate some Chili, and a turkey sandwich. On the way home I felt HORRIBLE. Like I was going to pass out or vomit. I had pushed my body to the limit and I had WON!! By the time we were ready to Trick or Treat I was back to my normal Tall Mom self.

Thanks to EVERYONE for the well wishes. I did not PR but I feel amazing. You never know what you can accomplish when you out your heart, and energy into something. OK off to start counting the entries for the Giveaway...

58 comments:

Laura said...

How cool to get first place! I bet you feel awesome. Congrats! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your race report.

KAT said...

You are awesome!!! And giraffes are my favorite animal, so I thoroughly approve of your rockin costume! What a great Halloweeen- got to work off all of that candy, haha ;)

Britt said...

Congrats on FIRST PLACE!! You kicked butt in crappy race weather!
That first picture w/ the rain puddle starting line is crazy!!

Suzy said...

You gave it your all AND got first place. You are awesome! Congrats.

Micki said...

Great job Mel!!!! Gotta love the Pac-NW weather and small towns ;)

Steel Springs said...

Wow! Awesome!

Janice {Run Far} said...

YAY for #1....
love the Giraffe costume.

Kelly said...

YAYYY For WINNING, thats awesome! Congrats :) Sorry the course was so boring though, but it is fun to win!

Velma said...

AHHHH!! #1 Rock Star. Nice work. I love the costume, and way to have such a great, tough attitude. YEA!!!! A PR is sure to come very, very soon.

Cassie said...

Great job Mel! Congrats!!

Robin said...

HUGE hugs and tears (of joy!) from Orlando! Way to give it your ALL.. and then some! :-)

(And yes, you ARE 'seasoned' in my book!)

r.

HEATHER @ runfastermommy! said...

I LOVE running you can never judge a book by its cover..

isn't that the truth!!

CONGRATULATIONS on your WIN!!!! You are so awesome, I hope I can be as FAST as you some day!! I'm sorry you had the GU/Gatorade yuck belly. Can't someone come up with something to prevent that for us? It really messes with our running, jeesh!!
LOL!

congrats again, I'm so proud of you girl!

Jenn said...

First off, Super congrats for WINNING your race! No spectators or fellow runners pushing you take a dip out of the adrenaline well! You prevailed and did a great job! Also, I have never run a half that measured that long. An extra .27 is like a 2+minute difference in your finishing time. How irritating! Once again, Great job!!

shellyrm said...

Way to rock it out!!!!! To win beats a PR any day if you ask me. And a win in the rain. WoooHoooo! Savor the victory.

Rio Runs said...

It must be a great feeling to place in a race, let alone 1st place- Congratulations!!!! You did awesome despite the weird unpredictable environment. :)

Jo Lynn said...

A 6:55 mile? Whew!
Congratulations on the win. I can't even imagine what that would feel like.
In the first picture, that lady standing next to you looks SO short. Now THAT, I can imagine. LOL
Good job, Mel! ;)

Kerrie T. said...

So interesting to see the differences between big and small races. Way to hang in there and WIN! That must feel amazing!

Amanda said...

OMG, YOU WON!!! That's amazing! But now you just make me feel bad because I justify my slowness on my height...like I'm too tall to move very fast and you just blow that theory all to heck! Lol at the guy in the ripped shirt and ponytail, and the marathon maniac with the bling.
That sounds like a tough race being long and flat and on uneven pavement. Way to go!!

Teamarcia said...

Congrats on a great WIN!!! And in some really crappy conditions too!

Paige said...

Awesome!!!! Making it through adversity and....WINNING!

Mary said...

MEL!!
Oh my, you should have run my course!! Unexpected hills, no rain, circles, around lakes...nothing like out and back.

GREAT JOB!! It is so great you won! Sorry for all the malfunctions, but this is another under your belt! What a great job!!

Tom, Lynette, and family said...

tee-hee-hee...You're awesome:)

Katie said...

Congrats on the win. Sounds you gave it everything PRs don't matter. You got your PR for the day!

Love the costume bummer you couldn't run in it.

Badgergirl said...

Congrats on the win! Gotta love it when you take home some hardware. :)

Oz Runner said...

great race report....i was gripped there at the end where you were tired and the pink shorts girl was gaining on you..way to gut it out and score a 1st place prize..fantastic job!....sorry you didn't get to wear the giraffe costume and you had to run in rain...and i hate it when my headphones cut in and out too...

Christina said...

First female finisher!! That is so awesome. Great job!

Kasey said...

Yay for you! 1st place- that is so awesome! And your costume was super cute! Great Job!

aron said...

CONGRATS on your FIRST place finish!!! seriously first place is SO freaking awesome! love your attitude too :) you did great out there.

couldnt agree more though on the "get what you pay for" i found that out the hard way in my last marathon too :)

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Congrats on the win!! That is amazing! Sounds like an interesting race, but you made the best out of it and killed it! Yay!

Rookie on the Run said...

Yay!! I knew it! You ROCK!!

Anna said...

Way to GO! Congrats on your 1st place!!

Running, kind of. said...

Too bad it was so poory organized! But great job despite the running conditions! You did awesome!

Lisa said...

Congratulations! Yeah, small races aren't the greatest but you still won and my God you are freakin fast!

Shelly! said...

Your race recaps are such jewels for me! I find such good value in how you review your running.

Congrats on pushing through some challenges - and not just finishing but winning!

CoachTief said...

Great work. If you could just cool your jets the first mile, you might have PR'ed. Fantastic job hanging in there for the win!

Laura said...

Huge congrats on your win even if it wasn't a PR.
I often yell: I think I am going to die. My run group laughs.

Morgan said...

Tough conditions girl! Great job on a race well run despite everything!!! Congrats on WINNING!!! Woo hoo!!! :)

onelittletrigirl said...

You run under a 7 min mile. Incredible! Congrats!

Carmen B. said...

What a motivation your post is for my half this weekend. It is half two for me and I really want to blow away my last time. Loved it! Congrats on being first. That is a dream of mine.

busyrunningmama said...

Great job, no PR, but HELLO, you won!! That my friend, is awesome!!! Great job pushing through the crappy weather and course!!!

The Jesse said...

congrats on your big win! that's so awesome!

Lacey Nicole said...

oh my gosh you were by yourself for that whole freaking race! that is such a challenge-- you really pushed yourself!!! and that is allll you!!!! WAY to GOooooOOOo!!!!! congrats and seriously... WAY FIERCE. :) first female!!!!!!!!!!! represeennnnnt!

Lisa said...

Congratulations!!! First place is AWESOME. Even though it wasn't a PR, it was a really well run race by you.

WTG!

Marlene said...

Oh Mel, talk about a mentally tough race with terrible conditions. You did AMAZING! Way to push through some seriosuly tough moments to WIN THE RACE! So proud of you!!!

Tri Mommy said...

Awesome race report. So you didn't PR... you did better - you won and you beat out the woman who was gaining on you. Yeah baby! You go girl!!

RunToTheFinish said...

wow #1 holy crap what a beginning year of racing for you rockstar

J said...

Congrats on first female for the half! That is awesome!

Jesse said...

Wow, First Place Female?!?! That's fantastic! That should probably count for more than a PR!

Lisa said...

Congrats on your win!! I've always wondered what it would be like to run a small town race since I've only raced in NYC. Sounds like it was both a bit interesting and a bit boring! Congrats again and cute costume!!

The Happy Runner said...

Way to go, Mel! The closest I've ever come to winning is winning my age group and that felt awesome so I can only imagine what totally winning would be like! So cool!!! Congratulations!

Nicole said...

You never cease to amaze me! Sorry it wasn't a PR...but I'd take a WIN any day!! Big, Huge, Congrats and HIGH FIVE on a job well done!!

lindsay said...

awesome! congrats on the win!! that rain - yuck, but you toughed it out and it certainly paid off. way to hold pink-shorts off in the end, and hopefully you found a new training buddy.

Alisa said...

yeah, first place!!!!!!

I know you didn't hit your A goal but you're on your way!

I hate running in the rain too.

Caitlin said...

Congratulations! First place is super-awesome (especially when it feels like so many forces are working against you :p)!

Runner Leana said...

Wow, congratulations on your win!! How amazing. An out and back would probably bore me to tears. Way to push through and finish strong!

Amy W said...

Great job!!

I am running my first 1/2 marathon on Sunday, OBX 1/2 marathon. And thanks for the inspiration, although I am hoping for under 2:30, not quite fast, but still a race!

Fran said...

Mel I really loved reading this post. I'm so proud of you that you've won!

Your one of my inspirations when it comes to running. I hope one day I'm as good a runner as you are!

EricaH said...

congrats on the win and PR.Even with the sucky weather you still did amazing :)