Sunday, April 22, 2012

earth day half marathon

Pre-race: enjoying my tasty
honey stinger jot thingies.
Last week, on the spur of the moment, the husband and I signed up for another half marathon.  It's in St. Cloud, which is about two hours away; we thought it would be fun to have a little getaway/alone time while still getting our long runs done.

Things didn't exactly go as planned.  Let's see:
1. We both worked later than planned, which meant we left later than planned.  Rush hour traffic + construction EVERYWHERE = a long-ass, crabbiness-inducing drive.
2. Obviously, the traffic got to us. We got into a verbal tussle on the way to St. Cloud.  About what, you ask?  We fought about light rail and its cost/benefit ratio.  (WTF?? Who FIGHTS about stupid stuff like that? Ummm, yeah, I guess we do.)

So cold, waiting to start.
3. I booked a room in a pretty crappy hotel that had ZERO soundproofing between rooms. We got to hear every conversational detail of the huge family in the next room AND the movie they were watching. Thank goodness for the noisy air conditioner fan.
4. We ate a nasty dinner at Green Mill (where I skipped the adult beverage), next to a family with a child who really needed a diaper change.  It's funny how, as a parent, you get used to things.  I remember smelly diapers not being particularly offensive when my kids were small... does this mean I'm getting old and less tolerant? (Asked the woman who refers to herself as a bitter hag...)
5. I stupidly forgot food for race morning so we had to go out after dinner and get some bagels, peanut butter and bananas. Due to the two big convention-type things going on at the hotel, there was zero parking available.  We parked "creatively" and were very glad that the car was still there the next morning.
6. And finally, the husband has been under the weather all week and decided (wisely) to skip the half marathon. Instead he was my cheerleader and paparazzi.  He rocks. I love that man!!

The start of the race.

So, as you may or may not know, my last few long runs have been absolute suckfests, which made me a little nervous heading into this one. I decided I was just going to run on feel, and not worry about trying to meet any type of specific time goal.  I kept GarminElectra covered, not that I can see her very well anyway what with my aging eyes and all, and I ran with tunes.  I can't remember the last time I used my iPod in a race.  It was a huge help!  I may have to make that a habit.

I started with the 2:15 pace group thinking that would be an easy enough pace for me to keep. They started out faster than I was comfortable with so I just let them go on ahead. Eventually, I caught up with the group and ran alongside them for a few miles, which was fun. The pacer was hilarious and kept us all laughing.  Then I started slowly moving ahead feeling GREAT the whole time. Before I knew it, I was heading onto the football field and crossing the finish line.  With a shiny new PR!! Official time was 2:12:26, exactly 3 minutes faster than the hellish Get Lucky 21k.

The weather was great: 40s, overcast, drizzle at the beginning which turned into steady rain pretty quickly. A bit of a headwind in some spots, which became a lovely tailwind when we were heading back to the stadium. I felt pretty badass when I was done - running that far in the rain always makes me feel like a hardcore runner, despite my slow pace!

Although you can't tell, yes, I am
actually RUNNING here.
My splits:

Avg Pace

Heading for the finish line and feeling like
such a tough chick running after 13.1 miles in the rain!
And is it just me, or do my hand warmers give me
shrunken doll hand syndrome a la Kirsten Wiig on SNL?
This was a really fun race - the whole town gets into it, lots of spectators, neighborhoods handing out orange slices, candy and one group was even handing out GU.  Little kids, elderly folks, local high school and college track teams...... they all braved the wind and rain, held their hands out for high fives and just generally provided lots of support and encouragement.... I love races like that! And the course was great too, mostly flat, went along the Mississippi River, through a park (it was a nice break to run on grass!), through a country club, and alongside some gorgeous gardens.  I'd definitely run this one again.  

But perhaps I'll pick a different hotel.

Oh! And here's a little bonus for you:

The husband took video of me running!!  Now you can see my su-WEET leg-floppy running style!


  1. Awesome job and congrats on the PR.
    I always say that a trip that goes too smoothly doesn't give one any stories to tell! Sounds like it all worked out in the end though...

  2. A PR and negative split!!! Congrats! That dirty diaper problem was cracking me up because that's exactly something I wouldn't notice right now (twin boys in diapers -- more poop than a nose can handle). But once they are potty trained, it will disgust me again.

  3. LOL -- check out that awesome negative split!!! So we definitely are hoping for a nice 50 degrees at Grandma's this year for you to celebrate another shiny new PR!!!! AWESOME work Nora!!!!!!

  4. You did so awesome!! Congrats on a great run! Gives me motivation. Really it does.

  5. love it! those are some impressive splits. congrats on the PR!

  6. Hmmm, I thought I already commented here. Blogger hates me sometimes. Or I'm getting old. Or both :)

    CONGRATULATIONS! What a fantastic job!


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