Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Uberthons Spring Half Marthon

Saturday I did my first half of 2104.  I ran the Uberthons Spring Half Marathon.  
My husband, and friends Tonya, Kelleigh and Mitch all came and ran it too.  
We arrived at St. Josef's Winery about 50 minutes before the start.  I quickly headed  to find the port-a-potties before the line got too long.  I was excited to get my race shirt because the pictures looked awesome.  I was also excited to have personalized race bibs with our names printed below the number.

I started a little warm up and used the rest room again!  I found out the winery had their rest rooms open for us to use, so I got to use soap!  A special treat for us runners at a race!!!

It felt a little cold so I tried to keep moving to stay warm.  I headed to the starting line and I could feel the excitement! I knew I wasn't in PR (personal record) shape, but I still was planning on giving it full effort and that excited me! 

As we started running, I realized we had some hills right off the start. I was ok with this!  My thought was, maybe we will get them over and the rest of the course will be flat!  Well, 2.5 miles later it started to flatten up, but we turned into a nasty headwind.  I guess this might be a little harder than I anticipated.   I tried pacing with the man in the gray shirt (in the start photo).  After about a mile I realized his pace (now feeling good) was too fast for me this early.  I knew better than to be running hills at this pace at mile two. I backed off and let the gray shirt guy pass me.   

We made several turns and the head winds continued to push at us head on.  Sometimes we would get a break for a mile or two, but then it would start up again.  I felt very warm, almost too warm.  It was humid out.  As we ran on, more hills came.  It got to be funny too me.  I started off counting the hills but by halfway, I had lost count. I just did my best and "jogged" up each hill, one at a time.  

The course was very well marked with orange cones, arrows, and tons of volunteers.  Each mile was marked with a large marker that you couldn't miss.  Every mile marker brought more encouragement knowing the finish line was getting closer and closer. It was also nice to have water/electrolytes stations every two miles.  I like to pretend all those volunteers are out there just for me!

By mile 7, gray shirt man was right with-in my reach.  I was gaining on him. I was able to pass him right up.  Guess, I was smart for slowing down my pace slightly during the first couple of miles.

During mile 9, I had a bit of a meltdown. I couldn't remember if I was on mile 8 or 9 and it was really upsetting me.  I refused to scroll though my garmin to find out.  I just didn't feel like it, so I suffered though that mile, hoping I was on mile 9....and not 8.  

 I reached the final 5k (3.1 miles).  I really was getting tired from the hills, all the running, but mostly the headwinds.   I still was feeling pretty good but knew my goal of 1:53-1:55 was going to be a stretch.  I also, had given up on the negative split I wanted.  This was a more challenging course than I ever expected. One thing I knew, I was still going to break two hours!

Just before mile 11 a girl and me keep passing each other back and forth.   As she was coming up behind me someone yelled for her, "go Kara."   So, in my boredom, I pretended I was running with Kara Goucher.  Wow, and I was ahead of her!   Soon she passed me. As she passed she warned me of a nasty hill coming up.  She was very nice!  I didn't mind her passing me at all, after all...she was Kara!

Kara was right,  soon, I came to that hill.  It didn't break my spirit, I just kept going, a little slower, but I was still running! 

 Soon a man (blue shirt) came up and ran with me for a bit. He asked what my "race" was.  I told him I love the marathon and that Uberthons has a awesome full coming in Sept.  He told me how his wife had ran her first full marathon last year with Uberthons.  I got to meet her after we crossed the finish line.  I always love meeting other runners at races!  So fun!

The final stretch was....can you guess?  Another hill!   It is actually quite comical by now.  I could hear Alan announcing names as finishers crossed the finish line.   I ran up that final hill, turned the corner and ran across the finish line.  I was done!  I was handed a huge finisher medal and a emergency warming blanket. The wind was so strong, that blanket was perfect.  It kept me perfectly warm while I waited for friends to come in and enjoyed cheering for complete strangers.  It's so much fun to cheer runners across that finish line!    The looks on faces as they cross is inspiring. I loved it!   

After friends finished, we went inside where the food was!   I was so hungry!  Qdoba Mexican Grill was there too feed us.  It was a perfect post race meal.  It was so nice to be able to sit at tables inside, out of the wind with my friends and just relax.  

The finish 1:56.08

There was massages available for the runners, but I just wanted food.  Sometime I really need to take advantage of a post race massage. They aren't available at all races.   

I was very impressed with Uberthons and their Spring Half.  I plan on coming back in 2015 to PR the course! 

Take a minute to check out this NEWS from The Oregon Marathon!

I'm looking forward to 2014 Half Marathon of Oregon.  Maybe you would like to join me or even run the The Oregon Marathon FULL!

Need help and encouragement getting your training started? Message me on facebook at Dallas, OR Run the Open Road

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