Monday, April 2, 2012

Skunk Cabbage Half Marathon Race Recap

Yesterday Mike and I ran our third half marathon! 

 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!

28 comments:

  1. You rock Jamie!!! I'm going to need some advice on fueling and all that once I get my distance up. The longest I've every ran is a 10k distance. I know nothing about speed work and fueling....

    Anyways... KUDOS on your PR. I'm so very proud of you. I hope to be where you are someday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Crystal!! You are definitely going to need to play around with what works for you, I hate chewing anything while I run so energy gel is the best for me. I don't really like GU but some flavors are alright. So far Clif Shot energy gel mocha has worked the best for me. You also need to figure out if you want caffeine or not. Sometimes I will take two gels and other times, like yesterday, I will only take one.

      You will get there, I know it! :)

      Delete
  2. Congrats! You are such a rockstar! I bet Ithaca was gorgeous and HILLY for a race! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Meghan!! It was a nice country run, I wish I had some photos but I was a slacker blogger :( It wasn't too bad, our first half marathon was extremely hilly so compared to that yesterday's was pancake flat. There were a few hills, but I enjoyed the downhills that followed :)

      Delete
  3. Great job on the half! I sometimes have one hand get cold while running and not the other - its very weird!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! I know I thought that was really weird, it was my right hand only that was freezing. I definitely had to get inside right away to warm up!

      Delete
  4. You most definitely should be proud of yourself and Mike! You are racing machines!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jen!! We still have a way to go to "perfect" racing the half distance but we are getting better at it. It is a different beast than the 5K and 10K.

      Delete
  5. So happy that you guys are getting faster and more confident in your races( bet some of that cross-training is helping!!). It's nice to see double-digit PR's!! I think I only had that happen once(from my first to my second marathon- I went from 4:19 to 4:03- Mohawk Hudson '95 to Hartford '96.) Unfortunately, with my half marathons, I have run so many- can't even count- but my first was my fastest( 1:42:53)- and have never been able to get lower than that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! "Cross-training" (I guess we can still call it that since we haven't done the triathlon yet, after that it will just be life) is definitely helping. It does with any sport, it always did with swimming.

      Delete
  6. Congrats! My money is totally on you for a sub 2 very soon! You were at my hubs alma mater!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! I hope so too, I am going to try to do it at the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago half marathon since it will be the flattest half marathon I am going to run most likely!

      I love that your husband went to Cornell!

      Delete
  7. Awesome race, Jamie! Congrats on a new pr! I remember that hill at mile 10. And I'm glad you found the Carriage House-- we loved it, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Laura! Mile 10 was a killer, even Mike mentioned that it was pretty bad.

      It was a great brunch place, really cute!

      Delete
  8. Go Jamie and Mike! Those times are awesome, congrats to both of you on the PR's. Please tell me you have at least one week off before you race again? You are putting the rest of us to shame LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kristin!! Jenny was even crazier than me, it was her fourth weekend in a row racing!

      Right now our next race is the Seneca7 which is a 77.7 mile relay with 5 other people (7 total including us). It's at the end of April, but we might do a trail race in a few weeks.

      Delete
  9. Congrats congrats CONGRATS on a brand spanking new PR! That's awesome! You are improving so quick!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ricole! For now I'm taking the quick improvement, haha, because I know it won't last forever!

      Delete
  10. That hill at mile 10 WAS brutal! I was so excited that you guys PRd!! Your sub2 is on the horizon and I can't wait for you to get it!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  11. Awesome job! You will get sub-2 in no time:)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congrats!!! What a great race!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great Race!! The medals are super...unique! haha Way to stick out the weather and your third race weekend, you are a beast ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha the medal is cute, I like how they made the skunk look like a cabbage :)

      I'm definitely feeling three weekends in a row of racing this week, but I'm glad I have some time to recover before our next one!

      Delete
  14. Hooray Jamie! I'm so excited for you guys. Both of you have really taken time off of your half marathon times. I can't wait to see how much more time you guys shave off before this year is over!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm excited to see how much time we can cut too!

      Delete