Monday, April 20, 2009

Race Report

I have a love-hate relationship with running. A former post extolled why I run and love it but I've been discouraged lately because I want it to be easier. Some mornings my old body acts like it's never donned a pair of running shoes or filled its lungs with fresh air. I want to become faster and stronger (without actually putting in the focused effort to do so) and mostly I want running to magically melt away the excess calories I ingest. Not happening. Winter training doesn't lend itself to heightening my motivation either. It's been a cold, long one.

My childhood friend Quincey began running a while ago and decided that the Salt Lake 1/2 would be her first race. I registered too and we both ran it last Saturday. We had tentatively planned on running it together but weren't able to find each other amidst the crowd of other runners. I missed her great race but running/racing alone turned out to be a re-awakening for my running spirit.

I was a total case of nerves the night before for various reasons all related to my numerous insecurities. (When will THESE go away? Sheesh. Grow up already!) I stayed up too late just worrying, crying a little, and hating myself instead of actually organizing my race day stuff and making a plan. I woke up on time (4.5 hours after I went to bed) and drove down to Salt Lake almost obeying the speed limit ;).

Parking, riding TRAX, using the stinky port-o-potties, and dropping my jacket, gloves, etc. at the start all went very smoothly. I actually crossed the start line about 5 minutes behind the official time. I looooove chip-timed races. No pressure to elbow your way through the crowd or stress that you're holding up some faster runner.

I had a little water and Gatorade to drink at all but one aid station and GU'ed (blech!) at miles 4 and 8. I only walked to avoid choking on my drink and my splits were pretty even except for a slow mile 11 which was quite uphill. I finished in 2:13:40 which is a new Personal Record for a 1/2 marathon for me. I was thrilled. Quince finished in 2:06 with her friend and was amazing! (I'm a proud running "mama"!)

This race was so much fun! It was a very nice course--pretty view at the beginning, slightly downhill for the majority, LOTS of spectators, and this year, perfect weather. Other things during the race that made me smile:
  • A guy on his front lawn cooking BACON. Dang that smelled good!
  • A quartet of women wearing matching 80's vinyl jackets serenading passing runners.
  • Lots of little old ladies sitting in lawn chairs ringing bells for the runners.
  • Some over-done-cologne guy that kept getting upwind from me. Yuck. He provided motivation to run a little faster and keep up my pace!
  • A man with a prosthetic leg. I smiled and yelled, "Thanks for running today," to him and then choked back a few tears.
  • Numerous runners were wearing signs honoring people or organizations they were running in behalf of. This always touches me.
  • 3 very young girls. The youngest female finisher was EIGHT! What a great road they have ahead of pun intended.
  • A t-shirt: "I know I run like a girl. Try to keep up."
  • A percussion band with members of various ages (none of whom looked like they could manage to dress or feed themselves) sounding fantastic. Loved it!
  • Another t-shirt: "When we're helping, we're happy." Amen.
  • Crazy flute lady dancin' around while her homeless-looking drum beater tried to keep up. She was just a little spooky.
  • A pile of barf at the top of the long, final hill. Gross and I could sympathize.
End of story, I had a great race and am feelin' the return of my running ZEN. I hope it sticks around for my 18 miler this weekend. Yikes.


Andrea said...

Congrats on a PR!! The race photos are great!

Rockelle said...

You and Quince make me want to try running!
Good for you my friend!
Congrats on your awesome finish time!

Kristen Gregson said...

Loved the pictures. You are amazing. Half marathon one weekend and 18 miles the next? WOW! How do you do it?

Atkin Family said...

18 miler????? Where are you running that?? That's just currazzy!!! I'm so glad you shared your experiences in the race, b/c I too had many touching moments while running the race, and I too, had to choke back the tears. I was sooo appreciative of all the well wishers, and so impressed with the runners of all types and their running outfits, such a fun race. Thanks for how much you've inspired so many of us to learn to looove running -- what a leader you are . . . now about the self-doubt, its really time to see and believe in the amazing woman we see -- and love "just as you are"!!! Q

Lynette said... amaze me!!! REALLY! I don't think I could even run 1 mile...let alone 1/2 marathon. I am sooo proud of you and jealous all at the same time! You are such a wonder woman and such a true beauty too!!! Really you are!!!

Love ya!

Kenna Z. said...

I love you and your strong, strong legs, mom. Keep up the good work!

mrsfussypants said...

Congratulations!! Don't you want to come run a marathon or something in Chicago? It's flat here. Just saying....

Jana said...

Rita, you really are an inspiration to so many people and such an amazing woman! Congratulations! I loved your description of the race as well as your photos. Start learning to love yourself as much as the rest of us do!!

Debbie said...

Way to go, Rita. It sounds like a great run!

Janelle said...

Congratulations!!! Way to go!!! That is awesome!!! Good job on getting your best time! Good luck on the next 18 miles!!!

Scott said...

My reactions:

-- You look very slender in those photos.

-- I'm jealous. Your report made me wish I could run a road race soon.

-- I'm glad that you had such a good time, and had your love of running re-kindled.

-- Way to go with the PR!

Amy and Brad said...

Congratulations, Rita, on the race AND the personal record!! You are so awesome! I loved this post so much - the way you described everything left me able to see it all in my mind's eye. I could FEEL what an eventful day it was and how much you took away from the experience. You really are an example to so many people...and in more ways than you realize. Thanks for that :) Love you!

Mandy said...

Way to go Rita! I am so proud of you running it all by your self (that would be hard for me!)and your PR! You are an inspiratin to me for sure! I wish I could say sorry for not doing the 18 miler with ya :) does brent want my race spot?

Sheri said...

Rita, I don't tell you this enough, but you are one of my heros (or as Ora would say shero). Maybe after this baby comes I'll get some motivation to start running (I can dream, right?).

The Bullknitter said...

You rock, Rita!

Kellie said...

WOW!!! Now maybe you can train me to run and finish at 2:13? I know that will probably never happen, but maybe if I can stick with you it will!! (we just need to not talk) right!? Keep up the good work and I love the photos - you don't even look winded at all in any of them (not fair)!! Way to go!!

Shelley said...

Way to go, that's great, a new PR. I can't believe how motivated you are to get up and train on all those cold mornings. I can't seem to find it, oh yeah I do love my sleep, maybe that has something to do with it. Keep writing about your experiences they are so much fun to read.

McKenzie said...

Rita. You are amazing. Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a great run. You rock!