Posted by: rl4man | October 28, 2011

Two More Halves Under the Belt

Wow, I just haven’t made time to post my last two race reports. They’ve been good, too. Since it’s been so long, I guess I’ll make them brief.

Swag from Findlay's RWB 26.2

My third half marathon of the year was Findlay’s Red White & Blue 26.2 (seems funny to call a half marathon by that name). The weather ended up being near perfect. It was in the 40’s pretty much the entire time, sunny, and just started getting breezy toward the end. I was a bit overdressed with my jacket on. I would have been more comfortable without it. The race was much improved from last year, although there still weren’t any spectators along the course. The water station volunteers were great. I ran a good time and it was nice to come in to the finish to an announcer and actual live people there. The medal was great–large, heavy, substantial. So much better than last year’s pathetic medal. I happily added that to my collection.

I ran strong until about mile 10. I stopped to text Kevin that I was about half an hour from the finish and then had a hard time starting back up. I managed to come in at 2:19:16 and it was goal to be under 2:20, so I was very happy with that. Average pace was 10:37. I was disappointed that Kevin didn’t manage to get the boys to the finish until right after I crossed the line. They missed it.

But at least everything was still hopping inside the lodge instead of being empty like last year. I’m hoping they kept things set up for the full marathon finishers that came in at the end, but I couldn’t stay to find out as we had to get to church.

Two weeks later, was the Columbus half marathon. We came down on Friday night so we could celebrate Jessie’s 6th birthday (no way is my baby six!!!) at Momma and Jack’s house.

Cakepops to take to school.

Jessie and his birthday cake.

 

Saturday, we took the boys to the Red Nose Run that the Columbus Marathon put on. The boys did great, had so much fun and each got t-shirts and a neat molded rubber medal that they were excited about.

Micah flying past.

Jessie actually passing other kids and smiling the whole way.

Showing off their medals.

Kevin and I dropped the boys off at Momma’s so we could go downtown to the expo to pick up my race packet. It was a little overwhelming and crowded. We browsed briefly then wandered around the North Market a little bit since I hadn’t ever been there before. We didn’t find anything to eat, so we headed back towards my mom’s. We saw the Claddagh Irish Pub at Polaris, so we decided to try it out. I ended up with mushroom ravioli in a cream sauce that I wasn’t sure was a good idea, but it sounded good. And it was. We went back to my mom’s, Kevin got the boys and left for home and I headed over to Kristi’s house.

Sunday morning, Kristi and I got up early, she had bought me Panera bagels so I ate half of one, drank some water, and we headed to the race start. Oh, (TMI warning) my cycle decided to start with a vengeance somewhere between 4 and 5. So I popped a couple ibuprofen hoping to ward off the impending cramps. We got close to the starting area and Kristi let me off about 6:45 while she went to park her car in a pre-paid reserved garage close to the finish line. It was cool–40’s and rose into the 50’s during the race, so again, very nice running weather. I learned from my last race and only wore a long sleeved shirt with a short sleeved shirt over it, no jacket. Somehow Kristi and I never saw each other during the race (it would have helped if I’d checked my text messages before mile 7.5! Sorry, Kristi!). While I waited, a couple got married on stage and I talked to a guy in my corral for a little bit. I was not feeling confident or prepared at all. The previous week I got one run in since I was busy getting stuff done for Jessie’s birthday. I took another couple ibuprofen about 7:00 to make sure they got in my system in time. The race started promptly at 7:30 but it took 6 minutes for me to actually cross the starting line. The course was nice, running through Bexley, German Village and up High St. There were a few minor inclines, but nothing too intimidating. I thought I’d try to hang on to a pace somewhere between 10:00 and 10:30 as long as I could. I was surprised that I was holding that pace pretty well the entire first half. I was tiring a little around mile 8, but still feeling pretty strong, so I just kept it up. Miles 9 and 10 came and went and I still felt good. At mile 11, I realized I had a good shot at making a sub 2:15 and started really pushing myself. There was a little downhill, but then an uphill for mile 11.5. So not cool! The finish was downhill on brick which could have been a little treacherous had it been wet, but it was fine and made it easy to pick up a bit of speed. As I approached the finish line, they announced the full marathon winner was coming up so I reached for that line before he got there. I think I “beat” him by about 5 seconds–at least I didn’t get lapped. My official time was 2:13:39 with an average pace of 10:12. Amazing! I would have never predicted a PR that day and not by that much. I’m starting to think maybe a sub-2:00 half is in me someday. Thanks go to Kristi, as always, for being the best running support I have. At least this time she didn’t have to babysit for the boys.

The one picture Kristi got of me just after the finish line.

Columbus goodies

Medal close-up

I’ve been trying to work on speed for upcoming 5k’s this fall. My goal is to run a sub-25:00 on the treadmill. I’ve done sub-26:00 about three times now. I’m still chasing that sub-28:00 5k race PR. I’ll get it this year yet, I’m sure. Then I’ll keep working at shaving time off. I know I have a limit somewhere in this 40+-year-old body, but I’m hoping I haven’t found it yet.

The boys ran cross country this year with the school. They improved a lot over the season and Jessie seems to have grown to actually enjoy running. He’s so small it’s hard for him to run fast, but he’s happy if he doesn’t come in last place. Micah is always somewhere in the middle of the pack. The last meet they had, they each got participant medals which was nice. Ribbons are ok, but medals are awesome! (Hey, I feel the same way, so I can’t blame them!)

On family news, my mother-in-law is in the middle of her aggressive chemo treatment. Two treatments down and two more to go (one of those today). It’s been up and down and it’s been rough, but she’s hanging in there. She got a good report on her blood work this past week and more information on her enzyme meds that should help her eat better. She had to go out and buy a wig this week as her hair is really thinning. I think that was hard for her, but she feels better about being out in public with it. Jack, my father-in-law, was so sweet when she asked if he’d be seen with her in the wig. He said, “I’d be seen with you if you were bald. I don’t care.” He may not be the most demonstrative guy out there, but he loves that woman with all his heart. I hate seeing them suffer so much. She’ll have another scan at the end of November to see if the chemo has shrunk the cancer enough for surgery. And if all goes as hoped, she’ll have her entire pancreas out. We’re praying all is working as it should and holding out hope that all this will buy her much more time with us–many good, quality years.

Yesterday was trick or treat night. Kevin and I don’t care for it, but his folks enjoy it, so we dress the boys up and take them over. Since this was the year of Angry Birds, I made all four of us costumes. They turned out pretty cute, but don’t look too closely. You can only be so professional with scissors and a glue gun. We have “Trunk or Treat” at the church on Saturday, so we get to use the costumes twice. I wouldn’t have made them for Kevin and me if we didn’t have that as well.

That’s the update. Can’t believe October is almost over. I’m already feeling the Christmas pressure. Oh, my! Here we go again!

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