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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Charlottesville Half Marathon

Good morning!

Well, I should have written this on Saturday or Sunday, but the days flew by and now it's Tuesday and I truly hope I can remember all I thought I wanted to say about this race!  Haha.

Friday night I worked my usual hostessing shift at Fellini's.  Since we are an Italian restaurant we were jam-packed with people carbing up for the Marathon!  It was really fun to see everyone with their swag bags, and helpfully recommending my most favorite dish for their pre-race meal.  We were so busy I wasn't able to sit down and eat my own meal (yes, the very same I was recommending to all!) until 10:00 pm!  I was still rather jazzed up from all the socializing I had been doing (not to mention running around trying to clear tables super fast in order to accomodate the growing wait list).  I finally arrived home and crashed in to bed just after 11.  Whew.

I totally slept through my alarm.  Crazy.  I had set it for 4:50, the stinking start time was 6:30 am!  I rolled over and glanced at the clock at 5:15.  EEK!  I live just about 30 minutes outside of the city and had already picked up all my goods, but I really didn't want to get there and just start running.  Plus, I was a little concerned about parking.  Anyway, I had set my outfit out the night before, so I threw on my clothes, filled up my water bottle and headed out the door.  Halfway between my house and downtown (6:00 am), I realized I had forgotten my race bib.  FORGOTTEN MY RACE BIB.  UGH!  For those who may not know me personally, numbers are a big deal to me.  I love numbers and I find significance in numbers all around me.  I had no reason to love my bib number of "1423", but I had decided it was a great number for a few reasons.  A combination of 1234; I am 1 person with 4 kids 2 twins and 3 boys; John 14:23...etc, etc.  So, anyway, I had decided I loved my bib number.  Only to leave it at home.  I was at the no turning back point because I would have been late to the starting line...so I proceeded forward and prayed they would have extras at the starting line.  Turns out they did...I got my way less inspirational number of 2158.  Boring and random and just flat out weird.  No worries, I headed to the starting line and did some stretching.  I found myself a little closer to the front than I really wanted...not exactly close, but there were some speedy-looking people all around me, and I admit to feeling a little intimidated!

It was freezing cold, by the way, and there were runners out there in shorts.  Not "shorts and a t-shirt" I mean JUST SHORTS. 

When we started running I was feeling good.  Trying to remember to pace myself, but really enjoying the spectators all around and the recognizable portion of the route which I used to run when I first moved to town.  It was cool.  I wasn't timing myself, but I had my watch on to run the 3/1 intervals and I figured out mile 1 was 9:30.  Nice.  After the 2nd mile, we started heading out of town.  The route got a bit interesting, so I wasn't paying much attention to anything at this point.  I remember seeing the mile markers for 9 and 10 while I was enjoying a nice downhill run.  Yep, I realized that meant 9 and 10 would be uphill.  Not steep, but constant.  Yay (sarcasm font). 

This was also when the leaders began to pass us on their way back to the finish line!  It was pretty cool to begin to see people coming at us, since this was kind of out in the country and there were almost NO spectators.  There were a lot of people ahead of me.  A lot.  Haha.  So, the water station around Mile Marker 5/6 (?) was a big one because it was also being used by people who had turned around and were at mile 8.  This began quite a large hill.  Which meant mile 7 to mile 8 was a wonderful fast downhill!  I hadn't checked much, but my time for the downhill 8th mile was 8 minutes!  I know this because I looked at my cell phone at the turnaround (7) and then sent a text to a friend at the bottom to say "Mile 8, Chafing!"  Yeah...I was totally texting during this race.  I decided at the very last minute to wear my fleece because it was super cold and I knew I wouldn't be able to maintain a fast enough pace the entire time to get truly warm.  Also, with a start time of 6:30 and a goal finish time of 9:00 am, I figured it wasn't going to warm up all that much!  I was right, and am very glad I chose to wear the jacket.  Of course, wearing it meant I had my keys and cell phone with me - and my cell phone totally made a couple of pocket calls and texts.  Haha.

After mile 8 I was feeling super good and really excited about possibly finishing faster than I'd hoped realizing I was past the halfway mark and loving the scenery all around and happy about seeing how many people were behind me and realizing the 3:00 time limit truck was at least a couple miles behind and wow, did I really just run an 8 minute mile in the middle of a half marathon??!?!?!?   Oh, and then I remembered miles 9 and 10.  How enjoyable they were on the way DOWN.  Ugh.  Oh yes, they were tough.  Long, constant uphill battles.  Each 3 minutes of running dragged on and on.  Each 1 minute of walking felt like 10 seconds.  I was breathing hard and my lungs were cold and those two miles took me 24 minutes total!  Booooo.

Once we got back into town and I saw the 12 mile marker, I was golden.  Not only was I ready to be done, but it was flat terrain and the spectator numbers had significantly risen AND mile 12 for the half was mile 19 for the full...seeing those speedy runners and how fluidly they ran and how they barely even looked tired, well that was quite motivational.  As I came down the last bit of hill and began to turn towards the finish line I heard loud shouting of "LOOK!  IT'S THE FRIENDLY FELLINI'S HOSTESS!"  How sweet is that?  Even though we moved to Cville to be closer to family, I had nobody with me for this race.  Nobody at the finish line....except my fans from the night before, I guess!  Yay!  That gave me the extra push to dig in at the finish and cross that line feeling great.  I saw a couple of other people who I had spoken to the night before and actually didn't feel as lonely as I thought I would. 

As I ran by, I thought the clock said 2:17.  I remember seeing a husband and wife couple crossing the finish directy in front of me and hearing the announcer call them out as "Mr. and Mrs." - this will be important when I was looking for my official results.  Turns out, I guess my new crappy number of 2158 wasn't turned on or hooked up or something.  I cannot find my finish time in the official results.  Nowhere.  Major sad face.  I mean, I got my awesome t-shirt and my medal, so that's great.  It's not like I was anywhere near first place.  I still just really wanted to see the official time in print.  Does anyone understand this?  When I looked at the results, I found a husband/wife couple who finished in the 2:16's.  The race wasn't huge, so there were only about 4 finishers in that "grouping".  I decided to claim their time as mine (gun time, not chip) and their pace was 10:26.  Remember my love of meaningful numbers?  Well, my birthday is October 26th.  I'll take that.  :)

All in all, a great race.  When I consider how slack I have been with my training this time, and how poorly I have been eating - I think 11 minutes slower on a course I knew nothing about, is probably pretty darn good.  When I got home, I was able to do a couple Easter Egg hunts with the kids and make a large lunch and even fit in an hour nap before heading off for a waitressing shift.  I worked from 4 until midnight.  On my feet the entire time.  I felt fine until about 11 o'clock when my legs told me, "Um, lady, we're done."  Popped a couple of ibuprofen and pushed them just a little bit later.  I truly think this is why I felt fine yesterday.  I'm all good today and even heading to the gym to begin a workout program sent to me by a dear friend! 

If you are still reading, allow me one more quick thing regarding the upcoming Blue Ridge Marathon!  I am doing it.  I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it.  During the half I decided NOT to do it.  At the end of the half I thought....maybe.  I talked to my mom on my drive home and told her maybe.  I prayed about it and realized, yes.  I'm doing it.  I'm not running.  I'm not promising any amazing finish times.  I am simply going there to finish a full marathon and get the 26.2 sticker for my car and decide whether I will ever, ever, ever do another.  Ok?  All of that being said, I would like for YOU all to help me out with 26 miles of motivation....here's how.

I'm going to set up an email address and give someone other than me (likely my mom or sister) the access.  If you would send me some motivational words for a specific mile (as we receive emails, I will let everyone know what miles are "taken"), and maybe even something fun to do for my picture at the mile marker!  I'm going to be carrying my camera with me and I had planned to take a face photo at each mile, but I would also like to take a picture of something specific for the readers and followers of this blog!  For example, Bob might ask me to get a picture with another runner at mile 18.  Or Betty might say, get a picture of a tree close to the mile 6 marker.  Or even, get a picture of yourself giving a double thumbs up at mile 26!  You know what I'm saying, right?

I will have the motivational words written on pages in a mini-notebook and I will not read what they say until I am AT the mile marker indicated.  So, if you write - "At mile 3, I want her to read You are doing great and you totally are going to rock this."  Then I will have my email "manager" (I seriously can't think of another word right now) write that on the Mile 3 page which I will turn to when I pass mile 3.  Make sense? 

By the way - I would love to read motivational things only, but I also definitely definitely appreciate a good joke.  So, if we have an inside joke from our past, that would be pretty awesome to be reminded of around mile 20.  The famous "wall mile", right? 

Okay, that's it for now!  I just signed up and the email will be audrey26miles AT hotmail DOT com.

Thanks!!  xoxo

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  1. YOU ARE AWESOME! You beat the pants off my time this weekend! Given how busy you have been I am SUPER impressed at how well you did!

    I can't wait to hear about your experience at blue ridge!

  2. You ROCK! Proud of you for your amazing race this weekend and excited for your marathon. Loveyameanit.


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