Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Half-Marathon Thoughts

My half-marathon run has come and gone. You can see pictures and results over on the family blog. Some further thoughts:
  • My time was not as good as I hoped. The hills took more out of me than I expected and I wasn't used to running in the humidity. My co-worker who ran the marathon for the umpteenth time said that for the marathon course the wind was really a factor and was on half-marathon as well. She estimates it put 20 minutes on her time.
  • I really went in circle about what to take, what to wear, what to carry. Until a week out, I assumed it would be cold and had a new pair of running tights. But it was not cold so that left me with shorts. I'm still not as happy running in shorts as I wish, dealing with the creep of the legs and chaffing. I also wanted to eat a banana ahead of time and we didn't have one. I knew I didn't want to wear my usual hydration belt because the placement of the bottles is awkward on my arm swing. Our race goodies included a free spibelt and I decided to wear it. The pocket was super stretchy but it still wouldn't hold my phone, key fob, work id, 2 gels, energy bar, and bottle of body glide. I bought a small bottle of body glide at the expo but even that didn't fit. So I sliced off two slices and wrapped them in saran wrap. It turned out I didn't need to worry about it as most aid stations had people holding out either tongue depressors or just gloved hands coated in Vaseline. I had my sister carry a energy bar and she gave it to me at the 5 mile mark.
  • I parked near my work but couldn't park at it. I was glad for my id so I could use the bathroom in the building rather than the porta before even starting. I arrived before 6:00 for the 7:00 race. We didn't cross the start line until about 7:22 and it occurred to me about 7:05 that I should have just hung out at my building, gone to the bathroom about 7:00 and then stepped into the crowd as it passed my building (about 1/2 block before the start). As it was I only had to make one potty break on the route but that cost me 3-5 minutes.
  • As I ran I saw many people with Livestrong cards on the back of their shirts that said "I run in honor of" or "I run in memory of" I wish I had gone and gotten them too and mine would have said "I run in memory of Grandpa Joe, Grandma Fanny, Grandma Ruth, Aunt Rita, and my mother." and "I run in honor of my friend Sue."
  • I can not even describe how much it picked me up throughout the race to have encouragement and cheering from both my family and friends and sometimes total strangers. My brother brought a big pot and banged on it with a stick and I could hear it for blocks. I saw my family 3 different spots during the race and my nephews ran up the biggest hill with me. I also saw 2 different sets of family friends - both unexpected and both very appreciated. But also, just random people who sit and cheer for everyone who comes by or people who read your tag and say "Way to go, Debra!" really helped me. At mile 9 a huge contingent was cheering for Team Livestrong participants and that both cheered me on and made me cry.
  • Some people are at the marathon course and standing there watching and not cheering or waving or anything. Really? We ran by the school from the deaf and deaf people were cheering and clapping! Doesn't it seem like any one would if they were there?
  • I tried to clap for most of the bands and thank volunteers and police officers.
  • My half-marathon medal is rockin cool. I may frame it just because it's my first.
  • As soon as you finish a 1/2 marathon, people start to say that if you did a half, you should do a full.
  • My co-worker said that one of the things that helped her most on the hills is that she takes the stairs at work and even takes them during the day if she has time, riding the elevator down to the ground level and walking back up when she goes to the restroom. I started today so I've done 4 flights this week.
  • I raised $888 for Team Livestrong. I surpassed my goal and still expect a donation from my oldest sister. A few people who I expected to donate didn't but many people I expected nothing from donated $10 or $20 or even $50.

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