Race Recap: Capital City Half Marathon 2012

13.1 miles?   Check.

I am officially a Half Marathoner! And what a great experience it was.

Bicentennial Edition

This is the second year that I have enjoyed the Capital City experience. Last year, Mom and I did the Quarter Marathon and had  really good time.  This was the event the finally lit my running fire, and I was looking forward to coming back to run it again.

I don’t know the actual breakdown, but between the half, the quarter, and a 5K, there were 13,000 runners descending on downtown Columbus that morning.  That’s right, I said 13,000!

My goals for the day were (in no particular order):

– Have fun! You only get one first time, and I was determined to enjoy every minute of it!

– Be awesome.  That’s kind of a daily thing for me, so NBD. (humble, aren’t I?)

– Still like running by the finish. I won’t lie, it was in question for a while…

– Finish in under 3 hours. It felt obtainable, especially if I kept to my final goal…

– Run as much as possible, try to only walk through water stations.

That last one was kind of flexible. My training had been a combination of straight running (short runs by myself) and run/walk intervals (long runs with my awesome MIT running buddies!)  The one time I tried pushing a bit harder on a long run, my knees hated me the next day (and for several after). However, my other long runs were not nearly as dramatic as long as I kept a nice easy (read:slow) pace.

Race morning was kind of muggy and humid. Fortunately for me, I tend to do a lot of my training runs during my lunch time at work and am pretty use to running in mid-70 to low-80 degree weather. Especially for the last few weeks. Yay Ohio…

I was fortunate enough to run into two of my running buddies as soon as we got there, Jacqui and George, and we walked down to the start line with them.  I also ran into my friend Marci, who was walking the quarter.

Full of smiles pre-race. And be warned, I’m pretty sure I look more demented the further we go…

There were several other friends who were running as well that I never managed to connect with. They probably knew I was going to go crazy with the picture taking, and avoided me. It’s cool, I get it.

Because this race is so well supported, I was running with a lot less than normal. I did not have my big belt with bottle because there were going to be aid stations roughly every 1.25 miles. I figured if I couldn’t make it 1.25 miles between sips o’water, I had bigger problems.  There were also 32 bands and DJ’s along the course, so I also did not have my beloved sansa. The only things I took with me on course were my phone and my camera. And my sweet shoes…

Scientifically proven to increase your “sexy” factor.

Armed and ready to run, I found my corral (D), and set up to wait. Where I ran into George again! Neither of us had an interval timer (everyone else I usually run with has one, and let’s face it, lack of preparation is my typical MO),  so I let him know that my plan was to only walk through the water stations (splash zone, people), and as I needed to , and that he did not need to feel obligated to stay with me.  But stay with me he did, and I am so grateful! I still would have had a good time, but I don’t know that I would have done quite as well if I had been running on my own. Having someone to run with, and chat with, and commiserate with when the aches and pains start setting in was invaluable.

I felt really good for most of the race. No pains, no knee problems. I felt like we were pushing a little, but not crazy. Even with a course that is 80% uphill.  Seriously, it is one long slow uphill after another. Who says C-bus is flat?

I don’t know how they made it uphill both ways, I’m just glad it wasn’t in the snow…

Some highlights for your viewing pleasure:

Hubby and I engaged in Photo Wars. I let him have the advantage by having the good camera. You know, “my” christmas present…

I, however, had the Power of Green. And sweat.

 

George and I around Mile 6. Clearly my demented state was getting worse… It’s like I’m photo-bombing my own pictures…

Dripping Liquid Awesome. Everywhere.

Our poor friend Lynde, who was volunteering, and was mildly frightened by my self-photo bombing.

Remember how I said that I felt good for most of the race?  Yea, that ended right around Mile 10. By that point, I could feel myself slowing down, I got a cramp in my left foot, and my IT band started tightening up on the right. Those last 3 miles felt like the longest 5K of my life. Especially when ambushed by cobbles stone streets and a never ending uphill.  Not cool.

Dear Cap City Organizer Peeps: Can we run this course backwards next year? That would awesome. Thanks, Love Me.

But finish we did, and we finished strong.

Official Time:   2:46:38

Not too shabby, considering a year ago I was running 14-15 minutes/mile.  Here are the “splits” if you’re interested. I used an app on my phone, started it just before the starting line, and it was a few seconds after the finish before I got it stopped.  (Read: take it with a grain)

Total Distance: 13.5 mi. (again, a little before, a little after)
Mile 1:   10:58 — whoops! so much for starting out nice and easy…
Mile 2:   11:42
Mile 3:   12:11
Mile 4:   12:20
Mile 5:   12:26
Mile 6:   12:30
Mile 7:   13:22
Mile 8:   12:16
Mile 9:   12:22
Mile 10:  12:19
Mile 11:   13:28
Mile 12:  13:45

I think what I am most proud of is that I was mostly consistent. Went out a bit fast, came in a bit slow, a little dip in the middle, but the vast majority is pretty damn consistent. That’s pretty good for my very first half marathon!

This is a very well put together event, and if you haven’t participated and are anywhere near Columbus in May, you should. Tons of support, great volunteers, and one of the best after-parties I’ve seen so far.

The only thing I will note that was mildly disappointing was the post-race snacks available.  By the time I got to the finish the only thing available in the runner’s recovery area was bagels and a piece of chocolate (which was delicious). They had run out bananas (though they did come back with more a little later that were super green), it looked like there had been oranges at some point but not anymore.  There was chocolate milk available out in the Race Village, and there was a food vendor on the outer edges. However, this did not compare to last year’s race, where we had bagels, bananas, apples, and pizza! I know a lot of it has to do with sponsors, and they work with what they have.  This year was just a little bit of a let down in the food department after how awesome last year was.  I’m hoping that the “running out of things” just had to do with the growing pains of having more runners in a new-ish venue.

No matter what little hiccups, it was a fantastic day, a fantastic race, and I will always consider this my “Home” race.  Thank you to everyone who was with me over the course of that last year, all my friends and family that have had to deal with my growing obsession with all things running.  I love you all! One year of running down, and many more to come…

… and I had Donatos afterwards anyway  😉

Race Recap: St. Patty’s 4 Miler

Better late than never….

For those of you keeping track, no, this race was not actually on St. Patrick’s Day. It was, however, a perfect excuse for wearing an excessive amount of green all at the same time.

Like I wouldn’t normally. Right.

The day started out great. It was a nice morning, still a bit chilly, but not nearly as cold as it should be for early March. Only problem is, it didn’t stay that way. It kept getting colder. Guess it’s a good thing that I had recently gotten some Under Armour coldgear pants on clearance.

Race time was 6:00pm, and by then it was a lot more windy. And the wind was starting to screw with my costume.

Windy and Sunny = Awkward Pre Race Photo. But look who I dragged out with me again...

This race is put on by M3S, so of course had pretty good race support. As a 4 mile distant, there was only 1 water stop, which was fine for me, and I’m guessing most everyone else. The course went through the neighborhoods around Kinsale Golf Club, and theoretically past some links. Apparently I was way to “in the zone” to notice those. I just saw houses and people.

I am, in fact, the champion of goofy faces. Just ask the Hubby.

I think that the coolest thing about this race was the number of people who were just hanging out in their driveways to cheer runners on. Or just to gawk. Could’ve gone either way. This celebration is a big deal for them, and there were people out at almost every house. That was kinda cool.

Wanna know what was not cool?  Wearing pants that did not want to stay up. Pretty sure that falls under Big Girl Problems.  To much pooch in the front + too much junk in the trunk = a constant battle just to not moon pretty much everyone.  Between trying to keep my head bopper from being blown away and trying to not lose my drawers, it’s really a wonder that I was able to run at all. My apologies to anyone that was behind me.

But run I did. And even with  my pants falling down, still managed a kick-ass PR:

47:26 total time      11:52 average pace

Fact: Fairy wings make you run faster

More than 5 minutes faster than my last 4 miler. Boom.

Ah, sweet victory

The other promising thing about this race is that there was an after party, including a live band.  So after we finished our race, we got some food, got some beer, and waited.

And kept waiting.  Because the band didn’t actually start until 8:30pm.  Now this might not have been so bad, but there also wasn’t anywhere to sit.  There were only about half a dozen tables in the party tent, and they were all occupied by the fast people and their families.  I would have much rather they parked the Finish Line car outside and put up a few more tables.  So to summarize, ran a PR, tired, sweaty, with no where to sit, and still another half hour to wait.

I love me a live band, but we just couldn’t do it.  My shiny new PR would just have to be party enough.

Overall, a nice course, decent support, especially through the neighborhoods.  My biggest complaint would be the after party. It was just too long after the race had finished, coupled with nowhere to sit. If I lived closer, it would’ve been better to go home, change clothes, and then come back for the party. As it was, we were all just too tired of waiting.

Return to Slackerville, New Year’s Style

Sorry for the horribly long delay. I’ve been desperately trying to get myself organized and not being terribly successful at it. Too many adjectives? I think not.

Let’s see, where did I leave off? Oh right, telling the New Year and it’s resolutions to suck it because I got a head start. Well, I didn’t quite hit the 5 pounds lost that I was hoping for, but I was still under where I started. (Note to self: do not drink an entire bottle of champagne by yourself the night before you’re going to weigh-in. It’s not going to turn out well)

Original weight -11/20- 221 pounds
Week 1-   11/27-   220.2 pounds
Week 2-   12/04-   222.8 pounds
Week 3-   12/11-   220 pounds
Week 4-   12/18-   219.2 pounds
Week 5-   12/24-   217.8 pounds
Week 6-    01/01/12- 218.6 pounds

Every little win helps. And since then, even though my workouts haven’t been what they should be, I’m down even more…

My best friend or that bitchy friend that lies to you and makes fun of you behind your back? Only time will tell...

I made the Hubby stand on it too, because I felt like it was lying to me. Although, I suppose if my scale is going to lie to me, at least it’s telling me happy lies. Hmmm, maybe it’s been talking to MapMyRun (which also frequently lies to me).

The Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge put on by Amanda at Run to the Finish finished up. My points weren’t great (finished with under 100), but the motivation to be able to add something each week (once I figured out when the weeks were. I’m such a dumb ass sometimes) kept me going. So a HUGE THANK YOU to Amanda for all of the time, money, effort, and encouragement that she put into setting this up. It was a wonderful experience and has enabled me to meet some new bloggers! Win-win. If you’re looking for continued motivation, go check out her site, she’s setting a 30-day challenge every month.

New Year’s Eve was spent by getting up early to run 14 miles with the girls. That’s right, I said 14 miles. Now there is no question in my mind that I can finish my half marathon in May.  My knees, unfortunately, weren’t quite so happy with that revelation.

Hubby takes his job as photographer very seriously. At least I got the ice bags first.

A bottle of champagne and some sleep later, I was at it again for M3S’s First on the First 5K. As always, they put on a wonderful race with a relatively gentle course that was well staffed with supportive volunteers. Extra bonus- a New Year’s Day feast-lunch! Yay for real food! Don’t get me wrong, I love me some bananas and bagels and chocolate milk, but I will never turn down pulled pork sandwiches. Yummy in my tummy. And Hubby was grateful for being fed too. It’s hard work being the photographer. Ask him, he’ll tell you.

Now, usually I go into each race with some sort of goal in mind.  For this one I had hoped to get under 40 minutes, which would be a full 2 minute improvement from my last 5K back in July.  Under normal circumstances I would consider this a perfectly reasonable goal, but I was a bit concerned with how tired my legs still felt from the 14 miles the previous day.  Apparently, I didn’t need to be concerned. Guess who picked up a new PR of 37:04! That’s right, this girl! What better way of feeling like you’re truly making progress than to set a reasonable goal, and then shatter it by a couple extra minutes! Next stop, sub-35.

Pre-Race shivers. Of the cold variety. No really, it was kinda cold that morning.

Barreling towards the finish line in triumph! Complete with Rock Hands! Aw, yea!

My goal for 2012? Coming up with as many goofy-ass picture poses as possible.

Strength training has been going alright, I’m still only getting in about twice a week. I’d really like that to be three times a week, and running 3-4 times a week. But now I also need to start working in some triathlon training and things are just getting complicated. These are things that I really want to do, but I don’t want to have to sacrifice having a life for all this training. I’m working out a training plan and a race schedule, and will hopefully get it posted here soon.

Anyone else out there training for more than one thing? Any tips on getting all of it in and not losing your mind?

Race Recap: Buckeye Classic 10K 2011

If you’re ever wondering where you can go in central Ohio to find some hills, they are keeping them all at Highbanks Metro Park.

Seriously, this race was tough. Really tough. But it was also a really beautiful course. Seriously, if you’re looking for some quality fall hiking, you need to go to Highbanks. Absolutely gorgeous. And the weather was perfect. A little breezy, but not horribly cold. In different circumstances, this might have turned out to be one of my favorites. But there were some issues for me…

1. I still haven’t exactly been training properly. 10 miles a week is a good week for me, and that’s all on flat paved areas. I ran some hills. Once. Last week. For about 30 minutes.  Not enough to prepare one’s self for this:

That's right. Almost 200ft elevation change. In the first 2 miles. No joke.

One of the hills is so steep, it’s actually stairs. In the middle of the woods. Just prior to the 2 mile marker, which if I remember correctly, was right at the top of those stairs. Only doing the Stairmaster can prepare you for that sort of torment. And then, around mile 3 and mile 4 the course overlapped, and we got to do 2 rather steep hills twice. Just. Plain. Mean.

2. Whoever designed this course is a mean spirited person. Not only were the hills killer, they made us run past the finish line, not once, but twice. That’s just cruel.

3. I was on my own for this one. Hubby wasn’t feeling very well that morning, and looked really pathetic sitting on the chair waiting for me to be ready to go. I told him if he really didn’t want to go he didn’t have to, and he really didn’t want to. So I went on my own. This was the first time that I didn’t have anybody with me at all. I’ve always had either Mom or Hubby and sometimes both. There have also been times that some friends have come out to cheer me on.  Not having anybody there made it kinda lonely. No one to chat with before hand. No one waiting for me to stumble run by to take my picture and urge me on. No one waiting for me at the finish line. And definitely no one able to drive me home so that my angry legs could rest. It really emphasized the importance of having that support. I know that there were people who knew I was racing, and were wishing me well, but it’s just not the same without someone there with you. Thankfully, there were plenty of encouraging volunteers! As always, the volunteers at this race were always ready with words of encouragement as I went by. It also helped to see a familiar face at the very end to help me dig deep to finish as well as I did (Thanks Steph!). It’s one thing to go on everyday runs alone, but I really prefer having someone to share race day excitement with.

Also, since Hubby stayed home, that meant that I had no photographer. Boo. So we staged photos at home afterwards.

Wearing shorts in the middle of November. That's right, I'm hardcore.

4. I forgot my watch. Again.

That is a sad, sad face. For many different reasons.

It’s going to be hard to convince the Hubby that I need a fancy Garmin watch when I can’t even remember to wear the cheap $3 one. Fail.

It was hard, and a bit lonely, but it was a really beautiful course. Maybe next year I can con a few friends to go with me…

Halloween Weekend Recap

Have I mentioned yet that I love Halloween?

The weekend started off of the right note friday night with the Dead Celebrity 3 Miler. Where you go dressed as a (I’m sure you’ve guessed it) celebrity that has died within the last year.  I struggled with this for a while. I don’t like doing the typical thing, so my initial thought had been to go dressed as Knut the polar bear (if you don’t what I’m talking about, go google it and come back. I’ll wait for you). Sadly I didn’t get myself together quickly enough to pull this one off properly, so I had to ditch that idea.  My second choice was going as Elizabeth Taylor circa Cleopatra. I’ve always wanted to do Halloween as Cleo, but for various reasons haven’t. We had also kicked around the idea of going as wild animals (there was a recent bit of drama out in Zanesville- again, you’ll just have to google it), but I was concerned that it would be in poor taste, and I didn’t want other peoples political ideals interfering with my twisted sense of humor. So Cleo Liz it was.

You don't want to know how much time I spent looking at this picture...

Due to time constraints (from my procrastination), I opted for a purchased costume from a Halloween store.  Really, any excuse to go into a Halloween store and shop will do.  I think I visited every Halloween store in the city at some point.  A few of them I stopped at a couple of times.  I’m pretty sure they didn’t recognize me, so it’s ok. By the time it was all said and done, I had a costume, makeup, a wig, and a new costume for the Hubby. And I couldn’t wait to wear it. I put a lot of thought into getting the makeup “just right,” and I also had fake lashes and nails to complete the look. So on Friday at 3pm, I began.

The race began at 7:30pm. You have no idea my deep obsession with perfection.  OCD much? Probably. But it was totally worth it.

My favorite accessory? Richard Burton (photo courtesy of M3S)

We made it down to the Arena District, where the race was being held around 7:20pm. It was kinda chilly that night, and Hubby didn’t want to be lingering outside longer than he had to. We had just enough time to gawk at all the other costumes before we got started. There were several groups of wild animals with bullet wounds (apparently I didn’t need to worry about offending people), there were also a lot of Macho Man Randy Savage, Steve Jobs, Amy Winehouse, a handful of Osamas and Gadhafis, and several Liz Taylor’s. And… someone was dressed as Knut!!! I couldn’t believe it, and I made it a point to tell her how awesome her costume was. There was also a woman dressed as Leslie Nielsen and she walked the entire course in a homemade airplane. Super Cool. But I think my favorite was the group that came as different Liz Taylor’s. There were about 6 of them, all from different movies, and they brought Michael Jackson with them! It was fantastic. This is one of the many reasons that I love Halloween, and I love that there are so many people that seem to share that feeling.

The course itself was a simple out and back through the arena district and little of the Victorian Village (do all cities have specially named sections like this? Victorian, German, Italian, Short North…) with one water stop just before the turnaround. I wasn’t going for any particular time, my main goal was for my wig to stay on, so it was a nice leisurely pace for me. I also didn’t have my mp3 player with me. It was in my bag, but I was so caught up with looking at the other costumes, that I never grabbed it.  And that worked out to be the best way to enjoy it.  I got to talk to other runners, I had police and random bystanders calling out encouragement and comments about my costume. The volunteers at the water station were great! They were shouting and encouraging and telling everyone how great they looked.  There was a lot of traffic since they had streets blocked for us, and there were at least 3 groups that were hanging out of their cars shouting and cheering for all the runners.  It was probably the most fun race that I have participated in to date.  I can’t wait to make this an annual tradition.

And the fun didn’t stop there! The after party was at 343 Front St. Tavern in the Arena District.  I haven’t been there before, but it was a nice cozy kind of bar. It looked like it could be made into a bigger area, and there is a stage at one end. There was a live band that was really good (Off the Hook- if you like live music, and they’re the band, go see them) and then came the awards.

They brought all the different groups onto the stage, decided who was the best overall, and they got a gift certificate to the Tavern.  Then they awarded an overall Best in Show kind of thing, and that person won a brand new bike! Awesome. I was not even in the running for the grand prize, and honestly, didn’t think that my costume was good enough for the Liz Taylor division.  So imagine my surprise when they announced the individual winner, and were pointing at me! I don’t win things! Ever!  I couldn’t believe it.  After that, I couldn’t help but constantly point out my awesome makeup job, because that had to be what did it.  I probably referenced it at least a dozen times through the night. Hubby could only just shake his head at me.

Charlie Sheen would be so proud.

After we were done hanging out there, we headed over to Highball Halloween, which is basically a street party, fashion show, and generalized partying. And even more amazing costumes. We wandered around, ran into some people that we knew, and eventually headed home when it started getting too cold.

You can only really see this sort of thing in the Short North

I know, crazy party animals, right? I don’t know how people keep up with us 🙂

Saturday was spent trying to get my makeup off.  When this eyeliner said waterproof, it meant it.  It’s now 5 days later, and there are still remnants of it. I also had to evaluate the damage done to my costume.

I'm gussing that Cleopatra must not have done much running in her day.

After I stepped on it, I had to tie the bottom up so I wouldn't trip. Fortunately, it looked like it was supposed to be that way.

I also did a little shopping later in the afternoon (you know, after I finally got out of bed) for some medal displaying supplies. I’m working on combining this with a goal board, but you’ll have to wait for another post for that update.

If I were MacGyver, I could turn this into a Mercedes

Sunday was spent finally putting out finalizing my Halloween decorations. This included finally getting my pumpkin carved.  Big fat slacker, I know.

He's just happy to be here

And finally it was Halloween! I did have to work until 6, so I missed the start of Beggar’s Night, but I totally made up for it by wearing this…

And yes, I wore this most of the day at work, and wore it answering the door

Except for when I made Yeager wear it. He loves Halloween too.

And finally, to top off what was the best Halloween I’ve had for several years, I stalked all the Halloween stores once again on Tuesday for the 50% off sales.  Oh yes, I did. You better believe that I am armed and ready for next year!

I hope your Halloween was just as awesome!

Race Recap: Oktoberfest Meiler Vier 2011

Ah, a cool rainy night to run, and the promise of beer, brats, and creme puffs….. What more could a girl ask for? It was even enough to convince Mom to come out and run with me again!

The Oktoberfest Meiler Vier (4 miler) was part of the opening ceremonies for the annual Oktoberfest Celebration, which was held at the fair grounds this year. Which would be cool, except that there was also some kind of cow show going on as well.  Which made for some rather smelly parts. And not just from me…

Just before our beer truck heist…, I mean 4 mile run…

We started out a little before race time because they wanted all the runners grouped together for the Tapping of the Keg ceremony, which was televised apparently, and which I did not actually get to see since I am slow, and therefor stand in the back of the group. It was a good idea, that didn’t quite work out. We all lined up as we would for the race behind the big inflatable arch, trying to stay somewhere near the pacers that we needed (for me, that was somewhere in between 13 and 14 miles/min), and then we circled through the pavilion where the opening ceremony was taking place. This is where it no longer really worked. Instead of completing a circle, everyone just kind of walked as a mass back to the start, and I had no idea where the 13 min/mile pacers were.  Mom and I ended up starting the race somewhere up near the 10min/mile people. Someday soon, but today is not that day. The really cool part, is our “starting gun” where the Alpine Horn players. A little anti-climactic, but cool nonetheless.

Alpine horns are cool

The course itself was eh. It was a 2 mile loop that wiggled and weaved its way through the fairgrounds, along the backside of the barns. Which meant we got to run past a lot of smelly cows. Twice. And a handful of possibly drunk cow owners that were camped out behind said barns. Twice. One of the more entertaining moments was the small kid (seriously, probably not more than 6 or 7) that was offering cans of beer to the runners as they went past. There was quite a cheer when they finally got someone to take one. (No, it wasn’t me)(Honest, it wasn’t).

Finishing strong-ish

Mom finishing.... She's starting to drink the kool-aid

As a course, it was kinda boring, just a lot of kinda battered and pot-holed pavement and mostly empty buildings. The only interesting part was getting to run around and in between the pavilions where all the people and music and food were. It got even more boring when my sansa mp3 player crapped out on me with about half a mile left to go. Just it’s way of encouraging me to run faster?

As boring as the course was, the swag was totally worth it. A awesome medal (cause that’s how M3S rolls, and is why we like them), as well as a free brat, beer, and creme puff courtesy of Schmidts. I’ll let you guess what my favorite was….. (and no, it was not the nasty german beer, yuck).

It certainly wasn’t my favorite race, but it also won’t win “Worst Race Ever” honors at the year-end recap. As an M3S event, it was well organized with volunteers at every twist and turn to make sure that you stayed on course, and also that you didn’t get run over by cow-owners. Which was nice. At the end of the night, it was really just an excuse to go out and get a run in for going to the festival and eating creme puffs and brats.

I don't think the guy offering me more bananas understood that I wanted the whole box...

Race Recap: Patriot 7K

As a newbie runner,  haven’t been traveling to races. There are plenty here in the Central Ohio area to choose from, and let’s be honest, my schedule is crazy enough as it is without adding in travel plans.  However, since the Patriot 7K was being held in Hubby’s hometown, it seemed like a perfectly reasonable excuse to go visit the in-laws.

It was an evening race, so there was down time before the start. A lot of down time.

The Patriot 7K was started in 2009, with the primary focus on honoring the local military, firefighter, police, veterans, as well as having a moment of silence in remembrance of 09/11. They started off with a nice ceremony, including a 21 gun salute (I love those) and the national anthem played by the members of the high school band.  It was a very small race, only a little over 100 people, mostly locals who all knew one another. I stayed in the back.

 

See? In the back

As I started running, I thought about what my goals for this race were, which were two-fold:

#1- Finish in under 1 hour.

#2- Run the entire time.

Goal number 2 was actually the more important one.

So off I went with the pack, desperately trying to remember to run my race, not everyone else’s. There was a nice stretch during the first mile and a half that was on a local bike path. It was nice and shaded (although the weather was great, not too hot, not too cool), and already I had stretches that I was running by myself.

I seem to struggle the most early on, my legs hurt, it’s hard to breathe, and I just don’t feel like I can keep running the whole time.  This time it was a little easier to get over myself, when I started thinking about all the people that died 10 years ago in the Twin Towers.  I can remember where I was, and what I was doing that day. I will not ever forget the details of that day, even though I did not suffer any personal damage that day. I do not personally know anyone that died that day, and I only know a few people that responded to the need and went to do whatever they could to help. Every time I felt weak, felt like I couldn’t go any further, I thought about those people. The ones who are gone who no longer have the opportunity to run. The ones that are still here that have to go on day after day without the ones they love the most. The ones who answered the call and were away from their loved ones so that they could lend help after such a devastating event.

If they could carry on, so could I. And so I did.

It was a nice race, and though the intentions of the race organizers are good ones, their race management left a little to be desired.  On our way to the bike place we went through one of the few major intersections in town.  Coming out of the bike path, we crossed the same intersection to head into the residential area which we followed to the stadium.  I should have known something was up when we were specifically told to stick to the sidewalks.  As I came to the intersection for the second time, there were no police officers (which had been there earlier), no volunteers, nothing. Just a red light, and a few cars that were nice enough to let the slow runners go ahead and run through. At they were until I got there.  There was enough of a gap between me and the runner in front of me that a couple of cars went ahead and went through the intersection. As I started to go through, the light changed, and the next car in line felt that I was taking too long and honked at me. I turned enough to flash my race bib at them (and resisted the urge to flash a couple other things at them, honestly, it’s a small town, like you don’t know there’s a race happening) and kept running. I was nearly at the 2 mile marker, had managed to keep running, and wasn’t going to be stopped by something as trivial as traffic.

My thoughts about race managment eloquently summed up...

Strike number 2 came when I came to the first water station (of which there were two), and the two guys there were in the process of moving the table. Good thing I brought my own Powerade. But I kept carrying on. The second water station was still on the other side of the road, so I had to run out into the middle of the road to meet them, and they almost didn’t give me any since I had my own bottle.  Sheesh.

The finish in the stadium was kind of neat, would have been more impressive if this event was a little bigger of a deal. Really, the only people there were runners and their friends and families, and a group of high school kids serving as cheerleaders. I do have to give credit to the high schoolers, they did focus their attention on cheering me on at the finish line like it was their job. Which I’m pretty sure it was, but whatever. It was still cool, and made me feel good.

What made me feel even better was achieving not one but both of my goals!

Overall, it was a race for all the right reasons, but they need to work on their race management. Leaving runners and walkers at the mercy of the traffic lights is not really acceptable. If you want all level of people out there, you have to support the whole field, not just the fast people.  It was a decent experience, I met the goals that I wanted (which is really all that mattered anyway), but I probably will not return to this race next year.

Eh, you can’t win them all…