Sunday, September 22, 2013

2013 Air Force Half Marathon--Dayton, Ohio

On Friday, September 20th, Jason and I left for Dayton, Ohio at around 4:45 a.m.   It was dark and very cloudy out and had rained all night long.  Our drive to Dayton was great.  The weather was perfect, however bad weather was coming.  We picked up our packets, then checked out our hotel, then Jason had to have a last minute haircut, so we found a cheap place to go do that.  Then I got ready to go do the 5K and we went to go do that.  Bad weather started rolling in and it started raining super hard.  Lightening was in the area and after almost a 30 minute race delay the 5K race was cancelled.  People were bummed out.  I just prayed that if it had to rain that it wouldn't ruin the races the next day.

Jason and I went to Olive Garden to carb up before our race.  We had the best waitress we have ever had.  She was awesome.  We also got right in the restaurant with a 30 second wait, after being told it would be an hour wait because someone came out and said "Is there a Two Top out here?"  Jason said, we are a two top.  So they took us right in to be seated.

I didn't sleep much Friday night into Saturday morning.  I kept hearing rain and crickets outside our room.  I was super hydrated and must have gotten up at least 5 times in the night.

6 a.m. came, Jason and I dressed for the race.  We left by around 6:30 to get to the Air Force base by 7 a.m. ish.    It was raining pretty steady and I was worried that we would be running the entire race in pouring rain.  We finally got into the base at around 7:15 a.m. because the lines were so long and parked.  The rain stopped.  I couldn't believe it.  It stopped and stayed stopped.

The race started on the exact dot of 8:30 a.m.  Jason and I decided to run together.  I told him I was pretty sure I could keep up with him  for most of the race and I wanted to try because he is about a minute or more faster than me per mile and if I could just push a little then I could possibly get a personal record if I could just try super hard.  Jason said he'd stay with me the whole race.  We lined up between the 2 hour pacers and the 2:10 pacers.

In the first mile many things on my body hurt.  I was worried that this would be a rough race with pains already in mile one, but by mile 2 everything was fine.  Jason was complaining of knee pain so I was really worried about him.  We did our first 3 miles in just 27 minutes.  I knew if I could keep that pace up that things would go really well.  I did worry however that we had started too fast.  My hip flexor was hurting a little by mile 4.

We were keeping great time.  By mile 5 there was a timing mat.  I'm pretty sure we were at 48 minutes for the 5 mile time.  That felt awesome.  I slowed a little in the 6th mile and ate a little fuel stuff, but still managed to get a faster 10K time than I've ever had before.  It was right around 1 hour.  My best 10K was ran in 1:01:28.   Mile 8 was hard for me.  I was really struggling and kept looking at my watch for pacing.  Jason told me to quit looking at my watch and give it to him.  He wanted me to focus and I wasn't focusing.  So I took off my watch and dropped it.  So I had to stop and pick it up.  Thank goodness I didn't trip anyone or break the watch.  We started running again.  At mile 10 I realized I had just ran a faster 10 miles than I ever had before.  I was right at about 1 hour 39 minutes.  That was awesome since the last 10 mile race I did was in 1:45.  I knew if I could just keep up this pace we could finish in around 2:10 or less.

In the middle of mile 10 I kinda fell apart.  I just felt like I couldn't run so fast anymore.  Jason said he'd carry me if he had to and just to keep moving and keep trying.

Mile 11 went just fine, but by mile 12 my legs felt 3 times as big as they are, they felt hot and heavy and my head was hot.  I kept pouring water on myself to feel better.  I felt a little sick.  I kept going, but I'm sure mile 12 was the slowest mile of them all.  I saw my parents at mile 13 and only had .10 to run to the finish.

To my surprise I really did hit a personal record.  The printout said 2:16:30.  I couldn't believe it.  I knew I had a new personal record.  When I looked up my last PR it was 2:26:30 so I hit my new record by 10 minutes on the dot!  Sweet, what a great day.  I was sad that I couldn't give more and shave 7 more minutes off so that Jason could have had a personal record as well.  I seriously gave everything and ran as fast as I possibly could.   My new goal is to train really hard over the next couple months, lots of speed work and hopefully when Jason and I do our next half in November we will both PR again at something under 2:09.  I know I can do it, just need to keep believing and working hard.

Below are lots of pictures.  The results are here if you want to check them out.
On the way to the hotel after we picked up our packets,
we saw this road sign.  I thought it was funny.

My favorite number is 13 and so it was awesome that
our hotel number was this!

Both of my race bibs.  I had signed up for the 5k on Friday night
and the half marathon on Saturday morning.  However, the 5K
was cancelled due to a strong storm that came in right at race start
time and there was lightening.  I wish it would have only been
delayed since the lightening stopped after 45 minutes.

A stuffed New Balance shoe that I took a picture with
just before the 5k was about to start.

Jason and I posing for a picture an hour before the half marathon
was going to start.  It had just stopped raining as we pulled into
our parking spot.  For as gloomy as the skies looked they held
onto the rain.  The weather was low 60's and absolutely perfect.

Jason and I with our race shirts on and medals.

Front of shirt

Back of shirt.

Front of medal.

Back of medal.

Jason's race bib and finishing medal.

My race bib and finishing medal.
My Mom took this picture of me relaxing after the race.
I had been stretching on the ground on the silver blanket
they gave us in case we were cold.

Posing for pictures.  Thanks Mom for taking these.

Another cute picture.

I had to have a picture with the huge Air Force plane after the race.

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