Monday, October 24, 2011

Cincy Half Marathon Recap: The Actual Race

FYI: This is a really long post.  It was kind of a big deal, so I want to remember pretty much everything about it.  Hopefully future race posts won't be as intense, but who knows.  Consider yourself forewarned! ;) 

First, here's a quick view of the course:

Overall, a nice flat course.

So, when I left off in the last post, we were shivering and waiting to get the ball rolling.  Then, the "gun" went off and we started on our chilly way.  

Mile 1: 10:55—Jon stayed with me for the start.  I was feeling really good.  We kissed goodbye at the beginning of mile 2 and I gave him a little pat and off he sped towards his sub-2h goal.  Speed demon. Two girls next to us aw-ed.  I was amused.  Plus, my hip was feeling great so far.  Added bonus!

Mile 2: 11:05—Still feeling really great.  Kept thinking about how far I've come and how I can't believe I'm actually here.  I knew I was going faster than expected, but I chalked it up to feeling so good and enjoying the race.  Actually ran into a guy I used to work with downtown too!  That was fun!

Mile 3: 11:35—Like the end of Mile 2, this had some uphills.  I ran up both and just remembered what I'd read in RW about just keeping a comfortable pace jogging up the hills instead of really tiring yourself out (bc that makes you slower in the end) and Christina saying that hills work different muscles.  Also ran by Fountain Square and listened to a band and got some good cheers.  

Mile 4: 12:03—Still feeling great and going strong, but you can see that my pace is starting to get slower as the early race buzz starts to wear off.  That said, hip still pain free!

Mile 5: 11:23—Started on the "out and back" part of the race and started to see some of the SUPER fast runners on their way back in.  Wow.  At this point, I'm really proud of how I'm doing so far.

Mile 6: 12:22—At this point, I was starting to feel a bit slower and started thinking to myself, oh man... only half way there?  Then I passed Jon on his way back for Mile 11, which raised my spirits AND I unexpectedly heard my name being shouted out.  Apparently some people I knew from church were there cheering on someone else and were surprised to see me!  That was an added boost!

Mile 7: 11:51—Almost to the loop to head back.  Look up ahead and who was I surprised to see on the side of the road?!  My momma with a sign!  Yay!  She snapped this as I scooted on by:

Less than gorgeous background, but hey, mile 7 was a good time!
Though, this photo really makes me think I need to work on my stride... or lack thereof.

Mile 8: 12:08—Between miles 8-11, Mr. Garmin got messed up and really off-track.  At around 8.5, I started to feel like I might need a potty break.  I couldn't remember where the closest one was going to be, so I looked up the info on the website on my phone... while running.  I'm ridiculous.  Thankfully, it was at mile 8.8.  A nearby runner actually cheered me on when I saw it and sprinted.  ;)  

Mile 9: MG claims 12:29, but he's wrong.  Somehow the whole porta-potty experience messed with him, because I looked down a bit after I started running and realized that he wasn't timing... Boo.  This leg was ok, I walked a bit and tried to pep myself up for the final 4 miles.

Mile 10:  Claims 11:21 (again... wrong, would be awesome if he weren't though!).  Finally on the "back" part of the out-and-back.  Ran into my mom again.  :)

Mile 11: Once I knew there were only 2.1 miles left, I reset Mr. Garmin so I could get an accurate read again.  This mile: 13:12 (Sadly, more realistic than Mile 10's 11:21).  Walked a bit and tried to get myself psyched up--my hip was kind of lightly hurting and the balls of my feet were starting to hurt, so I really just wanted it to be over.  Kept telling myself that I can do a 5k.  Ain't no thang...  Also, saw my mom one last time and decided to take her picture with her cute sign (hence looking at my phone).


Isn't her sign cute?  Apparently some of the other runners kept seeing her too and one joked about how she kept beating us.  She pointed to her car.

Mile 12: 12:12!  Haha, how's that for a pace for the 12th mile?!  Again, walked a tiny bit and kept trying to pep talk myself into running the rest at a fast clip to finish strong, but I was tired and my feet and my hip just hurt.  Saw Jon right before the 13 mile marker, which always lifts my spirits and he jumped in with me.  

Mile 13:  Saw the finish line and the mile 13 flag and was SO happy it was almost over--I felt like I was REALLY on my last bit of energy, but somehow I dug down deep and left Jon (you know, who'd already run a half and then sat around waiting for me for 45 minutes and thus was already very tired) in the dust and gave it everything I had and sprinted to the finish.  Ow.  No idea where that came from, but the announcer guy even commented on it saying "Oh look, we have a sprinter!"  Crossed the line strong, then couldn't even bend over to help the girls cut off the timing chips.  Ex-hausted.  Immediately searched out and downed a Powerade and found out my official time: 2:43:51!!!!  I beat my A-Goal!! 

The first half of the race really was what let me reach my goal, since I'm sure miles 8-11 were really slow.  I'm so thrilled and can't wait to run another!  Now, I just want to work on my stride and finishing long runs stronger so hopefully the next race will be a more even effort and pace throughout!  Now, time to start researching speed work?


The guy kept yelling that he had "free breakfast!'  
I guess ale and lager qualify.  
We definitely partook.

If you know us in real life... obligatory kissy photo. 
Real love wants a kiss even with you're smelly.

Anyway, the day ended up being SUPER busy.  We stayed awhile and drank beer/chatted with a couple of South Carolina fans (the wife and I actually ran near each other most of the race).  Then we grabbed lunch (a well-deserved Skyline chili) with Jon's cousin who's in school here in town, watched some of the Auburn/LSU game (sad times), and then attended a friend's wedding last night... WHEW!  

At least we clean up well, don't ya think? 

To end, I think this photo of our girl on our trip home pretty much sums up what we want to do now!  Recover from the weekend!!

Happy Monday, everyone!


  1. Great race!!! Congratulations, half marathoner! That is so neat that you and Jon ran the first mile together. Your mom got some great shots of you. Her sign is cute! I slowed down at the end of my first few halves, too. Don't you just want to run more and more and more?

    Congrats to Jon on his PR, too. You guys look cute. :)

    When will you be down here again? We must get together. I caught Ramsey's cold over the weekend, just as he was getting a virus. I now hae the virus. We NEVER get sick, so this has really sucked.

  2. Also, the background in first running picture is great! I think it'll make everyone want to run in Cincinnati. Ha :)

    How much were the long pants at UA?

  3. Great job! Congrats! Love the 13.1 sign! SO CUTE!

    Get Up & Go