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Wineglass Half Marathon

Thursday, October 08, 2015

What can I say? It all went as planned!

I try to plan my distance events so that my husband will not be annoyed when I expect him to show up for them... I don't expect him to come cheer at local 5K's, but when I've put in the effort for a half marathon (or longer) I want my support system to be there at the finish and not be grumpy.

So the Wineglass... the start line is 4 miles from a friend's house, and he gallantly agreed to host us and to drive me as close to the start as possible at 6:30 AM (to be honest, he was up at 5:00 making me coffee!)

So on Saturday we drove down, picked up the race packets (husband sat and read a book while I poked through the expo and spent money...) then toured the Corning Museum of Glass. It was interesting to watch the demonstrations of glass-blowing, glass-pressing and glass-breaking.

Out for a nice dinner with our friends, then an early bed-time. I'd packed my breakfast so I could control my foods (I have GI issues) and everything went smoothly. It was only 45 when I started out - I'd thrown in a wind-vest and gloves at the last minute, but not ear-warmers! So I'd bought a hat at the expo, and wore that. It wouldn't work with my visor but I was expecting it to be cloudy so I left the visor behind. Even with minor clothing snafu's, I'd have to say this was the least anxious/excited I've ever been pre-race - not even any race-anxiety dreams!

The drop-off went smoothly - we got within a 1/2 mile of the start (they were shuttling people in on busses and didn't actually allow drop-offs at the start-line.) So I walked in, dressed in my plastic garbage bag for warmth (and it was misting). Lined up for the porta-potties - and got back in line and did it again - and again... what can I say? It was cold and I was nervous. Popped my 1/2 immodium and walked to the starting line.

Chatted up a group of people as we lined up between the 2:20 and 2:30 pace groups. Everyone was cheerful - and the sun came out! No visor was probably my only bad decision.

My only goal for this race was to be under 2:30. This was my 8th or 9th half, and while my PR is under 2:15, I've been on the comeback trail from plantar fasciitis, and just wanted to finish strong and hit a reasonable pace. Of course, fantasies of running a PR were in my head, but I was also trying to focus on NOT GOING OUT TOO FAST!

So I checked the volumne on Map My Run so I could hear my splits, and off we went. Of course, with the crowd, it took a few minutes to get to the start, and for the first 2-3 miles I still couldn't hear my splits. But I knew we were clicking along. When I finally got to where I could hear, my overall pace was 11:15, so I just tried to stay steady. I needed 11:27's to hit the 2:30 cut-off.

The course ran alongside a river for a long ways, then cut through a park. Things just kept clicking along. At about mile 5 the 2:30 pace group caught up with me, and I ran a faster mile (about 10:40) to get ahead of them. I thought back to my last long run, where I'd done 8 miles then run a 5K race, and I knew I was safe in pushing a little.

As usual in the last 2-3 miles I was passing a lot of people. I was running from water stop to water stop, walking at the mile markers to drink my gatorade. I wasn't going much faster, but holding a nice even pace. One woman tried to chat me up as I was walking - you know, the 'come on, you can do it - we can finish together' chatter. I'd chatted with her earlier about pace, and knew I was running stronger than she was, so her chatter annoyed me. I'm usually really nice/happy about chatter, but for some reason this set me off. So I answered 'you go on ahead - I'll catch up!'. I finished my planned break, then pushed the pace and blew past her. Not particularly nice of me, but I have to admit it was satisfying!

The course wound around through Corning, finishing on Market Street. I was in the clear when we passed the photographers as we came over a bridge so I gave a big thumbs-up. And I was in the clear and running strong as I came over the finish line, so I smiled big. Looked around for my supporters and didn't see them, so after I got my medal and was in line for food I called them. Turned out they'd been right at the finish line, but had spotted the 2:30 pacer down the road and thought I'd be with her, so they missed seeing me entirely! Oh well, they tried - and I did appreciate them being there.

Finally we connect and went back so I could clean up before we devoured a pizza. It was a good day, and the pressed-glass medal is beautiful.

And - all my race pictures came out really well! Now I just have to bite the bullet and pay to get them... sigh...

This was one of the good ones.
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