Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Run to Remember Half Marathon

This past Sunday, I ran in my second half marathon (the first was the Wicked Half Marathon in Salem in 2007).   One thing I wish I were better at is taking picture while I run... though, maybe I'm amazing at it and have no idea, I didn't actually try.

I was worried on Thursday as I did my last pre-half run because it kind of sucked. It was hot and humid and I had been running in the cool rain so much that it was weird to get used to.  

Saturday, I think I may have over done it on the carbs.  No, no, I'm positive I over did it on the carbs.  I felt fine on Sunday, but I just had a one person carb party on Saturday (ok, and Sunday).  I mean, I only ran 13.1 miles... not 13.1 hours. (I did make sure I had those magic wheat berries, though)

Capris from Marshalls, tank from Old Navy,
sneakers, my number, my phone arm band,
heart rate monitor, bandanna, and NOT a
fanny pack... GU belt... shut up.

The night before, I set out my clothes because I was going to have to get up pretty early if I was going to eat a little something and then give myself some time to digest so it wouldn't bother my stomach as I ran.  I'm terrible at eating before I run.  (I will say, I felt great while I was running, so I should figure out how to do it without getting up at 4:30am to do it) 

So, I got out of bed at 4:45am and ate my breakfast while watching a really old episode of Law and Order.  that guest starred Julia Roberts.  


Breakfast of champions. I hope this sale at Target doesn't
mean the end of the Honey Pretzel variety of Luna Bars. 
I'm possibly still asleep here.

I got ready and drove out to Boston. I think I made it there at about 6:15am.  I parked in a lot close by (never again... we'll come back to this) and walked over to the Seaport World Trade Center.  

People were running from their cars to the start line....
cool it, guys, there'll be plenty of that later.

I wandered around the expo for a little while, avoiding the pushy sales people, picking up some free GU to add to my stash, and then walked over to my pacing area so I would have a space.

I was hoping to run around this time.

I hung out for a while and ate one chocolate GU packet 15 minutes before the start.  PS- they mean it when they say wash it down with water.  It just kind of hangs out and threatens acid reflux until you do.

So many people!

I decided not to use my GPS app because it's a total battery killer.  I just listened to my playlist.  Oh! I decided (a little late) to ask some friends for one song suggestion so that when it came up during the race, I would think of them and (hopefully) be happy.

Here are some highlights from my list- it was pretty great:

"Don't Stop Me Now"- Queen
"Sir Duke"- Stevie Wonder
"TV Eye"- Wylde Rattz (Stooges cover)
"Good Day Sunshine"- The Beatles
"Put It In a Love Song"- Alicia Keys featuring Beyonce
"Pump it Up"- Elvis Costello
"My Freeze Ray"- Dr. Horrible
"The Pretender"- Foo Fighters
"Pulling the Rug"- Imelda May
"Super Bass"- Nicki Minaj
"You're So Damn Hot"- OK Go
"All Fired Up"- Pat Benatar
"Live and Let Die"- Live version from Paul is Live

I started the playlist and my heart rate monitor a minute or so before we started... and we were off! And then we stopped... and then we ran!... and stopped... this happened a couple of times until everyone was off for a while and could actually run without bumping into each other.  

I was a little concerned because nerves and excitement raised my heart rate a bit at the start.  Also, there was the acid reflux no water GU feeling.  I just took a few deep breaths and tried to relax and enjoy the run.  The first water stop totally relieved the acid feeling, my heart rate came down to normal, and I just ran and enjoyed.

I got into a good rhythm at the water stations... I was nervous about getting in the way, about drinking too much, not drinking enough... I eventually decided that I would drink a cup of water, drink a cup of Gatorade, and then dump a cup of water on myself.  It was a good system.

The first friend suggestion song that came up was Pantera "Five Minutes Alone", suggested by Brian M.  Good suggestion!  It came up around mile 3.

Around the 4.5 mark, we saw some police motorcycles driving towards us.  The cops were telling us to move to the right and slowly our group realized at once that that meant there were people that already had looped around in Harvard Square and were coming back.  The way back was a little longer, so they probably had... 5.5 miles left to go?  And we were on 4.5. Yep.  We cheered the two front runners on as they flew past us and then the next few groups.  After a while there was a more steady stream of people (a lot closer to the loop around.

I think Sarah J's song was the next friend suggestion- and perfect timing! I was losing some steam and Beyonce "Girls Rule the World" got me through mile 9 to the next water stop :)  That song was quickly followed by "I'm So Tired" by The Beatles and I became the idiot laughing alone during the half marathon.

Around mile 11 or so, I was treated to some Candide. Oddly enough, "Bon Voyage" and "Auto de Fey" are fun to run to. 

We got to mile 12 and I tried to pick up the pace... the final friend suggestion came on, Corey J's, "Call Me Maybe". Yes. He did.  (I totally did the dance from the video for one line while it played).  

The final song was a really awesome streak of luck (it was just on shuffle), "My Sweet Lord" by George Harrison. That song always comes on when I'm having a bad day either on my iPod, phone, or even Pandora.  It cheers me up.  (Also, the only song I've ever 'played' on the guitar in front of people)  It was a really lovely way to cross the finish line.


I found Kevin waiting there! It really meant a lot to have him there at the finish line. :) (I think I mentioned before that at the other half, I finished alone, ate a bagel, and then left...)  I went inside, got my medal and a banana and some peanut butter and then found him in the crowd.  We walked around a little, but decided we should get going to my faaaaavorite brunch place, Red Lentil (they do more than brunch, they're a Vegetarian place in Watertown, they just have amazing brunch). 

As I said, I parked in a nearby lot.  Kevin had parked in a garage a little bit down the road since he met me there.  I waited LITERALLY an hour in line to get out of the lot... Next time, I park in the garage.  A little walk is so much better than sitting in the car for an hour after running 13.1 miles, no matter how much you stretch.  

I'm smiling because I don't know how long it will take to get out of there.

My official time was 2:16:05!  It's 14 minutes faster than the other half I did!  

I think my next half will be The Wicked Half in Salem in September.  It was a pretty race (though it was super hilly) and I think being more prepared will greatly improve the experience for me.  I have 17 weeks until the race and already put the training in my calendar.  This time, I'm doing some work on speed!  So far, I've only ever just run at a comfortable pace and worked on mileage.  I followed the Novice Program on Hal Higdon's site.  This time, I'm following the Intermediate.  

Thanks for reading and for all the kind words of support from my friends!  I really had a wonderful time running this race and I really am looking forward to the next one!

Next day post half marathon pedicure :)