Saturday, April 9, 2011

Half Marathon Unplugged Race Report

First let me say.........posting your goals before you race.   A great idea!  I may have said this before and certainly some of you have but there is something about putting those goals out in front of the blogging world that holds you accountable for reaching them.  I don't think that if I don't reach them everyone is going to stop following me and desert me but there is something about having put them in writing for everyone to see.  It helps give you that extra little push sometimes when you need it.  So thanks guys for being there to help me.

What Did I Wear?  More Weather Related Than Style

First - well I already said that but first today - it was unbelievably cold once again.  Yes, it is warm now and everyone talked all week about how warm it would be Saturday.  Well, not early in the morning on the lake. I had worn shorts (my compression ones which are actually quite long) and a long sleeve shirt.  I had a jacket on I had had no intention of wearing but once there I didn't think I would be able to take it off without dying. There were far more people in pants than shorts.  I got on the bus to leave the gym pants I had on and the bus was warm.  It warmed me up enough so that I did take off the jacket.  Good decision.  Yeah, it was cold at first but bearable.  At the end I may have even been able to use the words almost hot.

Before the race

The Course

The course was great.  First we went through some neighborhoods in Colchester and along the lake.  It was not as flat as claimed (is there really such a thing as a flat course in Vermont?) but fine.  When we turned onto the bike path we already had between 3 - 4 miles under our belt.  A good feeling.  When we ran over the suspension bridge linking Burlington and Colchester I tried to take a picture but the bridge was shaking from all the people on it.  The course continued along the bike path which may be my favorite place to run in the world.  (No exaggeration - truly)  It was a gorgeous day.  I should have taken more pictures but I did want a good time so I only took a few.  The ice on the shores was quite striking and not a sight I see when I run on the path ever!  It felt good to be so familiar and know where I was at all times. THANK GOODNESS a friend had told me that when you got to the southern end of the bike path you went all through the South Cove neighborhood just like in the VCM marathon.  If I had not known this I would have mentally died.  One volunteer said at that point, "You're on home stretch." I wanted to kick her but it would have used up some of my flagging energy and I do know that is not what you do to volunteers.  So I went through the neighborhood knowing there was a steep hill at the end as best I could.  (This neighborhood killed me in the VCM relay last year)  Then once I turned back onto the bike path I truly was on home stretch.  When you get to Oakledge Park you turn and run up Flynn Avenue. I didn't know how far it was so wasn't sure how much to save.  Not too much after I turned the corner though I could see the clock in the distance.  As I got closer I thought it said 2:02:40.  I was thrilled. But then I could see it really said 2:02:07.  Or something like that.  I poured in on and finished in ....2:02:32.  A pace of 9:22.  Yeah yeah yeah!  The rest of the stats.  297/512 overall.   My age group was 12/24. There were some very fast older women there.  (One person in my age group ran it in 1:40. That is lightning fast in my world.)  I was 162 out of 325 women.  It's all good, I'm quite happy.

Just showing the snow on the course.  

Racing with my best running partner, T

I had such fun having T with me there.  I told her I would not bug her for awhile as to whether she would do a different one now.  She came away with a respect for racing this distance.  I am hoping she is very proud of herself for tackling it and going outside of her comfort zone. She gets very nervous before races (for many days according to her) and did the half in spite of that! I did not run with her.  She started out ahead of me.  I met her at the early turn around and then I could see her a ways ahead at mile 3ish.  I didn't spot her again until I saw her on the bike path somewhere in mile 6.  We exchanged quick hellos and I went on.  This was my half I had trained for so I kept going at my own pace. I truly don't like to race "with" people as in the sense of let's run the whole thing together. I like to run at the exact pace I can handle and not adjust to anyone else. I don't mind the occasional chat but do not want to run the whole way talking away.  That is just how I roll.  So anyways I passed T fully expecting she might pass me later. The middle was really my best section where I got into it and seemed to be able to keep up the pace I wanted.  I was passing people and doing quite well.  After I finished I immediately started back down the road to meet T. It wasn't that long before she was coming so I ran cheering beside her, encouraging her into the finish. Although she looked like she didn't appreciate this at all she told me it helped immensely and she was so so glad I did it.  Yeah T. She is now a half marathoner.

My Goals

I put my goals on my blog on Thursday.  Many of you responded quickly and put the pressure right on me.  I had my own goals and there were those of you who upped them?????  REALLY? Anyhow here are a few comments from that post.

Chris K said...

2:03 is in the bag. I'm going to Vegas and gonna bet my life savings on it. (In the bag?  No pressure there.)

HappyTrails said...

2:03 - Just picture snakes chasing you the last 2 miles - that will get it done!!! :-) (LOL - they know me well)

Black Knight said...

If you have been training for a 9:30 pace you will finish faster, I bet in 02:01:30, trust me!
Enjoy the race and take some pictures for us. (2:01:30 - really?)
Have a good week end.

My Goals

I met my first goal.  I had fun and ran pain free.  There were times on the  path that I clearly remembered last summer running there with LOTS of pain.  
And I clearly met my A goal which was to run faster than 2:04 although not quite to what the Black Knight predicted. But I am feeling damn fine with what I did! 

A goal that I didn't write but I clearly had as I was racing was to not run any 10 minute miles. Well Mile 11 was exactly 10 and Mile 12 was 10:02 and Mile 13 I am not sure but it was in the 10s too.  Not far off but still did see that 10 on my Garmin.  I definitely was slowing down  during these last 3 miles.  But all the earlier ones were in the 9s.  

These two pictures are supposed to show that
this was my 15th half.  Wildly clever, I know.

Post race food.  I did not like the veggie
wrap but all the meat ones were gone to the faster
runners.  The roll was okay. I didn't try the soup.
Diet Coke could not have hit the spot any  better.
The brownie was the best I have had in my life.
It was like chocolate cheesecake. I have already 
e mailed the race director to see where it came



Amy said...

YAY!!! Congratulations on hitting your A goal!!! And for having what sounds like a great time. Congratulations to T, as well, for her first half - awesome!
And be sure and let us know what you find out about that brownie, ok?

Jennifer said...

Congrats, that is an excellent time. You should be proud! I know what you mean about racing with other people. I love to go and be at races with my friends, do the expo (if there is one) hang out pre and post race, but I have to run "my" race, especially if I have been training especially for it. You did great!

lish said...

Congratulations!!!! Way to rock that race.

Running and living said...

Congrats! Awesome race! Yes, putting your goals out there on blogland can be motivating, but can also put extra pressure on yourself. I was not able to do that until recently:) Also congrats on 15 HMs. Wow!

Jim ... 50after40 said...

Awe great job! Great race! It feels so good when you meet your goals ... I'll bet your walking on air today, although probably with a little muscle soreness ... but it's the best kind isn't it! Way to go!

Anne said...

Fantastic!! I definitely see a sub-2 hour half in your near future :) did great! You and T seem to have the perfect running partnership. I'm also really happy for you that the heel is holding up and gave you no grief. Yay!

Fran said...

Congratulations Andrea, what a great race you had! Awesome race report too.

And congrats to T. too for completing her first half marathon.

Liz said...

Fantastic time - I'd love to run that fast! Well done!

Ewa said...

OK, the wait is over, the race report is here and it is a good one too.
Congrats on a great race to you and to T. You make running a half sound so easy.
Glad you saved Chris from going bankrupt.
BTW, it is almost mid April. What's with that cold, ice and snow in Vermont?
Have a wonderful Sunday. Rest your legs well.

Steel Springs said...

Congratulations on a great race! That brownie sounds delicious!

MCM Mama said...

Woohoo!!! Way to hit that A Goal! Sounds like a wonderful race!

HappyTrails said...

Glad we could contribute to your AWESOME day!!! Great job on hitting your goals!

Jenn said...

Awesome Job!!! So happy for you! You nailed it! I agree with putting the goals out there and the accountability it provides. I'm not always good at that but I do see the purpose. Hope you had a great time celebrating! Really great race!

amy said...

Awesome job! And, I love that you and Emily show your miles/number of races the same way!

Darlene said...

You are AWESOME!!! I see where Emily gets her speed from!! I hope T runs some more races.

misszippy said...

So glad Chris K. is not on skid row now! Way to go out and nail it! Glad you had a good one and got to share it with a good pal. Fantastic way to spend the weekend!

Pahla said...

CONGRATULATIONS on a fantastic race!!!

Char said...

Great run!
I totally understand why you like to race solo. It's hard trying to stay with someone who's running just faster than your pace and frustrating going too slowly and if you're traveling at pace you don't want to have to talk. But it is fun having friends out there on the course with you that you can see if the course turns back on itself.

Marlene said...

Still drooling over that post-race diet coke!

Congrats again. You ran such a great race!! And you managed to take pictures too??

Laura said...

Great recap and CONGRATS!!

Kate Geisen said...

Yea for meeting goals!

I like that you could run the race with your friend but you guys didn't need to run it TOGETHER. I like training runs with other people, but during a race, if I'm feeling it I want to be able to go, and I don't want to hold back someone else if they're the ones feeling it. Sounds like you and T have it worked out just right.

and MMMMM brownies!

Richelle said...

Way to go! Congrats for meeting your goals! I knew you would do it. The race also sounds very beautiful and thanks for posting the pictures you took.

Average Woman Runner said...

Yeeeeeehawwwww! Nice job & so good that the weather cooperated for you. What's next? You doing to prove that Black Knight right?

Anonymous said...


RunToTheFinish said...

i'm so confused by your weather, I was sweating my arse off just spectating this weekened :)

glad you got your GOAL!!!!!

Emz said...



I love these RR's.

way to go!!!!

Christina said...

So happy you met your goals!
And those post-race food look good. I would definitely grab some of that brownie!

Suzy said...

Congratulations. It sounds like everything just went well for you. The post race food sounds great (and a veggie wrap can be hard to get right, IMHO). The brownie and diet coke - must haves. Congrats again!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Yay for 15 half marathons and running a great race in a great time! Brownies always taste better post-race!