I’m surprised that it was so long between posting an update to the website but the weather has quite frankly not been very inspiring for running. I had been looking forward to running the Get Pumped for Pets 10k run in Maryland with my girlfriend after we made it a destination race for a birthday vacation together. The race was to race money for the Animal Resource Foundation that rescues animals from shelters and was between our birthdays. Although we didn’t train for the race, I felt able to run a 10k – but this was going to be the longest I’d run since the stress fracture last year. The day before the race we stopped into the shelter to see if we could pick up our packets early and ended up seeing and petting some of the very cute animals – it was a good job we were on holiday or I think there is a very strong chance we’d have come home with a cat or a puppy (or two).
Sunday morning – the day the clocks moved forward an hour, we got up early and got ready for the race. Our hotel was about 2 mins from the start which made losing an hour of sleep a little more bearable.
Before the race we stopped to take some photos for the Running with Spatulas website competition – much to the amusement of the girl we asked to take our photos. The conversation of “Are those spatulas? Yes. Why are you running with spatulas?” was quite amusing and a good conversation starter.
I was also wearing my gofaster batman socks that my amazing girlfriend got me for christmas.
Note the capes on the back of the socks.
The go faster capes didn’t actually work as I ended up running just over an hour – 1hr and 6 seconds which is slower than last year, but this was the longest run after the stress fracture and not that much slower so I was actually pretty pleased with the result. The race was an out an back route and very flat but unfortunately I still had to walk a couple of times during the run which shows I need to get back to some serious training. At the 6 mile beep on the garmin I looked at the watch and saw I had 90 seconds to run the last .2 miles. As I sprinted towards the finish line I caught up with a woman who had been just in front of me and we came running fast into the finish line. Brandi got some video (which I haven’t had time to convert to the computer yet) which looks like I was hardly moving at all as we came round the corner, yet I felt like I was really sprinting in at the end.
The official results was 1hr 6 seconds, 54/106 runners, 4/7 age group, 9.42 pace.
The only other time we got to run on the vacation was on the beach, in the freezing wind as we went looking for a geocache. I saw the beach and knew I had to do a very short run on the beach – but I really don’t recommend running on the beach in brand new shoes, jeans, snowboarding jacket and a wooly hat I can’t wait until my next vacation and a chance to run on the beach properly.
Have you ever gone on vacation for a race? Any recommendations for a destination race?
Well I took the plunge today and signed up for the 2013 Scioto Miles races that should hopefully get me ready for the Capcity half marathon in May 2013. Check out the teamnames below.
These two races also come with a pair of “free” shoes that retail for the cost of the race itself. Although the Brooks Pure would probably not be my first choice in shoes, it does mean I get to try out a new pair of running shoes pretty cheaply. I’ll be torn about wearing them in training for the race though as I don’t want to ruin any training for the race so maybe I’ll end up using them after the half or on the treadmill.
In the meantime, my running has been slacking – I enjoyed last weeks Turtle Thursday but have been too tired to run this week – must squeeze a run in somehow this week. I think the weather will be nice on Saturday so maybe a longer run and maybe even get up to 5 miles.
(Cookies and Crumpets is the nickname that the Turtles have given Brandi and I and I think it’s a great name)
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Although it now seems a while ago, last Thursday was the 2012 Dublin Irish Festival 5k race. I had been looking forward to running this race since I started running last year. I had only been running about 5 days when the event came round and there was no way I would have been able to complete a 5k race this time last year. In fact looking at the stats from last year, I was running just over 2 miles including the warm up and cool down but at least I was running. The big reason I wanted to do this race is that it goes right past my front door. In previous years it has been frustrating to have the race go past my door as it meant it would be hard to get home if I was out in the evening (and I was invariably trying to get home after doing projection or sound at church) and I can remember at least one occasion that I had some takeaway gyros getting cold and I couldn’t get near the house. This year I was looking forward to running the race.
Unfortunately I did something to my left leg over a week previously and I had not run for a week so I was a bit nervous to see how my leg would hold up, but walking around during the week I had no problems.
Thursday after work I came home and hastily put together a sign for the front garden, got changed into my running gear and then headed to the mailbox to stash a frozen bottle of water to grab on my way past.
I headed down the road and stopped off to say hi to the neighbours who were manning the first water stop. They were putting the signs and banners up as I left them with instructions to cheer me on as I came through and then I started to run to the start.
I tried to keep the pace slow as it was hot, slightly uphill and I didn’t want to tire myself out. My leg didn’t start to give me any trouble until about half way and as I was early to the start I then headed up the road to Kroger to get some ibuprofen and washed some down before the race started.
The race is put on by the Columbus Running Company – my running group, so as usual it was nice to see some familiar faces and hang out before the race started.
There were loads of people there, most of whom were wearing the race tshirt as there was a garmin giveaway after the race and you had to be wearing the sponsored tshirt. Due to my leg hurting I lined up with Chase who was the 1030 pacer but had intentions of hoping to do better than that if possible.
The race started and the first part was all downhill, very congested and felt slow. It was really funny to hear everyone groan as they turned right and saw the hill. Normally I hate this hill as it is at the end of my run, so I am hot, tired and have to face this hill to get back into the neighbourhood. It took me ages before I could run up it without stopping but today I smiled at the groans from the other runners and pushed myself up the hill, powering up and overtaking tons of people and felt really good. IMy pace actually increased to sub 9 minute mile as I went up the hill. At this point my legs seemed to have eased up and I enjoyed the run through the neighbourhood with tons of spectators.
I got to my house and pulled off to the side, flpped the mailbox lid down and pulled out my water bottle. It felt so good to be holding an ice cold bottle and the water was really refreshing. I heard a couple of laughs and comments about what I was doing but then headed off to the water stop two doors down the road and grabbed a cup of water to dump on my head. The neighbours were so busy with all the runners, noone recognised me so I didn’t get my cheer
Not to worry, I headed down to the bottom of the hill and turned right back up another hill (or few). I was pleased to see that the leaders had not yet made their way back so it felt good knowing that I was making a reasonable pace.
About 1.3 miles into the race as we were going up another incline we saw the leaders heading back down the race and cheered them on and then it was our turn to head right and towards the turn around point. At this point, MothAudio on RunnersWorld describes it in his race report very well – “The road is rising, the sun is in our face and the devil in screaming in my head. All I can do is look straight ahead for the lead runners knowing the turn around can’t be much further.” Rings Road seemed very long and very slow and even the water stop half way down on the return journey took forever to get to.
As we turned the corner on High Street we could see the finish line in the distance. I looked at my watch and it was 27.15 – there was no way I was going to be able to run the entire length of the road in 45 seconds to beat my pr so I decided to just keep my pace going but about half way along Robbie jumped in with me and ran, pushing me onwards and I started to increase my speed. I kept increasing my speed and finished the run as fast as I could do –probably not good for me, but it feels good I did make sure that there was plenty of space between me and the person in front in case there were photographers but so far I’ve not seen any finishing line photos but I crossed the line smiling with no trace of pain in my legs at a time of 28:53 placing 423 or 39th in the M40-44 group.(Official Results)
I was surprised to see we got a medal for this race – so this joins my half marathon medal around the cats neck and I grabbed a banana and water to cool down and went to look for other runners. About 3 minutes later my left leg was screaming and it hurt to walk up an incline, let alone up the kerb at the side of the road. Standing still it was ok and I had to move slowly with a bit of a limp but I still had the runners high (which was probably just as well).
We hung around for the finishing ceremony and I was 11 away from winning the new gps and then had a very long, slow walk home. Even the cops asked if I was ok as I walked home and laughed with me as I said I had probably overdone it but still enjoyed it.
As I walked back up the hill again towards the water stop, I joined the neighbours who were having a party afterwards. It was good to hang out with them for a while and grab a burger. Getting up after the rest was painful though and I hobbled back home.
Friday morning was not fun. My leg had totally tightened up overnight and it took me about 5 minutes to get to the bathroom in the morning – really not how you want to start your day as I shuffled around at about 4” per step. I eventually got to the other side of the house and grabbed my crutches which made it a lot easier to get around and I ended up using them all day Friday. As it didn’t seem to be getting better and this is the second time in a fortnight that this has happened, I’ve made a Dr’s appointment for Tuesday. Saturday I needed one crutch for half the day and then the evening and Sunday I’ve been moving around the house slowly without any crutch. The leg is feeling a bit tight but better so I’m currently wearing my compression socks to see if that helps.
Speaking of which – Pro Compression are currently having a 50% off sale on their socks. Normally they retail for $50 but you can get them for $25 with free shipping too. Just enter the coupon code “socks” to get the discount at Pro Compression. (Offer expires 8/12/12) I’ve not tried these one but they’ve had good reviews and this price is a bargain. I’ve ordered a pair so I’ll have a pair to wear whilst training for the Marathon (which I still hope to do)
I totally had to miss out on the Irish Festival events – crutching around a festival n 95 degree weather would not have been much fun, so I’ve taken the opportunity to just relax and catch up with some of the running blogs and finally getting around to writing this runcap.
Anyone else run the Dublin Irish Festival 5k run? What did you think – did you write a recap? Do you write recaps for 5k runs? Anyone ever checked their mailbox in a run or had a race go right past their front door?
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A week ago I gave into peer pressure from other Thursday Turtlers, and registered for the oldest road race in Columbus – the 35th Columbus 10k run that also included pancakes ad sausage afterwards (which may or may not have had some bearing in the decision to take part.
After getting up at 6am I was trying to work out whether to have coffee or not as the hot coffee would not help to cool me down. However I decided to grab some coffee before leaving the house – As it turn out, I really did *need* coffee as I poured cold water out from the kettle. Next time I’ll have to be awake enough to turn it on. Thankfully I did realise before taking a sip of coffee.
I arrived early at the site and enjoyed people watching and chatting with the various runners from the CRC pacers groups and slathered on the sunscreen ready for the race as it was going to be hot.
Before we started they had the kids race – it was really neat and impressive to see the kids run this race.
Even funnier to see some of the dads carrying the kids over the finishing line whilst the kids bawled their eyes out.
Standing in the crowd as we waited to start, I could feel the heat beating down. I was lined up between the 9 and 10min pace groups as there wasn’t a 9.30 pacer and wasn’t sure what pace I was going to actually run. I had checked a pace calculator and knew that to beat my previous 10k run on 59.11 I needed to do a 9.30pace so decided I’d start out with the 9 min pace.
We started off running south which meant that the run *up* Broad Street was longer than I thought and had done in the past and I was really pleased when we headed on down Front Street and were able to take advantage of the shade offered by the buildings. Looking at the Runkeeper Map its quite funny to see it has no idea where we were running – looks like a drunk ghost wobbling through the downtown buildings.
I was able to keep up with the 9pacer until the water stop at 2miles but as he was currently running under the 9min pace I decided to just let them go, dumped more water on my head and then turned left to head down the shadeless 1st Ave.This pattern continued along the race – taking water at the water stop, drinking about half and then dumping the rest on my head to cool down.
After mile 3 we ran the rest of the way back on the Olentangy trail, a route that has far too may ups and downs and stretches without shade so my pace dropped a bit as I tried to keep cool – I was glad I had taken my own water with me. It was quite suprising to see a Cop car come driving down the trail towards us – normally you just have to look out for bikes on the path – first time I’ve had to look out for a car.
Mile 5 onwards was the standard Scioto Miles run so I knew where I was going and what to look forward to. However at mile 6 the marker was missing so I wasn’t really sure when to start the sprint towards the end. Probably just as well as I was thinking the run was 6.1 miles and not the 6.2 and would have started early. As it was I got a good sprint in at the end – I could hear Jamie and her cowbell ringing away but didn’t have the time to look around to see where she was.
I hit the finish line in 58 *something and it was cool to have a kid come running up to me with some water to cool down and hear several people shouting congrats to me. I had no idea who they were but it felt really good. Thanks to Jamie for taking a photo after the race.
After taking some time to cool down in a malfunctioning hose that acted as a sprinkler (good find Melanie and Mike) I went up and got my sausage and pancakes and a banana. Tasted *really* good – a definite bonus to running this race.
Hanging out with the other runners was fun to congratulate people as they came in, with Chris getting a 2nd place in her age group – so congrats to her. Then it was time to line up with other cbus runners for a group photo – I have a strong suspicion I’ll be in the cbus pacers newsletter again 😉
The other weird thing is that although I felt fine during the run and didn’t notice anything – I’ve had my first case of wishing I had Bodyglide when walking around the house this afternoon. I guess it’s better to have it now rather than mile 6 on a marathon, but it’s weird that I’ve never needed it before.
329/589 (Top 50% now!)
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Be warned this is a long post – but I make no apologies for that – I’ve been 4 months in training and a great accomplishment. (I do however apologise for the extra dose of estrogen when my finishing line post contained too much squeeeeee. There were a lot of female runners around and I think it transferred to me)
I had got all of my stuff ready on Fiday night (as I lead an exciting life like that), and pinned the bib to the tshirt. As I had been up early the day before I knew that 6am was going to be warm enough to not require any extra trousers or jumpers over the running gear so I now have a new sweatshirt to wear
The day of my first Marathon started early, far too early at 4am when I woke up before the alarm.
I rolled over to see what the time was and enjoyed the extra 30 minutes before the alarm went off. What I don’t understand is how Basil hears me wake up and then yelps outside the door at 4 in the morning – ugh – not what you want to hear.
Anyway, a quick shower, breakfast, coffee, check email and facebook and I was heading downtown at 5.40am
The guide had said that we would need to be in the corrals by 740 for the 8am start and that they recommended getting there an hour before then. However if *everyone* got there at 6.40 the traffic would be a nightmare so I figured I’d get there early and just people watch before the start of the race.
6am on the dot I arrive at Columbus Commons downtown. Some of the roads had already been blocked off but there were very few people around. I scored a parking spot right by the exit of the parking garage so it would be easy to get out. Got everything together and wandered through the commons.
It was a really nice morning out – a bit misty/foggy/overcast but seemed to be perfect weather for running. People were scurrying around doing last minute additions and changes to the various booths and there were no lines for the portaloo’s. I took a couple of photos of the area and walked over to the finishing line and took a photo. They were in the middle of sorting out the medals on the table. Seeing all those medals on the table was pretty impressive and I knew that in a couple of hours one of them would be hanging around my neck.
6.40am I had finished my coffee and proceeded to slather myself in sunscreen- I didn’t want to get burnt during the race and the temperatures were calling for a high of 79 – probably later in the day but I wasn’t going to take any chances.
It did feel a bit weird putting on sunscreen at 6.40am in a overcast day but better safe than sorry. Dropped the bag off and headed towards the start line. As I walked past the finishing line again I got a real whiff of oranges that they were cutting up for us to eat at the end of the race. They smelt really good but I did wonder why they were cutting them up so early but with that many oranges and that many people they had to start early. The segments were then put in little ziplock bags to prevent them drying out.
Down at the start I wandered around and kept an eye out for any of the turtles from the running club. Eventually I saw Jennifer in her bright pink running shirt and Chris. It was funny meeting them for the first time even though we’d chatted on facebook as we’d prepared for this race the past 5 months.
Bill from Thursday Nights Turtle group walked past, said Hi and then headed off to the starting line to find a spot to take photos.
It took *forever* to start the race. We were told to get in the corrals at 7.30 – everyone ignored the pleas until about 7.40 but even then it took forever for the race to start. I did meet up with Heather in the Corral – of all the places to be – she ended up working her way through the Corral and stood two people away without realising I was there. I had dropped back from Corral C to D as most of the people from the running group were in group D. Whilst we were waiting in our Corrals they announced the leaders had actually passed the two mile mark – and we hadn’t even begun to move forward yet, let alone start the race.
I started the race with Chris, Heather and Jennifer and we walked for quite a while before crossing the starting line – I joked that if this was what a marathon was like, it was going to be easy. Eventually we crossed the starting line around 8.15. Heather and I immediately started out quicker than Chris and Jennifer, so I turned round, waved goodbye and headed on out.
The first couple of miles were “interesting”. We spent quite a bit of time jockeying around people as the crowd of runners moved on. The first 2 miles were accompanied by a very strange noise – at first I thought it was an army group shouting Left, Right, Left, Right as they ran down the course but eventually the noise caught up with us and it was a guy grunting aloud as he ran – apparently it’s normal behaviour for him but it must take up a lot of energy. The funniest thing was hearing it echo as we went under one of the bridges.
At the first aid stop, 1 mile into the run it was impossible to get anywhere near the water table so we kept going but I was amazed at just how many people were queuing to use the portaloos already. Heather wondered allowed if she’d ever find someone she had not met yet. She said to me “Maybe I should start saying Rebekah” loudly to see if she is nearby. Funnily enough, the girl running next to Heather turns and says “You’ve found her!”
Heather has a canny nack of finding people – a good job too we joked as it would have been really annoying to have run with Heather for 13 miles with her shouting for her friend all the time.
The first part of the race was pretty uneventful – there was a long out and back section but we weren’t turning around on the same stretch of road and running back – instead we were running on the other side of the median. At this point we heard 3 teenagers banging on the metal guardrail in a rhythm – it was quite impressive to hear it from a distance as the noise travelled down the guardrail. It turns out it was the same 3 guys who had been at the Scioto Miles run a few weeks back and they had a few different signs to hold up. Hearing the bands along the way was pretty good, the only downside is you only got to hear about 40 seconds of each band as you ran past. About 2.5 miles into the race I tripped up and almost went flying which would have been really painful and not a fun way to start or finish the race but fortunately I stayed on my feet and as I ran to catch my balance I think I actually overtook another couple more people but its not a recommended way of overtaking people.
Each mile point had the total time since the race had started – I think by the time we got to the first mile post it was reading something like 25 minutes – 35 for the second mile – we joked how slow our average pace was.
About mile 5 I managed to lose Heather and Rebecca at the water stops so I was on my own for the rest of the race -Although I had brought my music on the phone and on my ipod I didn’t bother to plug them in – I just enjoyed listening to the bands, watching the dj’s with their apple macs and listening to the breathing and footsteps of the other runners and people watching – both the crowd and other runners were interesting to watch. There were some pretty funny signs along the way – several with slogans that seem to be popular but several unique ones. There were three that really stood out to me but unfortunately I can’t remember the last one but I do remember it was down in German Village after mile 11 as we turned onto 3rd st. The other two were “My grandmother runs faster than your Grandmother” and “If you think that’s difficult trying standing here for 2 hours holding this sign”. The dj’s were quite funny – they were really into their music and bopping their head away – I can imagine they’ll have quite a headache at the end of the race. There was one impromptu guy with a really old fashioned beat box that he was using for the sound system – I wouldnt have been suprised if he was actually using tapes for his media. The bands were very good too and definitely helped during the run. I did hear American Pie and Brown Eyed Girl twice though!
To cut a long run/story short (and because the later miles tend to blur into one) I can remember several things.
Around mile 5 we turned onto Lane avenue and headed towards the University. I felt really good at this point and was amazed to think “This is pretty easy at the moment – I’m really enjoying it and this course is so flat, there are hardly any hills”. One lady yelled out “Go Andy!” which kind of surprised me and I looked to see if I knew her – I didn’t – she’d read my name on my bib but it was cool to get that personalised attention and a shot in the arm so thank you mysterious stranger!
Heading down High St was interesting. We’re running in the road on one of Columbus’s busy streets, there are cars driving past you just to your left traveling in the same direction as you. A bit nerve-wracking as you hope they give you enough room – especially as I had the habit of overtaking people to the side of the track as there was more room. Running past a doughnut shop smelt sooooo good. Very tempting to cross the road and stop off for a couple.
Mile 8 was the Gu stop. I’d never had a GU before and picked one up as I walked through the water stop. In fact I think it would have been impossible to run through the stop and the next half a mile was really sticky with discarded Gu and packets. I ended up with a blackberry Gu packet and tried to run and read the packet instructions at the same time is not a very good idea. In the end I ripped the top off, squeezed about a third of the packet into my mouth and shuddered… It was a very sickly, sweet, gooey taste and texture and sticks to the teeth. Thankfully I had several water bottles so I was able to wash it down (which is what you are supposed to do I think?)
Mile 8.5 we merged with the quarter marathoners and the road got busier. There seemed to be a lot less bands playing but a lot more people on the course. This was also the biggest uphill of the course I think but I felt good and ploughed on up the hill and past more runners and walkers. There was a huge crowd as we turned onto Long St (and stopped running uphill). It was almost like you were hitting the finishing line hearing everyone cheer for you – quite a confidence boost. I think it was at this point I stopped to use the portaloo – all that water and gatorade I had been drinking…..
About half a mile later my stomach started to play up. I’m not sure what caused it – wasn’t sure if it was just the running or taking the Gu a bit earlier on. Aid station 9 had run out of water which wasn’t good but I was just thankful I still had some water left in my hydration belt. I didn’t want to stop as I thought my legs would never start again so just kept on going.
Miles 9-11 were tough. The combination of no water, the stomach, running into a rougher part of town and the cobblestones of German Village led to the hardest part of the run for me. The worst bit of miles 10-12 were that we had already passed the finish line and were heading away from it – the purely psychological effect of knowing that every step further along the race meant you were further from your destination was not fun. Also this was really the only part of the course that I knew the area so I knew where I was, knew I was close but still had another 3 miles to go! However, thinking of “only 3 more miles” helped to kick the legs in and keep on running and not stop to walk.
At this point I knew I wouldn’t make the 2.15 time period but I should be able to make 2.30 – I just had to keep pushing on and overtaking people.
Mile 12, the turn around point and head up hill towards the finish. It felt good – even if it was uphill. I didn’t feel like any of the uphill slopes were really uphill in this race – I guess the training run in PA made these slopes pretty insignificant. The split shows that mile 13 was 30 seconds faster than mile 12 and mile 13 was all uphill. The combination of knowing I was almost done and that I was actually heading in the right direction was a great boost to the moral….You could actually see the finishing line.
As I approached mile 13 I started to speed up and sprint the final part of the race. The crowd was huge and cheering everyone on – as I approached the end we almost had to slow down for an ambulance that pulled across the entire road and headed towards the finishing line. Thankfully by the time I got there it had pulled onto just one side of the road but I was literally an ambulance chaser for the last .1 of a mile to the finish. I’m not sure if I actually caught it or not though but I hope the person they drove to was ok. There were a few people getting medical attention on the course that I passed during the race and several people were stopping to stretch their cramping legs.
The last .1 was very much a blur. I wasn’t looking at the crowd – just heading for the finish line, feeling good that I was able to sprint it in, enjoying the noise of everyone cheering and not puking at the end.
Crossing that line felt so good. I had accomplished a half marathon with a time of 2 hours, 18 minutes and 25 seconds. Seconds later I got my first medal and an ever so nice tasting orange, banana and bagel. I wandered around the finish area for a while trying to spot the rest of the runners and bumped into Heather and Robb, hung out for a while and then headed out to get my 13.1 logo for the car. I initially got a magnet and then discovered my bumper is plastic so went back in and got a sticker.Then it was off for a pizza! Ate 3 slices before I got home and then ate most of the rest of it for lunch – tasted so good.
A nap in the afternoon helped although my legs were pretty stiff for the rest of the day. As one blogger tells it “You know you’re still suffering when you have to use a rail to go down stairs or brace yourself to sit on the toilet”.
The legs were still pretty stiff this morning, but church was really hectic and I ended up running through the narthex at a couple of points during the service – the fact that I could run was reassuring but I’m not quite ready for my Monday evening run just yet – but that is still 24 hours away…..
Now I have completed a half marathon (not really on my bucket list but I will add it just so I can cross it off) I’m not sure what is next. I do have two more races signed up for this year – both 5k’s and I know I’ll be doing more half’s but just don’t know where yet….perhaps the Columbus Half or maybe a long weekend vacation and a destination half.
Thanks and congratulations to everyone who ran with me at some part of the day – I had a great time and we all accomplished a lot today – We’re all Champions!
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I was a bit anxious going to bed on Saturday night as my legs had been a bit sore all day despite not running since Thursday. I woke up bright and early on Sunday morning from a dream where I had somehow bashed the back of my head in and it was covered with maggots… Not a very nice way to wake up and I hadn’t eaten any cheese the night before -honest. It was a bit of an ominous start however I soon cheered up when I checked my email and had a great offer from Groupon – Weightloss Hotpants…err no thanks – I’ll think I’ll go for a run instead.
I got to Cosi nice and early and saw Tina and Heather by their car and honked my horn giving Tina a fright. Thankfully she didn’t jump too much and did not bang her head on the roof of the car (maybe that is what the dream was all about?). I parked up and discovered that the meters were free on Sunday (after I put the first quarter in) – a nice perk.
I headed into Cosi and picked my race packet up as I hadn’t gone to the store beforehand. Then back inside the warmth – a great perk of having the race held from the back of Cosi is being able to hang out inside the building in the warmth and with real toilets is a nice treat. Unfortunately for Tina I had drunk all my coffee at this point – if they had a stand selling coffee before the race I think they’d make a killing.
I met up with Heather, Melanie, Tina, Heather and Mike, posed for the usual shots inside and then headed out to the race. I think you can see me just to the left of the blue lamppost in this picture but that might be someone else, especially as I don’t see anyone else from the group. Mike and I were running in shorts and a tshirts – after all – it was above freezing and I get too hot when running if I don’t wear shorts. I was surprised at the number of people who were wearing leggings, full trousers and jackets – it wasn’t that cold (at least not at the start).
A couple of minutes before the start of the race the inflatable starting line started to collapse much to my amusement – for a moment it looked like the start might be an obstacle course but it didn’t take long for them to fix the issue and a few minutes later the horn sounded and we were off. Like last time I immediately lost contact with the rest of the group but I couldn’t find them despite hanging back for a while so in the end just got on with running. The first few minutes is pretty intense – a flock of people all around you – most of whom are treading and running in the exact same space you want to be, you have to ensure the garmin is started, the itunes started, the run/walk timer started and runkeeper started…..or at least I did on the last race. This time I ran with just the Garmin. My original intention was to use the run/walk time on the third loop but in the end I ran the whole way – including all the hills. Initially I didn’t start the ipod as I was waiting for the others to catch me up and then I was enjoying the running with no music so just left it off.
Anyway, as we’re heading down towards the start of Broad Street I’m fiddling with the camera on the phone and almost run smack into the barriers at the end of the road. Who’s smart idea was it to put barriers in the middle of the course stretching across the width of the road? Thankfully I heard the Woah! from the people in front just before they swerved, giving me enough time to avoid having to do a very bad impression of a hurdle, which I would have failed miserably at.
Up Broad Street we went and I managed to snap an action photo , the only one I took of the entire race – I don’t know how Tina does it. As we turned off Broad and headed (the wrong way) along Wall St, the race felt different from last week – this time there wasn’t anyone yelling at everyone to get off the sidewalk. I checked the Garmin and saw that my pace at that moment was 24min miles…I put that down to the bad satellite reception as there was no way I was going anywhere near that pace.
I settled into the run and it was pretty uneventful. The aid stations had very vocal helpers which was a nice incentive to hear as you approached the bridges. I still managed to get water all over me and up my nose once despite pinching the cup together. One day I’ll get the hang of it. No homeless people on the path this time grunting incomprehensible messages to everyone as we passed them.
I was running about the same pace as the 10k 3 weeks ago but this time I spent more time looking around and being aware of my surroundings – there is a ton of art and nice views in downtime Columbus. If I wasn’t racing I would certainly have stopped to take more photos.
The out and back portion of the race was horrible (again). Under a dark underpass and a narrow footpath with people going in both directions and up and down the hills a lot means it’s a tough portion of the race. It was made infinitely better by running down the hill and seeing and hearing Melanie and Heather cheering me on as we approached each other on the second out and back – nothing like your own personal cheer team 😉 On the first out and back I ran past Heather who gave me a high five – with the cold and the combined speed we were doing, that stung for a couple of minutes afterwards to my amusement.
Towards the end of the race, around mile 8.5 I was doing pretty good. I was running alongside another runner who was about to run a marathon the following week. Scary to think that a 15k is considered tapering… Anyway we talked a little bit as we approached – he wished me luck and then I looked at my watch – about 2.5 minutes to get to the finish line in under 90 minutes. I started to sprint to the finish line…
With the occasional glance at the Garmin it looked like it was going to be close but passing people at the end, whilst running fast feels good. The only hard bit is trying to run around pairs of runners and avoid the goose poop. As I approached the finish line, Michael was standing there cheering me on – a glance at my watch and I gasped “15 seconds to go”. I didn’t have the spare energy to give a high five as I ran past Michael and through the finish line . By the time I slowed down and stopped the Garmin it read 90 minutes and 5 seconds…my official time ended up being 90 mins and 2 seconds – a slight, very slight disappointment but still over the moon that I had run 9.3 miles in 90 minutes and really enjoyed it. Besides, if I had broken the 90 minute mark, what would I aim for on my next 15k?
Final results were 1:30:02, 357th out 645 runners, 44th in my age group of 62 runners.
After grabbing some water and a banana I headed back to the finish line to cheer in the rest of the Turtles. My hands were freezing and the camera was slow/ I wasn’t really thinking straight, so the photos I got were not very impressive…oops. The photo I have on the left is the best I could do.
After we all had finished we did some stretches in the warmth of Cosi and then headed downtown to get some coffee. I can’t believe how hard it is to find an open coffee shop.
I think we passed about 5 coffee shops before we ended up in Tim Hortons. Food and coffee tasted *really* good but I was totally ripped off when I pulled out the Boston creme doughnut from the bag and left half of my chocolate attached to the inside of the bag. Adding insult to injury I then watched everyone else tear their bags open and start eating their fully coated chocolate covered doughnut. I was very tempted to go and get another one – after all, I *had* just run 9 miles!
As usual, thanks to the Turtles for keeping me company and thanks to Tina for the use of some of the photos.
I’m now less than 10 days away from my first half marathon and very excited – after all I now get to put a 13.1 sticker on the back of the car. My question is, should I wait until after the race to purchase the sticker or buy it beforehand so I can put the sticker on the car with great ceremony as I get back to the car? – Do you have a 13.1 sticker (or more) and when did you put it on the car?