December 07, 2008

Goals Within Sight and Good Friends

Today was my first race, ever… a half marathon. The Palm Beach Marathon was used as a ‘mock’ for those of us doing Disney.

We needed, in essence, race experience.

For me… I needed a pace time. The time I am slated to do for a full marathon is whatever I do for a half, times 2, + 30 minutes.

I really really needed to do it under 3 hours for me to know I could complete the full in 6 hours and 30 minutes.

I completed in 2:56:41 or a 13:29 minute/mile pace.

I’m not loving the pace, but it’s the best I can do considering I’m still somewhat banned from running. I’m doing a walk (FAST!) 4 minutes and run 1 minute pace, but I’m starting to add more running… and hope that I can bring my half marathon time down to 2:45.

So… I lost two minutes stopping to pee. That sucked. I also lost a couple minutes here or there, so I need to work on efficiency.

I got up at 3:30AM, was out of the house by 4:10 and was checked in and putting my chip on my shoe and my race number bib on my shirt by 5AM.

It was insane. I’ve never seen so many frickin’ people at 5AM, all bright eyed, bushy tailed, and eager to run.

And this is where it gets kind of funny…

… I was with my girlfriend, Paula, and we lined up, not really knowing what we were doing. And the following conversation occurred to the best of my recollection.

Me: Are we in the right place?

Paula: I think. The runners go on THAT side and the walkers on this side?

Me: OK. Uh oh.

Paula: What?

Me: See that sign. It says 10:00.

Paula: What does that mean.

I looked around.

Me: I think it means we’ve put ourselves in the midst of the 10 minute mile runners…

Paula: Are you sure?

Me: No. No clue… lets wait and see.

The crowd started to push forward, everyone chatting, and we pushed forward with them. Suddenly we were at the Start line… and… everyone stated to… RUN!

I looked at Paula and said, “Run! Paula! Run! We’re with the runners!” and so we started to run, just to keep up, until we pulled over to the right and started to slow down enough to not get in anyone’s way.

And THAT is how my first marathon started. As a true RUN, although it was more so to keep from being trampled on by REAL runners.

And if you’re going to talk about good friends… I have a buddy, the one I’ve blogged on that runs with his dogs at other races, who did a 5K LAST NIGHT, slept an hour, then jumped into his car and drove 4 hours down to our marathon, finished the half in 2:05 (the man is insane), and then… I’m not kidding… he really did this… he grabbed something to eat, then called me, asked me where I was and MET ME at 11. 5 and walked/ran with me the last 1.5.

I’m not kidding. As if he was not tired enough… he did the last mile and a half with me, sometimes running ahead of me to take pictures as he had his camera.

We got about .2 out from the end when he ran ahead of me to take a picture of me crossing the finish line. I said, “How much further?” and he replied, “About a tenth…” and I ran up beside him and started to sprint in.

He said he went to take a picture and there I was… running, so he ran too and I sprinted over and people cheered. It was really funny and goofy and great…

He started to laugh and said, “You did not do this race fast enough if you had the energy to sprint over the finish line…” to which I replied, “Wait. Let’s see if I throw up first…”

So. There you have it. I finished my first official race, finished it under the time I wanted, and had a good friend with me the last 1.5 miles which was really really cool as he’s a runner I HUGELY respect, and I’ve been talking to my coaches this afternoon on how to improve my time.

Next up… if given the all clear by my doctor, 20 miles on Saturday.

And I will freely admit, around mile 11 I thought, “Holy crap… I’m going to add 15.2 miles to this? Am I… insane?!”

Posted by Boudicca at December 7, 2008 10:45 PM | TrackBack

You're incredible. Like Super Woman incredible. I can't even believe people do things like this.

Posted by: Erica at December 7, 2008 11:15 PM

To answer your question, yes, you are insane. But that's what's great about you!

I had to laugh at you being up with the runners. When I attend 5Ks (as a walker), there are just so many walkers compared to runners and it takes forever to weed through them and get to the finish line before all the good drinks are gone (yes they serve alcohol after the races here ) So I'll get in the runners line and will jog with them while slowly working my way to the right and back. That way, I'm in front of the walkers and don't have to fight the crowds :-)!! So your strategy today may have been good!!!

Good job Bou! Just amazing.

Posted by: Sissy at December 7, 2008 11:18 PM

Congratulaions Bou! Nice job and quite inspirational, considering your health issues.

Posted by: DammitWomann at December 7, 2008 11:37 PM

Congrats Bou! Well done, I'm very impressed.

Posted by: Amanda at December 7, 2008 11:43 PM

so very proud of you !!!!

Posted by: Mike D. at December 8, 2008 02:19 AM

Yaaaa!!! You go girl!!!

Posted by: vw bug at December 8, 2008 05:52 AM

Congrats...I hate to run...the only time I run is from the law... in a high powered German car.

I do workout with my nanchuks everyday, though...good for that eye-hand stuff...but it is sometimes bad on the elbows and shins.

A friend of mine who is sixty years of age still does the NY, Boston,,,etc marathons every year. Got to hand it to him for that.

Posted by: Sam at December 8, 2008 10:30 AM

Way! To! Go!

Posted by: Denny at December 8, 2008 02:03 PM

Excellent, Bou! I can't wait to read about the marathon :). I have a feeling the adrenaline will boost you through faster than you think!

Your "Are we in the right place?" story reminds me of an embarrassing situation my friend Kathy and I found ourselves in once. Neither of us had ever tried a cross country event. The upshot of it was, we got off course, got lost, and found our way back via a shortcut that put us near the finish line with a pack of elite runners. So, our finishing times were - ahem - substantially better than usual. In the race results, we were listed as "took alternate route".

Posted by: PeggyU at December 8, 2008 03:16 PM

::thunderous applause::

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at December 8, 2008 08:03 PM

..... wait...... what the hell happened to your friend Paula?!?!..... was she road toast, or what?.....

..... but I AM glad that you had a good friend there to support you!.....

Posted by: Eric at December 8, 2008 09:16 PM

Eric- Paula kind of sort of was fighting a foot injury. Her family met her at mile 9 and so I just kept going. I felt REALLY bad... but needed to get my time. I'll get my time hopefully this Saturday. I'm doing 20 if I get two thumbs up and am hoping to do it in 4:30. We'll see... they've allotted 5 hours for me.

Posted by: Bou at December 8, 2008 09:41 PM


Posted by: Amy at December 9, 2008 10:45 PM