Sunday, October 28, 2012

Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon 2012

Yesterday I ran the Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon.   My friend Tonya signed us up a month or so ago for my birthday.

Tonya and I are getting ready to run Silver Falls Marathon November 3rd as a big fundraiser for our little Super Hero Lincoln, so we weren't sure how the half would go being so far into a full marathon training.  Last time we worked a half into a full marathon training schedule, the half went terribly wrong.  But last time, it was very hot and allergy season...boo!  We thought we would give it a go anyway!  You see, when you are in marathon training, sometimes your body just doesn't want to run a faster race.  The shorter the race, the faster you go.  So, in a half...we need to run much faster than what we have trained for if we want a "good" time.  Example, in a half...my goal pace would be a 9:09 minute mile to finish under two hours.  For a full marathon, my goal would be to keep a 10:18 minute mile to finish under 4:30 hours.  For Silver Falls we will not finish at that pace because it's a hill marathon, not a flat normal one.  We are shooting for 5-5:30 hours.  So, the question comes down too this, has all the slow hills we've been running made us faster/stronger, or are our bodies tired from all the hill work?  We are in a three week taper, and you have to be careful with the taper.
Getting ready to leave............

So the morning of our half came.  I was excited, had a goal in mind but didn't want to think of it too much in case I once again, didn't make it.  Breaking two hours has been my goal for the last 2.5 years.  I have come close, but never quite made it.

6:30am comes and Tonya and I leave for Lebanon, OR.  We parked, used the port-a-potties and get our packets that included  a super cool long sleeve shirt and a backpack full of fun goodies.   Got to see my friend Jennifer working at the registration booth too!  Then it started raining..... HARD!  We had some extra time so we went and sat in the car for a half hour to stay warm and dry.

The race started at 9:00am so about 8:40am we knew we needed to stand in line at the port-a-potties one last time and get into the starting line shoot.  Standing in line we ran into my friend Debbie from my Hood to Coast team.  She told us to hurry up, lol!   The rain was bad and so we went over to bag check and got plastic garbage bags to put over our heads.  We poked holes in the bags so our heads would pop out.  We stood under a tree with our bags on  for five minutes.  We looked funny but didn't care at all!   About 8:57am we got into the shoot and saw our runner friend Keith and more Hood to Coast team members, Yolanda and Blanca! It's always fun to see runner friends at races.

Off we went into the rain.  It was a very tight trail the first mile.  The trail was narrow with over 900 runners/walkers.  The good thing about this is it forced me to keep a slower pace at the start.  I needed to go out slower for the first 3-4 miles then pick it up.  I have a hard time with this cause I feel so good at the start and naturally want to go fast.  It's exciting.  Last year I started too fast and the last 3 miles was terrible.  I was really trying not to do that this year.  I closely watched my garmin until....it went dead about mile four!  Oh my goodness, how am I going to pace myself now?  My pace plan just went out the window.  You see if I go too fast too early, I will have a terrible last three miles like last year.

New plan quickly went into affect.  I knew Tonya's goal, and I knew Keith's goal and they were both awesome at pacing and both have garmins.  Keith's and Tonya's goals were both faster than my goal (to break 2 hours)....at the time, Keith was about 200 meters in front of me, Tonya just about 25 meters behind me.  If I could keep Keith in view and stay with Tonya when she passed me, I knew I would be ok.  Well, as the miles went by I slowly was getting closer to Keith (goal 8:57 a mile).  I was a little worried I was going too fast but I do run better in the cooler weather so I went with it.  I wouldn't know for sure how it was going until the last 3 miles.  I would look back for Tonya and sometimes would see her and sometimes wouldn't.  I was thankful Keith had a neon yellow hat and vest on.  Made it easy to keep my eye on him.

The weather wasn't getting any better, still pouring down rain and at times the wind would blast us.   It didn't matter at this point, we were soaked to the bone but as long as we kept moving we don't get cold.  Around mile seven I looked at all the people between Keith and I and started to "pick" people.  It was a fun mental game.  I would pass, and then pass, then pass people!  Kept me going and made me feel good.  Mile ten came, this is the last 3 miles (3.1 to go).  Last year I fell apart here and people were "picking" me.  The true test is now, am I going to fall apart again or finish strong?  I just kept "picking" people.  The gap between Keith and I was getting shorter and shorter.  Wow I thought, maybe I will catch up to Keith!  I got almost to him, we reached mile post 13 a glorious sight.  I started to pick up my pace to catch up to Keith.  I could almost reach out and touch him when all of a sudden he picked up his pace too.  He passed a gal and so we finished with one person in-between us.  My time, 1:57:36 (8:58 pace), Keith's time 1:57:23.   I finished much stronger than I thought, I felt good and my Dad made it to the finish line.  He hasn't seen me run since High School!

I waited for Tonya and a few others to come in and then went to get some food!  I was really really cold.  I was able to shower and get to Salem in time for a friends memorial service.  Was a good day.

Thank you Tonya for registering me for this race for the best birthday present ever!

Please follow my fundraising page at Running for Lincoln.  This little Superhero is in a battle with Leukemia and would love your support.
Meet Superhero Lincoln!

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