Perfect weather conditions yesterday morning for a race. It was in the low 50s for the race start, overcast and foggy. I thought the fog would get annoying, but the dampness really helped keep me cool! There were five of us from our running group (Yay, RunDMC!) that drove to Xenia, OH together (approximately 1.5 hours away) for the ORRRC Marathon/Half Marathon.
|Everyone waiting for the start|
This was quite a different race experience for me;
1. We went out of town Friday-Saturday for family weekend at LegoFest and didn't sleep a whole lot.
2. I was running WITH a friend whereas I usually run on my own with my music. This time, we were running together to push/pull each other to the finish line (goal was sub 2:00 for Angie and a PR for me). And it was great. I never even missed my music!
3. It was a "small" race with only about 1,000 racers total for both the half and full marathons. My other halfs and the full had well over 10,000 with the different distances combined.
4. There was no on-course entertainment, just a few spectators along the way. It was great to have Allen and his girlfriend, Chikako, there to cheer us on and for all the great (?) pictures. (I NEVER like my race pictures).
Angie and I started about mid-pack hoping we were in the correct starting position. It seemed to work out great for us. We tried to keep our speed on goal pace for the first couple miles and not go out too fast with the excitement of the race. Looking at our splits, we were very consistent the entire race (with the exception of mile 10). For what we had heard that it was a "flat" course, there were many points during the first half of almost continuous uphill that we were swearing at the hills! They weren't huge hills, just enough of an upwards incline that you could feel it! We were doing great and feeling great until the turnaround point just never seemed to appear. Honestly, I didn't look too closely at the course map, so I wasn't sure where the turnaround point was; just thinking it would have been close to the halfway. It felt like forever to get to the turnaround; actually at mile 8something! Mentally, once we turned, we were much better off.
Around mile 9something, I felt a pain in my knee. The same knee that I had a torn meniscus during marathon training last summer. Not good. We stopped for a minute to stretch it and check it out. Felt ok, so I decided to keep going. We kept our pace slower for a few minutes, then I felt fine, so we picked it back up. (Looking at the splits, this was the slowest mile at 9:16!) After the turn it was more downhill so we were able to make up the time.
I really started thinking we were going to make our goals. However, I wasn't willing to go all out and risk hurting my knee. I kept telling Angie to go ahead as I knew she was going to get the sub 2:00 she wanted. Finally with around 1.5miles left, she pulled ahead. I couldn't wait to catch up to her at the finish line to see what her final time was. So proud of her!!
|When I saw 1:58 on the clock, I knew I had made it!|
I really enjoyed the small race and running with Angie. At times, it was pretty easy to forget that we were in the middle of a race, it honestly felt like a (crowded) training run. Thank you, Angie, for sticking with me when I thought I was injured and for pushing/pulling me to the end. Without your help, I don't know that I would have made it.
|Yay!!! We did it! Sub 2:00 for us both!|
Official time: 1:58:10 (1 minute 45sec improvement!!)
|PRs for us all! Great day for racing!|