Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ely Half-Marathon

 Since June I've been training for the Take It To The Lake Half Marathon near Ely, Nevada. I did a half marathon twelve years ago, but it was in Florida, where it was flat. And at about twelve feet elevation. I knew this half marathon would be substantially harder, as it started at 6600 feet elevation. Then it gained 800 feet elevation during the 13.1-mile course.

To make matters more difficult, I had two running injuries and a bad cold that impacted my training schedule. So my longest run ended up being 8 miles long, and I really wasn't too sure how well I was going to do. I decided my biggest goal was to finish. My secondary goal was to finish in less than 2:30. I figured that I would be doing really well if I could do that, given the course and my limited training.

 Three of us from our area signed up for the race: me, Chandra, and Clint. It was so nice having some people I knew in the race! We took a school bus out to the starting line, and I felt an ache in my left lower calf, similar to problems I had had previously. I was really concerned, as I sure wanted to finish!

We started off from the Ely Elk Viewing Area, and I was feeling really good. I ran with Chandra for the first half-mile, then looked at my pace and saw I was going too fast. I needed to slow down if I wanted to finish. So Chandra ran ahead, as did Clint and a few other people who passed me. I ran on the shoulder of the road for awhile, as I had done most of my training on dirt roads and I knew that the higher impact on pavement might not be so good for me. Fortunately, my leg wasn't hurting anymore, and my pace was right about where I wanted it to be. I felt good, and the miles started melting away.

 Meanwhile, the Kids Fun Run began. It included five kids from our valley, with Kara quickly taking the lead. It was Desert Boy's first official race, and he was excited. The fun run wasn't timed, so I tried to stress to Desert Boy that he didn't need to run fast, he just needed to finish.

My husband ran and walked with him for much of it and tried to give him some tips. The race course was supposed to be 1.1 miles along, but my husband said that most of the kids wanted to get a drink at the aid station that was just a little bit further away, so the run was a little longer for some of them.

 Here is Desert Boy running towards the finish line. When I downloaded these photos, I was so impressed at all the shots my husband had gotten! He took some photos, then left the camera in the van and ran, then picked it back up to record the grand finale. Bravo!

 Desert Boy wearing something other than cowboy boots.

 He finished! I was so glad that he made it.

Meanwhile, I found that I enjoyed picking people off in the race. I would see someone ahead of me and try to gradually catch up to them. I had trained some on hills, so I was ready for the gradual incline. It was warm, though, so when I got to an aid station I dumped a cup of water on my head and then drank one. I also started drinking gatorade around mile 6 and also had a Gu, which tasted better than I expected but made me really thirsty.

Up to mile 7 I was feeling like the run was pretty easy. After mile 7, I had to work for it. Fortunately there were people ahead of me that looked like they were getting a little tired, so I tried to catch up. Gradually I passed several people, and concentrating on catching them helped the miles go relatively quickly, although with more aches and pains. I had to frequently remind myself to relax and try to have a good running form (or at least as good as I could manage!).

 When I saw my husband about mile 10 1/2, I was so glad. I tried to smile (I always ran better when a camera was around). Then he started running with me. That made such a difference. He told me about the kids run and kept me distracted till I got to the Big Hill just after mile 11. I walked up the steepest part, and then he told me it was flat, so I better run some more. So I did. But miles 11-13 sucked.

 The girl in the green kept sneaking up on me, and I didn't realize how close she was.

 At the finish she was suddenly right there, and we both sprinted. She beat me by .1 second. Arghh! Oh well, I guess I learned my lesson! I still placed third in my age group.

Even better, my time was 2:18. I couldn't believe it! The run had turned out much better than I had hoped. Maybe wearing my Mr. Rogers "You are special" shirt helped. Or maybe it was my breakfast of champions: two hash browns from Old McDonalds (as my kids call it), a parfait, a large orange juice, and a banana.

Whatever the reason, I was very glad to be done. My legs had started cramping at the end, so I went in desperate search of a banana. Then I went over to the massage tent where Jenny worked her magic and I felt better.

It turned out to be a great race! They've already scheduled next year's: September 21. Will I do it? Will you?


Anonymous said...

Way to go! I hope I'm still smiling at the end.


A said...

I always remember your telling me as we were biking in Indiana (Hoosier St Forest?) that you liked biked up big hills...because you don't mind putting the bike in low gear and pedaling away, whereas most people don't have the patience for it.

Sounds like you had the patience to slow down your pace for a great race!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

blogger templates