First half marathon of the year…St. George, UT Jan. 22, 2011 9am:)! Weather was sunny and gorgeous!!! The 50′s felt like the tropics compared to our freezing gray air up North. The 9am start was blissful! But the lead up to the race…not so blissful or rather graceful.:( More like chaos.
My typical morning pre-race, was not so typical. I stayed at my brother’s in Cedar City with my parents and Grace. Luckily, my dad’s attention to timeliness kept me on task…for once I was grateful for this;). I left Grace with my brother since she was sound asleep…10 minutes after leaving I got the “call”. Grace was sobbing and wondering why I left her. Here comes the mom guilt….deep breath, let it go…she will be fine. Bribe her!!! “Grace, mom will bring you home her super cool medal…you can have this one…..and…I will bring you a treat.” Done deal. Phew!!!
Guilt put aside and 45 minutes late we arrive at the race. I meet up with Shari and her ENTIRE family who is waiting for me in the parking lot with my race bag, #, etc. I hurry and grab my number and pins out of the bag and quickly toss the remains to my parents as they head off to their pre-race breakfast (spectating works up quite the appetite;) )
I scurry off trying not to hold up the Greenwood-Evers Clan. In the meantime, I’ve got 10 things (at least) in my hands and begin dropping things. First and foremost, my new iPod!!!! F@&$!!!! The screen cracked! I want to cry, but take a deep breath and realize the poor little shattered thing still works:)! Go Apple!
Next on my list of mishaps….someone in the clan asks where my timing chip is?!?! Oh Crap!!! Well it is in the car with my parents…somewhere?!? Oh well, I am not trying to PR, I will just run without it (shrug). But…..what if I have some crazy magical run and it is not documented and I don’t get credit for my mad skills?!!!!???? Must get back up chip..,and I did. Now if I could only get that damn thing properly on my shoe…and frozen hands did not help, but Shari’s husband Mark did! Thanks again Mark! This family must think I am a nut job;)!
Only 10 minutes until race time… Speaking of time, I decided not to wear my Garmin. I have to admit it made me a little uneasy to not know EXACTLY what my pace was, but it was also rather freeing to just run according to my body. My biggest goal of this race was to finish strong, which meant going out slower. Run Smart! I wrote that all over my throw away fleece, hoping it would embed:)! And I think it did:).
Started off slow. How slow??? I have no idea…lol. Weaved in and out of strollers and walkers and 5kers trying not to get annoyed. Shari and her brother were in front of me a ways, but I still had them in eye sight, which was good for the time being. My goal was to catch them by mile 5. I caught them around 3, just when I was finally getting my stride. I was actually feeling great, but trying really hard not to get over zealous:). The crowd had thinned out quite a bit, thank goodness! Nothing worse than claustrophobic racing! Jason started to pull ahead. A big part of me wanted to keep up, but I was running smart at my pace;). So I watched him run off hoping I may catch him later in the race…no such luck;).
Shari was running her own race too, so I let her be and went on my way. I was still feeling great and a bit giddy! It felt great to run outside and feel strong. This was my first run outside in 6 weeks. And we ran as minimally as possible, only running an 8 and 10 mile run to prepare, on the treadmill. I truly had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised! I am a runner!!!
10 miles in….I passed 3 hardcore athletic chics!!! Little unathletic me:). I still have a hard time believing that I am a real runner…lol…seriously! I actually carried my own water, which I never do in a race. But it was a great asset! It enabled me to pass runners at the aid stations. I would slow my pace, but never stop. I had no desire to stop when I saw how many people, especially women in my division;), I was able to pass. It was quite the rush!:)
Mile 11-11.5 final aid station followed by a rather steep windy hill. Thank goodness I did not stop because I don’t know how anyone got up that damn thing after a dead stop! My momentum carried me slowly but surely to the top. Then came the steep descent down, not my favorite. But I tried my best to relax and let my legs go. I relaxed just fine, but my tummy was a whole other issue. Downhills wreck my stomach! It’s the equivalent of eating and immediately riding on a hellacious roller coaster. OMG! Less than a mile to go. Three women, surely in my age division, in front of me. One by one I picked them off!:) Not feeling so well…. Suck it up Martie!!! Less than 3 minutes to go…passed a few men (sweet)!
The last .10 I ran as fast as I could…with all that I had left in me. I crossed the finish line, looked to my right and saw my mom and dad:)…immediately turned to my left and….. PUKED! A LOT! Red liquid everywhere and a gasp of disgust echoed from the spectators! But I didn’t care…I just wanted to know my time.
I found my parents…they were a bit concerned, but my mom was still able to get a throw-up-action-shot on her phone…thanks mom! And my dad wanted to know why my puke was that color??? What did I eat??? And, yah, I’m fine. This was a first.
My official time……1:39. Not bad. Not my worst. Not my best. Other than the puke, I felt strong throughout the race. I accomplished my goal of a negative split. I ran smart!!!