Sunday, April 14, 2013

Corvallis Half Marathon

Wow!  What a week!  What a day!

Today was race day.  The first of two half marathons that I'm signed up for this month.  This was also the week that I had a cold and my training was the pits!  I ran on Monday and that was it.  Yikes!  Even the run on Monday was a struggle.  I had school and several meetings this week and by the time I got home I practically fell into bed.  Every day that I didn't run made my stomach a little more flip-floppy.  I just didn't think I would do well because I hadn't been able to run all week.

To make matters worse I was at Detroit Lake on Saturday doing a clean up day at the club we are a part of.  Lots of raking and picking up downed tree limbs.  I had been at it a couple of hours and I tripped on a rock and my knee got a little twisted.  It wasn't terrible but my first reaction was "Oh crap!  I have a race tomorrow!!"  I took Advil when I got home and again before bed.  The knee wasn't hurting when I got up.  Sigh of relief!

The nice part about being part of a race that is in a town less than 20 minutes away AND doesn't start until 9:30 a.m. is that you don't have to get up at the butt crack of dawn.  I actually slept until almost 7:00 a.m. which is sleeping in for me, big time!  I got all ready and my friend Faylene came to pick me up.  Both our hubbies had to work today so it was the ladies representing at this run.  Faylene had picked up our packets the day before so I grabbed my bib packet and dumped it on the table and there was a problem.  I had a bib and pins and a zip tie but no timing chip!  Shit!  That's a problem.  So we quick hopped into the car and got on our way to Corvallis.  No problem, we had plenty of time.  It was right at 8:00 a.m. so we had an hour and a half before race time.  We found a good parking spot and headed up to the packet pick-up spot and as I'm starting to explain to the woman what the problem is I look at the envelope and I realize I know exactly what the problem is.  I had Dwayne's bib packet.  Faylene had picked up his too because he was originally not supposed to work.  When she picked it up she turned in the chip so that she wouldn't have to fuss with it today.  Crap!  That means that my packet and chip are back at her house in Albany.

So we hurry to the car and head back home.  I got all my gear ready so that I was good to go and then I would drive after we got to Faylene's house so that she could get all ready too.  We buzz back to Albany trying to be careful with our speed since getting a speeding ticket on top of everything else would have been a total bummer.  Faylene jumps out of the car and runs into her house while I hop out and move over to the drivers seat.  All of a sudden Faylene comes out and jerks open the driver's side door.  I was laughing and saying that I thought I was driving.   She pulls the lever to open the trunk of the car.  OMG!  The packet was in the trunk of her car the whole time!  I was laughing so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants (which on a race day is a very real concern!)  Faylene gets back in the car and is saying bad words and I am dying laughing.  It was such a comedy of errors!

So, once more it is back to Corvallis.  We got back to Reser Stadium at about 9:00 a.m.  We didn't get as good a parking spot as we had at 8:00 a.m.  But at least we still had 30 minutes to spare.  :-)  We got over towards the start line and I found my brother-in-law Steve.  This was his first Half Marathon.  He is a fast runner and in great shape so I knew he would do awesome.  It was fun to see him and help him figure out how to attach the timing chip to his shoe and show him where to line up.  Made me feel all experienced!  lol

My and my brother-in-law Steve before the race.

Best Friend, Faylene and fabulous brother-in-law Steve.  Ready to kick butt!
Before the race begin I also found lots of my friends, both new and old, to say hi to and get hugs from.  So much fun to see everyone and wish each other good luck.  It really does feel like you are part of a big, special club when you are involved in any kind of race.  It doesn't matter if it's a 5K and you are walking, a 10K or a farther.  Everyone just want's everyone to go out and rock their best!  So much fun!

So the race began.  I started out a little too fast but I felt pretty good.  I did slow it down a bit for mile two.  There were several hills in this race starting after mile 4.  They were very deceptive because it was a gradual incline that just kept going and going.

I think I did pretty good for me.  My average pace was low for me on a short run for most of the race.  After mile 10 though I ran out of gas.  This has been something I have been struggling with on my long runs and I got much farther before it hit this time.  That's a bonus.  Still, it was aggravating to be so close to finishing and know that I was slowing down.  I had to dig deep to speed up for that last mile, which took forever!  I think the last mile felt longer than the 12 miles I did before.  Yikes!

It was a beautiful thing to come around the corner into Reser Stadium.  What a fun way to finish!  I came around the last corner and could see the finish line and the big clock with the time on it.  I had done it!  I finally broke three hours!  And not just barely but by 6 minutes!!!!!!  And my wonderful friends were waiting for me and yelling and screaming because they knew this was a big deal for me.  I just started crying.  I'm crying right now writing about it.  I ran up to where they were standing and got huge hugs from all of them.  Then I cried some more.  (Anyone who knows me at all knows that I am a cryer.  Happy tears, sad tears, mom tears, the list goes on.)  All the work and effort I had put in since Christmas had payed off.  I ran 13 miles with an average pace that was almost 3 minutes faster average pace than the run I did the day after Christmas and that was 2.70 miles.  I think that's worth getting excited about!

I think I have had more pictures taken of myself in the last four months than I have in the last four years.  This one is special.  Mostly because I know the emotions I was having at that moment and it was AWESOME!  There are some other pictures out and about.  As I get copies I will add them.

Two weeks until the Eugene Half Marathon.  I will have to change my goal for that one.  Now I want to get under 3 hours AND have an average overall pace of 12' anything.  :-)  Gotta keep challenging myself.  

Counting my blessings again!
  • Thank Faylene Gardner for being my best friend and always cheering me on.
  • Thank you Wendi and Josh Gum, you guys always make me feel like a rock star.
  • Thank you to my three amazing kids for letting me take the time to go for my runs and believing in me too.  
  • Thank you to the wonderful community of runners who always are encouraging with high fives and "you got this" comments, whether I'm just training or in a race.  You never make me feel like I don't belong because I'm heavy.  
  • Thank you to my wonderful parents and siblings who cheer me on and listen to all my whining and struggles and still believe I can do this.  You rock and I have a great family!
  • The biggest thanks goes to my very best friend and husband.  He listens to my whining.  He cheers on my victories large and small.  He never makes me feel like my accomplishments are any less important than his even though he could kick my butt from here to next week.  He worries about me, encourages me and just loves me, no matter what size I am.  Can't get much better than that!  I love you Joe!  
I know, it sounds like I just won an Oscar.  That's kind of how I feel.  :-)

Going to work on my training for the next two weeks and see what I can do in Eugene.  But no matter what I'm a winner.  


  1. Nice job mommy! you're doing so well! i am so proud of you and even though the weight just cant come off, you are doing awesome! i love you so much! :-)

    1. Thank you sweetie! I'm excited to see you do the triathlon next week! I know you will do awesome too. :-)