Proof we finished!
I wasn't sure how it was going to go since it was our second half marathon in just two weeks and my third weekend racing in a row, but surprisingly we both had really great races!
We started the day early since the drive to Ithaca takes about 2 hours from our house and the race was scheduled to start at 10am. We knew that the temperature was going to be in the 40 degree range, but we still both wore t-shirts and shorts.
When we got to Ithaca, Cornell University's campus actually, we picked up our race bibs and tried to find Rena, her boyfriend, Stefan, and Jenny and her husband. Rena eventually found Mike while I was in the line for the bathroom and Jenny found us shortly after. After saying hello, Jenny and her husband went to meet up with one of their friends who was also running in the half and we followed them outside soon after.
The start of the race was really unorganized and we had to squeeze our way in to find a spot. I could tell that the race wasn't going to start on time and a few minutes after 10am we were off!
The beginning of the race course was different than what we thought it was going to be and we later found out it was because spectators were blocking the road we were supposed to go down and the leaders just went a different way! Good thing we still ended up doing the right distance!
At about one mile, I saw Jenny and her husband run by me. I resisted the urge to go faster and hit 9:30 pace for the first mile, 9:31 pace for the second mile and 9:32 pace for the third mile.
The fourth mile I had to slow down a little bit because we hit the first major hill at that point. I just focused on keeping my pace as close to 10 minutes (or below) as I could.
The water stops were a little bit before the distances that I thought they would be at, so when I saw one approaching at 4.75 miles I knew I had to take an energy gel. I quickly ate as much as I could and washed it down with some water.
I was able to pick up the pace around 5 and 6 miles because there was a gradual downhill. This helped me recover my pace and make up for what I lost during the fourth mile. There were also some amusing signs along the side of the road and this helped me take my mind off of the race for a little while. They said, "1 mile running = 100 calories", "1 beer = 100 calories", "coincidence????", "we think not". I think that these signs were made by the people running the next water stop because it was a "Saloon".
Somewhere around mile 8 or 9, I heard a girl behind me say, "last week at Olean it was 80 degrees" and since Mike and I had run in this race I had to let her know how horrible it was! I found out that she is running some of the same races that we are, like the Boilermaker and Wineglass (the half)!
After a few minutes of chatting with her and the woman she was running with, we all fell into our own paces and went on our merry way. Which is good because I don't really like talking too much while I run (not just racing), it wastes too much energy!
Mile 10 came with the worst hill and I definitely slowed down! I was able to make up some of the lost time by picking up my pace on the slight downhill, though. It was around this time that it started to rain and I just wanted to be done.
The last three miles were pretty cold and my hand was freezing (only one which is kind of weird)! As I rounded the corner and ran back onto campus, I picked up the pace as best I could and gave it my all to the finish.
When I hit the last turn, I could see Mike and Rena waiting for me! As I crossed the finish line the clock had just turned to 2:07 and ironically my finishing time was 2:07:00!
Mike and Rena had great races too! Mike killed it and ran a 1:56:22 half marathon!
I was really cold so we went inside, Rena waited for Stefan to finish his FIRST half marathon ever! We found out that Jenny and her husband crushed sub-1:50 with a finishing time of 1:46!! AMAZING!
After we were all done, we headed to the Carriage House Cafe for some brunch. French toast has never tasted so good! It was really nice getting to know everyone and chatting about blogging and running (you know, basic life essentials).
Great brunch place!
More new friends
I can't tell you how proud I am of where Mike and I are as runners. We haven't even been running for a year (our "runniversary" is coming up soon though) and we have already taken MAJOR minutes off of our half marathon PRs (10 minutes for Mike and almost 12 minutes for me). As thrilled as I am with this race and my time, it only makes me want sub-2 even more and believe me I am going to get it sooner rather than later!