Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Grandma's Half Race Report!

Hi everyone! I am finally posting about this past weekend's Grandma's half marathon! Better late than never...right? I woke up at 3:15AM on Saturday morning because the transportation bus started at 4:45AM. Being the prompt and highly organized person that I am....figured that I would get there early. I ended up walking from my hotel to the bus station. I would estimate that it was less than a mile which normally wouldn't be that big of a deal but it was raining. I ended up getting wet before even getting on the bus. Yea, that sucked. On the bus ride I noticed that several runners were very prepared and had garbage bags for rain gear is a theory...there were the runners who actually had running rain gear! I didn't get the memo on the chance of rain! Crap!

The bus ride to the start line seemed to go quicker than last year. I was kind of hoping it would take longer. I knew that there wouldn't be any protection from the rain and I had 90 minutes before the start. What to do? Oh, what to do? I'll tell you what I did, I went into the first biffy that I could find:) That first picture is a good shot of the very cool necklaces that I wore for the occasion. One of them is a runner girl that I got from my very dear co-worker Laura for a Chrismas gift. Love it! The second necklace is a charm that has the word believe on it. Last year at Grandma's I met Kara Goucher at the expo and she wrote, "Always believe Julie!" on my program! It has kind of been my running mantra ever since:) I took another picture of me in the biffy just to channel the Steve Stenzel in me! I texted my hubby and instructed him to bring warm and dry clothes for after the race. I also texted a few close friends letting them know about my rainy weather start situation.

After hanging out in the biffy for a few minutes I decided to trek out into the cold and rain. Brr! We all huddled together hoping to keep dry and warm. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

Eventually I walked to the start line. Check out how wet everyone is and look to the left of the picture...runners with rain gear:)

I placed myself behind the 2:00 pacer. I figured this was a safe for me. Last year I ran with the 1:50 pacer for the first 5 or 6 miles and was pretty much toast. I have not been running as many halfs this year and figured this would be the best place for me.

Here is a shot of all of the runners in front of me.

Here is a picture of all of the runners behind me.

Standing in line waiting for the race to start was pretty miserable. I was so cold and almost completely wet. So not fun. I kept on hoping that the race would just start already. Finally people started to move and the line shuffled ahead! The first miles were a little packed but after mile 3 things started to thin out a bit.

We had light rain during the first few miles but at least I was running so it wasn't so bad. I warmed up and felt alright. After mile 3 I left my pacer and moved ahead because I was feeling pretty good.

I stopped to take this shot of me with Lake Superior in the background. I did get several strange looks from people but did also hear someone say they thought taking a camera with was a great idea! After mile 5 I knew I would have to make a biffy stop because my stomach was cramping and I felt like crap. I wasted at least 3 to 4 minutes with this pit stop. I quickly got back on track and just ran a steady pace not really paying attention to my Garmin.

It was at mile 8 that I ran into this guy! I was running and minding my own dreaming about my own little dangerous life and world! All of a sudden I heard someone say, "Julie!" It was Derek my Minneapolis blogger friend! We stopped for a photo opportunity! In other words, I forced Derek to stop and take a picture with me:) He was so nice and we had a great time running together! I have to tell you that I have met so many of my blogger friends and truly feel blessed because everyone has been so freaking awesome....including Derek!

We ran together and chatted about our lives, our training, my lack of training, Derek's amazing TRI that he did the week before and how I was going to make it through this race without puking! The run for me had it's ups and downs. I had a mile that was great and the next would feel like crap. I don't know what and the hell is going on with me. Derek was told several times to move ahead without me! I felt so bad because this man can run a 1:30 half and I was busting butt to try to finish under 2. He told me that he was taking it easy because of the TRI he did the week before but I still felt guilty.We ran side by side...sometimes we chatted and sometimes there was silence. He chatted with me and instructed me to keep a good form when things got tough. He reminded me to keep breathing and to stay relaxed. We kicked butt up Lemon Drop Hill! This is one time when I was actually looking at my Garmin...8:15 to 8:20! For me this is speedy considering we had a challenging hill! Derek kept me on track. I really don't know if I would of taken that hill so well without his help. When we hit mile 11 I knew tht I would need to make another pit stop. We ran and once we hit mile 12 I spotted an open biffy. I told Derek to move on and I would be fine. I ran into the biffy and this time maybe only wasted a minute. I ran out and headed down the road to flipping see Derek waiting for me! Really!!! We continued on and had about a mile left. We hit a bridge with a slight hill and I felt like crap! I felt like I wanted to walk to stop from puking. Derek just told me to keep it up...keep running...breathe easy. Piece of cake is what he said:) We ran down the road that leads to the turn by the big William Irving ship and I felt so nauseous! I said, "Umm, Derek I got to stop, I feel like I am going to puke." Derek stopped and walked about 20 to 30 seconds with me. We started running again and I saw the bridge that my college boy was on. My son came to Duluth to watch his mama run! I was so excited that he came and loved that he wanted to cheer me on! Eventually Derek and I ran down the home stretch. There was a really cool song playing and it was so perfect for an end of a race! Too bad I can't tell you what it was:) I can't remember....runner's memory loss! Derek, do you remember what song was playing when we came up to the finish line? was called Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell! Such an awesome song to listen to during the last stretch of a race! Derek and I finished the race and the clock said 2:02 something. I was crushed! I really wanted to make it under 2! I know that the time was gun time but I had no idea how long it took to get to the start mats. Derek and I picked up our medals, t-shirts and then ate some post race food. I was so tired and so damn hungry! This is a new development for me...usually I can never eat after a race. I had no problem eating after this one:) Derek was great and I appreciate the fact that he put up with me for miles 8 through 13.1 of this half marathon! Derek, you are the only reason I finished with the time that I did!

After finishing my race I ran into Carly! Carly is another Minnesota blogger who actually volunteered. Carly is also very sweet! It was fun to chat with her for a few minutes:)
Me and college boy after the race. I am still freezing my butt off but he made sure I stayed warm:) Such a good son!

Another picture of me and my college boy! I love this kid so much!

LOL! This is another random picture of me that college boy snapped. You can see how windy it was that day! Check out the waves in the background!

I really like the medal a lot and the t-shirt is one of the best that I have received so far! This half marathon was challenging for sure but it was a good race. It was fun and memorable for so many reasons! Duluth did not disappoint and I am happy with how I did considering all of my circumstances:)Final time 1:59:41!Yay! Under 2 hours baby!!! I didn't know what my gun time was but it was enough to get me under 2! Thank you to Derek for being my runnersitter!

Happy running, biking, swimming, lifting and surfing! Cheers to you all!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Duluth Here I Come! Grandma's Half Marathon Is Waiting!

Currently packing my bags and getting ready to leave for Duluth. Tomorrow morning at 6:30 AM I am running in Grandma's half marathon! Looking forward to getting out of the burbs and heading up north. Good news! College boy is coming with! He decided he wanted to come and watch me run!!! I am so excited and super happy:) This weekend should be fun! Many of my St. Cloud River Runner peeps will be there as well as some of my blogger friends. Do I have any goals for tomorrow's race? Absolutely not! Well, I guess I want to cross the finish line. I am still not training as much as I should but will be happy to finish and just be out running:) I will be taking tons of pictures and have a great race report when I return. Looking forward to catching up on my blogs and seeing what everyone has been up to.

Happy running, biking, swimming, lifting and surfing! Cheers to you all!
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