Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Race Day-Cap City Half Marathon

After five months of training I ran my first half-marathon on Saturday. The training up to Saturday went something like this;
  • Sunday: off
  • Monday: 3-4 miles (depending on where I am in training)
  • Tuesday: 5-6 (as above)
  • Wednesday: 3-4 again
  • Thursday: off
  • Friday: 3-4 and just two the day before the race
  • Saturday: my big run days, every week increasing a mile starting at 6 miles then next Saturday I did 7, then 8, and so on up to 12.

Me and Amber
Saturday came with an early 6am rise, a hot shower, plain bagel with peanut butter and a Gatorade for breakfast, no coffee, and out the door we went. The weather was less than perfect, windy, cold (47ºF at the beginning of the race), and a chance of rain, which it did, twice, but only for a few minutes each time. The runners were split into groups called “corrals” which was dependant on your projected pace, I was in corral B. My cousin, Jason, who talked me into this madness, was in corral A. Corral A set off first then a minute later it was our turn. I was at the front of the group at the start and set a fast pace the first mile but leveled off between 2 and 3 to my normal pace. I felt good, aside from the weather. There were tons of people lining the streets almost the entire way. They were cheering the runners on with signs, clapping, and yelling, there were even DJ’s and musicians placed around the course. The signs were encouraging, inspiring and funny, my favorite being, “RUN FASTER, I JUST FARTED.” Every mile or so was a “refueling station” with water or Gatorade, which is not easy to drink when you are running but I didn’t want to stop and walk in fear of not being able to get going again. Around six miles I got to test out my “Energy Chews,” which is basically a chewy cube full of carbs to help refuel your muscles and to my surprise they worked. Amber asked, what do you think of while running?” Just random stuff but mostly I was thinking of getting to the finish or how funny some people look while running which made wonder how I looked while running. We started in downtown Columbus and made our way towards Ohio State University campus, back through downtown into a small area called German Village were people were actually having parties while watching us run. There’s nothing like seeing people eating, drinking, and waving at me while I have been running for ten miles. Then back up into downtown were I rounded the corner for the final 500 yards by this time I was on the down slope and getting pretty tired even after six energy chews but then I saw Amber(wife), who waited for me the entire race in the rain and cold, couldn’t ask for any more support.  Lisa, a friend of ours, was there as well to watch me and another friend, Allison, run. Amber and Lisa were literally the loudest in the hundreds of people there. Their yelling and screaming revived me immediately and pushed me to the finish strong, after a side track to give them high fives of course. I crossed the line after an hour and fifty two minutes of pounding pavement putting my pace around eight and a half minutes per mile. I did it. I ran the whole 13.1 miles non-stop through rain, sweat, and cold. All that training, all the running, all the blisters finally paid off. I felt good. I met up with Amber around the corner and got my free beer. Yea that’s what you get for running 13.1 miles, a single beer. We met up with Jason, his family, and Allison and hers for a big lunch and a big beer then I headed home and took a nice long nap.

Me and Jason
People keep asking now if I’ll continue to run marathons or at least just continue to run at home. I think I will keep it in my exercise regimen but as for marathons, not sure I’ll do that again, at least not anytime soon… or maybe I will, I hear there is a full marathon in August.  

I didn’t win the race or even come close but I finished, I accomplished my goal of finishing under two hours and I owe it to, not just my training, but the support from friends and family. Thank you.