Sunday, September 20, 2009

2009 USAF HALF MARATHON

PRE-RACE
This is one of my favorite races. I was so excited to be taking Snips back to Ohio with me. I was running the half marathon but Snips had chosen to run the Full. On Thursday this week, I had to make a decision. My first choice was to not back my training down and just run it easy as a training day. The other choice was to taper some and see how good that I could do. I picked the second one. So I swam on Thursday and took Friday off.

When Snips and I got to Ohio, we went to the expo and picked up our packets. Then we headed to my dad's house for the weekend.

RACE DAY
We had to get up at 430am (which was 330am our time). It was dark and cold(49) when we left. Once we got there we got a great place to park so that dad, who is 88 , would not have far to walk. The full started at 730 which was an hour before my half. At 715, the national anthem was played and the flag was brought it by parachute. This was followed by 2 fighter jets doing a fly by. It was so patriotic. I gave Snips a hug. She was nervous then off she went.

An hour later it was my turn. The repeated the same ceremony was the same fly-by. The temperature was still close to 50. As we started off, I found myself next to the 2:30 pace group. I hoped to run near 2:30 which would be a PR. I have never run with a pace group and thought that I would see how it went. The first 3 miles, I stayed right with the group.

At mile 4, I looked at my Garmin and I was running a 10:15 pace. This was ahead of the 11:27 pace the group should have been running. I decided to drop off and do my own thing. This part of the course took us down by the flight line and the golf course. It brought back many memories of the 2 years that I worked at the base hospital and great lunches at the officers club on the golf course. At mile 6 we were on a shaded lane going past the commander's homes. They were beautiful. I felt great.

As the race approached mile 7, the temperature approached 70 and the shade was gone. I took advantage of every water stop. My pace was beginning to slow but still felt OK. It was at this point the leaders of the marathon began to pass by. They were flying.

When we reached mile 9, we began the hills. They were slow and gradual butt-kicking just the same. While I going up the hill, I saw the sign that said mile 22 for the marathon. I was concerned for Snips but I knew she was tough. My pace had slowed to 12:05. I knew that breaking 2:30 had slipped away.

The final miles were tough. The heat was getting to me as well as the hills. I didn't walk but wanted to more than once. After mile 12, I could see the finish. I came to a water station and normally in the final mile would pass it by but I needed some water to make it to the finish. The last mile took forever to get through. The final .1 mile of this race is the most awesome because it goes through the crowd and in between the airplanes at the Air Force Museum. I knew when I crossed the line that I had nothing left and did the best that I could. My first 2 years here my times were 2:53 and 2:56. As I crossed the line , I ran a 2:33. It was a PR by 8 minutes for me. WooHoo.

Snips also had a great day. she had her 2nd marathon in the books.

The rest of the weekend continued to be awesome. We escorted my dad to a family wedding.

Waddling after a wonderful weekend..............

8 comments:

amybee said...

congrats on an awesome PR!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

great job on the PR!

Irene said...

8 minutes is HUGE! Congratulations on the PR! All of that hard work is paying off!

Lindy said...

Wow, awesome and inspiring! Congrats!!

SWTrigal said...

GREAT JOB!! That is an awesome time!

ShirleyPerly said...

Congrats on your PR!!

An 8 min improvement is incredible. I ran the USAF Marathon back in 2004 but made one of my biggest mistakes ever by running WAY too fast early on (it was so cold!), which led to my slowest race time back then. Lesson learned ... Still lotsa fun to run on Wright Patt and see all those airplanes.

Joe said...

That's a terrific PR. You hung on really, really well. having run that course last year, i can imagine it all. The run through th base housing is pretty cool!

Glad you hung on...that will be crucial in the rest of your training for Iron-ness!!

Calyx Meredith said...

Fantastic PR - 8 minutes!! Sounds like a great race - glad you and Snips both had good days.

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