Monday, September 6, 2010

Eugene Women's Half-Marathon Recap

Sunday was the inaugural Eugene Women's Half Marathon, which was fitting because it was my first half marathon too. Not to give too much away, I think both Eugene and I did a pretty decent job for our first go round (of course Eugene is a veteran in the full marathoning world, so she wasn't quite a newbie) and it proved to be a fun and satisfying experience.

For starters, packet pickup was all day Saturday with no day of race pickup or registration. This was good because it made race day less chaotic. We got hooked up with a nice shirt, some Cliff shots, Luna bars, a bag from Lululemon and the promise of a free pair of shorts from Lululemon to be shipped later. Also, Sarah Bowen Shea came to read an excerpt from Run Like a Mother, sign some autographs and even pose for a picture.I'll spare you most of the details, but I was super nervous most of Saturday night and all of Sunday morning right up until the gun went off. That's the one thing I hate about racing... I get so worked up. Anyway, here I am with my cheering section... my husband, my kids and my mom who came up to watch the race (and help Dan with the kids).
Posing for more pics:
(that yellow shirt girl in front was a 1:40 pacer, that fell way behind me and I think ended up dropping out of the race)
Making sure all was in order with something, maybe my shoes?

Realizing that I had somehow ended up in front of the 1:40 pace group, better back up a bit (see the purple hat to my right? That's SBS. We chatted for a bit and she gave me a great compliment when she asked how old I was and told me I looked much more like my children's Au Pair than their mother. Maybe it's the pigtails?)
And, we're off...
(that girl in the white tank and I ran together most of the way)
I had 3 goals for my race:
1. (A+) goal was to finish in 1:45 (8:00 pace attainable, but with some work)
2. (A) goal was to come in around 1:50
3. (A-) goal was to come in under 2:00
There were pacers for 1:40 and 1:50 so I lined up in between them and figured if I kept the 1:40ers in sight and didn't let the 1:50 group pass me, I'd be golden. I started off a bit fast, I knew I would, but it felt okay. I had hoped to run with SBS as she said that she planned to run 8:00s too, but would be starting her first couple of miles at 8:20... I never saw her again after the start. My first 4 miles I was averaging between 7:30 and 7:40 pace, staying right with the 1:40 pace group. I let them get a bit in front of me between miles 5 and 6 but kept them within my sights. I stopped for a bit at mile 5 to stretch my calves on a curb and again at 7 to stretch my hamstrings... they were so tight. I hated to stop but the time I lost was worth it because I felt so much better after stretching.

At mile 9 I was a whole minute ahead of my goal time pace but I could feel myself slowing down and was glad to have the extra leeway. At some point during the race I had a chocolate outrage flavored GU (mile 6ish)and some fruit punch flavored Sport Beans (mile 10) as well as a couple sticks of peppermint flavored gum. I also had my handheld water bottle which I was truly happy to have. By 11 miles I was right on target, but fading fast. At mile 12.5 I hit my wall and it was a big one. It was so sad... I was so close to the end and I could barely go. My watch said that I slowed down to 12:30 pace... aaah!! I saw my mom and my littlest one right before the turn to the finish and tossed her my water bottle that had all of a sudden become so heavy! Luckily this helped me pull out of my funk without too much damage done and I was able to sprint it in for a strong (looking at least) finish.


After I finished and picked up some Ghiradelli chocolate and my cool finishers charm, I put on my new recovery sleeves thanks to my generous mother-in-law via Long Legs on the Loose (thank you so much!!) and enjoyed a couple of post race goodies. Then I stood up and realized what a bad idea it had been to sit down. I was on the verge of cramping in every muscle from my quads down to my toes.
Luckily, they had a yoga studio that had a bunch of mats and tents and instructors to help runners stretch tired muscles. It felt great!

So, here are the results:

Official chip time 1:46:40, pace 8:09
Finished 82/1555 overall and 24/267 out of my age group.

I think it was a great race. There were a few pretty speedy runners, in fact the overall winner finished with a time of 1:14:40. Holy smokes that is fast! There were a lot of spectators along the whole course, a few guys running in costume (dressed as women of course, as I passed one I suggested that he could run faster if he were wearing a sports bra instead of the flashy pink push up he had on), some great music at the start and along the way and plenty of water, Gatorade and Clif shots.

Thanks to all of you for your encouraging words and advice these last few months, it helped a lot. I was happy to have my family there cheering me on and felt pretty cool sporting my recovery sleeves under my skirt when we went to church after the race. :)

Today, I'm wishing that my house didn't have so many stairs and that I had worked a little bit more on my core during my training... time to rededicate myself to the Hard Core Club.

27 comments:

k2323 said...

Great post for a super first half! Love your outfit. And very impressive to finish in front of SBS!

Zaneta said...

wow... nice race!! Sorry you hit the wall, but your time still seems speedy to me! :D

P said...

AWESOME JOB!!!!! I completely love your outfit and all the great pics of the race!! Such a bummer to hit the wall at mile 12, but you look so strong in your finish photos. What an incredibly fast time, you must be so proud! Hooray for you!!

Joleane said...

Congrats on a great race result! Way to go! You'll learn and gain experience with each race. Keep up the great work!
You rock!

Marci said...

Awesome!! I was cheering for you in spirit. What a fantastic time. You are my inspiration.

Teamarcia said...

Oh you did GREAT!!! 8:09 pace is SO close to 8:00! Be very proud!
And how adorable are you in that flirty skirt? Your brood is gorgeous!
And how totally cool to meet SBS!
Congrats!

Lesley @ racingitoff.com said...

Holy Smokes that's fast. Congrats! Sounds like some awesome swag too... and I love your outfit! Super colorful and out of the boring runner norm (which includes myself).

Sarah Bowen Shea said...

Laurie--
I NEVER would have guessed it was your first half! Despite looking too young to get into a bar (ha, ha), you look like a seasoned racer. Amazing job!! Sorry to hear you hit the wall, but awesome way to gut it out at the end. You look as cute and vibrant at the end as you did at the start.
xo
SBS

Sarah Bowen Shea said...

Laurie--
Hilarious: I now realize I asked a Eugene friend if she knew you as I wanted to profile you for RLAM site after reading your post about your super-early run in which cops shone lights on you!!
Please email me at bowenshea at gmail as I'd love to have you be a Follow This Mother this fall!
SMALL world!
SBS

Lindsey said...

holy cow, nice job! I still think you get an A+. Plus, you looked super cute out there. Congratulations!!

Runners Fuel said...

Great job! Love your shoes!

Courtney said...

Congrats on an awesome first half! Oh and I love the skirt :)

OrangeBlossom said...

You are super speedy! Like the outfit. Kids are so cute!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Great 1st half-mary! I'll be doing my first as well Halloween Day - I'm not ready in any way whatsoever, just want the cool finisher's belt buckle.

Rae said...

Wow! Great job! You are fast! And you looked super cute!

Kortni said...

That is an awesome time! Super cool outfit as well. I hope I can do semi as well in my first half in November!

runninglawyer said...

Awesome job Laurie!!! You should definitely be proud of that time! So glad you had so many supporters there and managed to push through the pain around mile 12. Congratulations!!!

Janet said...

You are totally awesome. I am so proud of you and your goal of running the half marathon.

track coach and adorable wife said...

Ok, first, I agree with SBS you do look really young, but super cute! Love your whole outfit. More importantly though, GREAT job on your first half. That is an awesome time and and awesome spirit!

Lindsey and Isaac said...

You are amazing Laurie! Good job!

Julie said...

first of all, CONGRATS on an amazing first half!!! Second, we finished with in two of each other in final placement but I don't remember seeing you on the course!! (i came in #80) Third, I don't know how i have never seen your blog before now. Incredible race, CUTE family, and great report. Congrats!!

racing dawn said...

What a great first half! That time is amazing! And you looked super cute on top of it all! So fun! Congrats on a great race. And you can't have a perfect first race - u gotta have things to make you go back and do it again! Even if you hit the wall you still had an super finishing time! Yay for you!

Meredith said...

Congrats on your 1st half!! You did amazing and to be honest, I LOVED your outfit! I remember seeing you there and having a little running gear envy! Way to go!

Dick said...

Great job, Laurie! Fantastic time! One thing I'll give you...you're really easy to pick out in a crowd! You should have talked your mom into running too!

If you want a spot on The Blister Sisters for Hood to Coast next year, I'm pretty sure one of my co-workers (who's turning in her running shoes) can hook you up. Let me know.

Callie. said...

you are awesome! Love your outfit and shoes too. And, I need to chat with you sometime about running, or rather, how to become even half as good as you!

Warrior Princess said...

LOR!! I am SO PROUD of you!!! you look amazing and are such an inspiration!!! you ROCK girl!

Mom_2_Pippa said...

Just read your recap as I am training for my first half on October 1. It will be almost my 1 year anniversary of starting to run and Ive only done a few 5K's so Im nervous. Im also battling a pinched nerve thats cause some issues but I refuse to bail on the race just yet. Thanks for being my motivation....Im hoping for a sub 2:10 so your time is super speedy to me..maybe for my next 1/2 I can shoot for that.