Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Capital City Half-Marathon Race Report

My friend Sarah really helped me start running.  The first time I ran with her I could only run a couple miles.  She encouraged and motivated me to run and was such a great running partner to me.  Sarah moved to Ohio last fall, and although it's been a great move for her and her husband -- I miss her very much!

In looking for a weekend to go visit Sarah, I started looking up races in her area.  I can't seem to help it -- I absolutely love running races.  When we planned to visit her on the weekend of May 6th, and I found out the Capital City Half-Marathon was on May 7th I immediately knew that I wanted to run it!  My friends Stacie, Wendy, and Hannah decided to run the Quarter-Marathon.  Keep in mind that Wendy and Hannah are both pregnant -- total rockstars!

We didn't leave Virginia until late Friday afternoon and so Sarah picked up our race packets for us.  We managed to find some Italian food in West Virginia for dinner, and I had my signature fettucini alfredo with bread to carbo-load.  It was perfect!  We got to Sarah's pretty late that night and made it to bed around 11:00ish.  I set my alarm for 6:00am which wasn't too bad considering I had to wake up at 3:00am for the Disney Marathon.  Here we all are ready to hit the road!

I ate my english muffin w/ peanut butter and honey, drank a glass of water, and we were off!  Hannah shared one of her Gatorade Prime drinks with me in the car on the way.  We left the house at 7:00am and hit traffic pretty quick.  I started getting pretty nervous, but Jessica and Sarah dropped us off right near the start.  I was in the race corral by 7:50am -- no time to make a last minute port-a-potty stop, but enough time to find the 2:05 pacer.  It was really crowded in the corrals, but I didn't have to wait long at all.  One of the band members from OAR played the national anthem, and I shed a few tears.  Running is so emotional for me.  It's something I never thought I'd be able to do, and now it's a huge part of my life.  It has taught me so much about myself, and I'll always be grateful for the ability to run every single race.  It took about five minutes for my corral (C) to take off.  I started right behind the 2:05 pacers, and set my sights on a PR!

Mile 1: 9:08
Mile 2: 9:15
Mile 3: 9:23

The first few miles are always the toughest on me in any run.  I feel tired, lazy and I worry I won't be able to make it until the end.  The weather was pretty nice -- mid 50s, low 60s.  I got a little hot, but it was mostly cloudy and there was a nice breeze at times.  I tried really hard to keep up with the pacers, but around miles 3 and 4 I got behind them.  I began to tell myself that even a 2:06 or 2:07 finish would be amazing.  I started without listening to any music, but I soon plugged into my iPod shuffle.  I really love running without music, but I knew that if I pumped up the jams they'd help me push the speed.  This was the first race that I've ever started and finished on my own.  Music really helped me zone everything else out and keep up the pace.  I still enjoyed the course, and I often paused my music when going through water stops.

Mile 4: 9:26
Mile 5: 9:08
Mile 6: 9:38

The course was a lot of fun, and the best part about it was that it was F-L-A-T.  We started downtown in the city, and I ran through a lot of Ohio State University's campus.  I really wanted to run with a camera, but I knew I needed to focus on my running this race.  I didn't want to have to worry about snapping pictures along the way.  At one point I saw a boxer that looked just like Carter, and I got so excited!  It's funny what will help motivate you along the way! :)  I started feeling really great at the half-way mark.  I took several Cliff Blocks along the way, and I could feel a surge of energy.  I felt so great that I eventually passed up the 2:05 pacers.  My legs felt good, and I was ready to roll.

Mile 7: 9:17
Mile 8: 9:02
Mile 9: 9:18

I saw my friends Sarah and Jessica somewhere around this point, and I got so excited to hear them cheering for me.  I didn't expect to be so happy to see them, but it was such a great moment.  I didn't realize Jess had snapped any pictures, but take a look below -- just how crazy do I look here?!?  My excitement levels are clearly off the chart at this point...

At this point I knew that I was on target for a good finish, and I kept thinking about how excited I would be to tell Mathis, and my Mom and Dad.  I knew my friends would be excited for me too, and I even thought about blogging this recap! :)  I started doing the math, and I knew that finishing under 2 hours would be a little too ambitious for me, but I definitely began aiming for a finish under 2:05 -- I did not want to see those 2:05 pacers pass me up!

Mile 10: 9:19
Mile 11: 9:21

The Quarter Marathon and Half Marathon runners all started together, and the half split off twice from the quarter.  I started getting really nervous that I wouldn't split off at the right place, but I eventually saw the big signs directing me towards the left.  It got pretty tough during this part.  I remember hitting mile 10 and hearing someone ask, "Who's ready to run a 5K?!?!" We runners can be such nerds sometimes! :)  I kept telling myself that I'd be done in X minutes, and to just keep it going.  I had already put so much work into the race, that I didn't want to give up now.  My legs were sore from the speed/distance, and I still had to go to the bathroom from before the race began.  I kept telling myself to not make up any excuses!

Mile 12: 9:19
Mile 13: 8:55
.24: 1:43 (7:07 pace!)

It wasn't long before I could see the finish line... it seemed like there was a slight uphill climb during the last leg, but I really pushed through it.  I know that I looked like a crazy person -- I was breathing so hard, and sprinting with everything I had.  I remember looking down at my watch and seeing a 6:30 pace -- obviously I only kept this up for a few minutes, but I was still proud!

I was immediately handed a medal, and I'm in LOVE with it.  I also got a bottle of water and a Panera bagel.  My friend Sarah started calling me right away, and I just happened to run into Wendy and Hannah in the finisher's end.  We eventually met up with everyone else, and stocked up on some of the goodies -- including a Victoria's Secret Water Bottle and headbands.  They were handing out glasses of champagne, and I loved celebrating with a glass!  It was fun to catch up on how everyone had done, and hear everybody's stories.  Notice our matching headbands... :)

From the race we decided to walk to a cupcake shop... perfect way to stretch the legs and recover with some food.  This was such a great race, and a day that I won't ever forget!

Miles: 13.24 (according to my Garmin)
Time: 2 hours, 2 minutes


  1. Wow! That is so awesome! You did a great job, You are such an inspiration! :) I do love the matching headbands :)

  2. I loved reading your re cap, way to really push it in the end and congrats on a new PR YOU ROCK!

  3. Congrats, that is so awesome, and I love seeing how excited you look in the pics!

  4. That is AWESOME! I bet you've been on cloud 9 all week :)