Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Celebrate Life 1/2 Marathon

Driving an hour and a half to the race I wasn't too sure what to expect. It was slightly raining in spots and the wind was pretty strong. I started to get a little anxious thinking that I was completely off my rocker to sign up for a 1/2 marathon in MARCH. I kept thinking that why couldn't the weather be like the weekend before, warm and in the high 40's low 50's....but after all it is March in Upstate New York and the weather is crazy. We arrived at the race and I was surprised by the amount of snow that they still have. It is in Sullivan County and they really got hit hard by the snow fall a could of weeks ago, on top of that it was wet and muddy also...oh goodie!
I signed in, got my bib and this windbreaker that Graydon is wearing and then headed out into the lodge to start stretching. We had a good hour before the race started, just enough to get the nerves going. At this point I really starting to doubt my training that I did. I did this also at the full marathon and started to drive myself a little nuts. How on earth could I get through this 1/2 in this weather??? Also, in my nervousness I lost my bib. I ripped my truck apart looking for it, the nap sacks were turned inside out and then Todd and Graydon went back into the lodge to find it laying on the floor. TG!!
After all that hoopla, Graydon and Todd walked me to the starting line where I decided to hang out in the back of the pack. The front lines are usually all the serious runners who do incredible times and I didn't want to get stuck starting out too fast and losing my breathing.

The National Anthem was sung and we were on our way....all smiles not knowing what is to come.
OK, not so bad starting off downhill but I know there is one hell of a hill coming. At least 3/4 of a mile and steep...right in the very beginning. Oh well, I thought, get it over with and then they said it was beautiful rolling hills and it would be fun.

This is the very beginning of the steep 3/4 mile long hill. At this point I was trying to get my breathing under control because I knew I would have to use a lot of energy to get up the hill. It was nice to see Todd and Graydon cheering me on. They gave me the motivation to get my rear up that hill.

Mile 3...feeling pretty good. Here I am thinking...OK, hills I hope you aren't too bad. 10 more miles of huge hills would totally stink! Graydon and Todd followed me to this point and yelled out that they would see me at mile 4. Also, notice the snow...holy moly. And on top of the cold, it was sprinkling...not too bad but enough to wet your face and dampen your hair. I am so glad I bought this windbreaker the night before. Everyone kept telling me to use a garbage bag but come on...I think I can buy a windbreaker. There even was a girl running the race with a black garbage bag on and a shower cap. Classy!
OK...so mile 4 came and I quickly stopped to get a water break and talk to Todd and Graydon. He said that he would meet up with me at mile 8 and asked if I would be OK for 4 miles. Sure, of course I said. Well, I went on my way and realized that I actually had to run around Wolf Lake. A LAKE!! I looked at the very beginning of the lake and saw how large it was, holy hell!! It was all rolling hills, some really steep and short, others long and a low grade. The houses on that lake were amazing. Huge mansions and that kept the scenery interesting. Just when I thought to myself hey, I really like this one another one would be around the bend and it would be more grand. I would love to head back there in the summer time to see them.
Up a hill to mile 8 and there was Todd and Graydon smiling and cheering on. I headed down to see them, grabbed some gummy bears and kisses and back up the hill I went.
After I saw them at mile 8, I then saw them at mile 11 and they went on their way to the finish line. I knew my time was crappy but between the rain and the strong wind and hills, what else could I do. I had a little talk to myself and said "FINISH STRONG, YOU CAN DO THIS" and at that point it was mile 12...sleet and hail decided to fall with the wind in toe and it hurt so bad on your face. I ran with a girl at this point who during the whole race we played cat and mouse. We chatted, swore and cheered each other on. I always get a strong kick in the end and sprinted as fast as my legs would go to the finish line.

I hung out at the finish line for a little bit and then headed into the lodge where they had beer and food by Outback Restaurant. The line for the food was ridiculously long so I grabbed a beer and headed outside into a snow bank. This idea I got from Ashley and it was heaven! Even though it was so cold outside, the snow felt great on my tired legs and especially my butt. It was great to enjoy that beer after the long run!!! It tasted soooo good!!
We headed out after that and went to Todd's aunt and uncle who live nearby. After a shower, we had an incredible Irish dinner of corned beef and cabbage, potatoes and carrots. Yumm...the perfect salty dinner after that long race.
Great conversation and food...what more could I have?
Ask me again if I would do this race, I think I would have to ponder this.
I was a nice race, great wind breaker and food but no medal. It sounds petty of me to wish I had a medal but after running this whole half of a marathon, I would really like to have that medal.
But I ran it and I'm glad!
Now on to another race in two weeks...this time right down the road from my house and YAY, it is my training route! Hopefully it will be nice weather!

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