Monday, March 26, 2012

ORRRC Half Marathon--Race Recap

Wowza, Peeps.  This was an awesome day for a PR....

Saturday night, I went to bed around 10 and--get this-- I SLEPT!

Alarm went off at 5am on Sunday.  I popped out of bed (as usual on running days) and Randy rolled over and mumbled something that sounded kind of like "Good luck."  Thanks, Babe. :)  I got dressed, ate some fruit snacks (it was too early for my breakfast, but I needed something so I didn't get too hungry--I need to eat breakfast 1 hour before the start of the race.  (Don't MESS with routine!)  I had a small panic attack when I put my shoes on.  I always, always put the left sock and shoe on first.  I don't know what happened , but the right sock and shoe went on first.  What was I thinking?!  Luckily, after I got my left shoe on, I noticed that there was a small rock in my right shoe and I had to take it off.  Phew.  All was right with the world.  I was calm.  There were no butterflies and no worries about not finishing or not making my time goal.

My friends were meeting me at my house (I have the minivan that would get us to the race) at 6am and it was only 5:20.  I did what any sane person would do: Facebook and Twitter, of course!  I started loading the car at 5:40.  Don was the first to arrive and Anne, Rachelle and Angie all arrived at the same time, shortly after.  We were on the road ahead of schedule at 5:50.  (Are you wondering what happened to my friend, Amanda who was going to be pacing me?  Unfortunately, she's having trouble with a hip and it was best that she didn't join us.  No injuries, thank you.)
Me, Anne, Don, Angie and Rachelle ready to head to Xenia before 6am!

We all chatted during the 1 hour 15 minute drive to Xenia, Ohio.  I'm sure we chatted, but I couldn't tell you what we chatted about.  I was focused on the ridiculous fog I was driving through.  We arrived at the Xenia YMCA shortly after 7, parked in a kickass parking spot right across the street and headed in to get our packets.  Thank goodness for that kickass spot....we ended up making many, many trips to the car to pick up and drop off clothing and bags, both before and after the race.

At 7:30 on the dot, I busted out my breakfast: Long Run Cake from Runner's World Magazine last fall.  I smear peanut butter on top for extra staying power.
Gotta love Don.  Nothing goes undocumented. :)

We met up with some other members of our local running group, RUN DMC.  This group was formed by people in the Columbus area who met on Dailymile.
Top Row: Allen, Peter, Rachelle, Anne, Monica and Ryan
Bottom row: Don, me, Michele and Doug
After the National Anthem had been sung, we all joined the pack at the starting line.  I placed myself somewhere in the middle and hoped I wouldn't have to do a ton of weaving and that I wouldn't get run over.

The race course wound around some neighborhood and city streets before making its way to the Ohio-Erie Trail.  There were lots of hills on the roads.  While flying down one hill I clocked myself at 8:11 min/mi and thought to myself, "This is going to suck to climb up at the end..."   

Don was ahead of me and as I turned a corner around mile 3, he snapped this picture.

Then Allen and his lovely girlfriend, Chikako were waiting just before mile 4 and snapped this one.
Still all smiles!  (and that kid?  He's 10.  That got me thinking whether or not I'd let my
10 year old run a half marathon....that could be a whole other blog post.)
Just after mile 4, I'm pretty certain that over the Avril's angry voice in my ears, I heard a rooster crowing.  That made me giggle a little.

At mile 6, I adopted the guy running next to me as my pacer.  We struck up a conversation, he's a teacher in Michigan.  I laughed when he whispered where he was from.  We in Buckeye Country don't like those from Michigan.  I told him that I'm also from Michigan so there were no hard feelings.  At mile 8, I walked through the water station, he did not.  Farewell, my pacer.

So we're running along and I'm waiting for the turn around....and waiting.  I was hoping to see Anne and Angie soon.  After I hit mile 8 I was starting to run out of pep...and I was wondering why we didn't turn around at mile 6.55?  Turns out that all those hills at the beginning were NOT at the end!  There was one, but I'll get to that.

Finally, just before mile 9, I saw Anne's blue USAF hat running toward me.  Just seeing her made me feel a little better.

At mile 10, I ran into Don again:
He ran with me to keep me company, but I wasn't feeling too chatty.  I got a cramp and had to walk for about 10 seconds, then I was back at it.  Other than through water stations, that was the only time I walked.  By this time, my pace had slowed a little and I was watching the average pace on my watch climb.  I had a little talk with myself.

Self, I might not make it in under 2 hours and 10 minutes.  It's ok.  I'll won't give up, I'll do the best I can, I'll know that I gave it my all and I'll be happy at the finish line.

Don and I ran by Allen and Chikako again around mile 11.
I was so happy to see friends.

There was one freaking hill to climb at mile 11.5ish, shortly after I passed Allen and Chikako, I let myself slow down a little, but I ran the whole thing.

At mile 12.5ish I checked my watch and did some math in my head....holy cow, there's a chance that I'll make it.  I kicked myself in high gear and sprinted for the finish.  I realized that if my actual distance was much more than 13.1, I wouldn't make it.

Mile 13 was my fastest mile of the whole race.  Looking at my Garmin splits later on, I was shocked to see this.  I had no idea I had it in me.  I pushed hard throughout this entire race and I was running on empty.  I was in a full sprint and not stopping until I was across that finish line.  Please don't let me trip...

The clock at the finish line said 2:10 and a few seconds, but I crossed the starting line about 30 seconds after the gun, so just maybe I was in time.

Once I crossed the finish line, there was someone waiting with medals and another person wanting to cut my timing chip off my shoe. I was feeling a little light headed (I'm pretty sure I met my heart rate max in that last mile).  Anne, Angie, Allen and Chikako were all waiting at the finish.  I walked/stumbled to them and started losing my balance.  Anne grabbed my arm and we went in search of sugar.  It wasn't until we were walking into the YMCA toward the food that I looked at my watch: 2:09:42.  The chip time couldn't be more than 15 seconds off.

I made it.

One more photo: Allen with the finishers.
Tired and happy. (Anne and Angie both PRed too!)

Several peanut butter cookies and an apple was exactly what I needed. We sat outside, started to eat and it hit me. I did it. And I cried.  Like a freaking baby.

There you have it, folks.  My ORRRC Half Marathon experience.  It was awesome.  I'm still kind of in shock, and feeling pretty invincible.  I can't believe I did it.  I cut 9 minutes off my previous half marathon time.

The Ohio River Road Runners Club (ORRRC) Marathon/Half Marathon was incredibly organized.  The course was very well marked, the volunteers were very nice, they smiled and cheered, the police officers and other spectators were great.  The Xenia YMCA was amazing.  They cooked two different soups for the runners, they had a variety of beverages and at least 8 different kinds of cookie. The Y also let the runners use the showers in the locker rooms.  Everything about this race was fantastic, I highly recommend it and hope that it fits into my schedule in years to come.

Special thanks to Don, Allen and Chikako for all of the pictures and for cheering me on. :)

Official Chip time: 2:9:53  <--made it by the skin of my teeth!
Over All- 420/674
Women- 171/348
Age Group- 35/50

Garmin splits:
Mile 1- 9:49
Mile 2- 9:43
Mile 3- 9:48
Mile 4- 9:45
Mile 5- 9:51
Mile 6- 10:12
Mile 7- 9:46
Mile 8- 10:05
Mile 9- 10:02
Mile 10- 10:00
Mile 11- 10:01
Mile 12- 10:12
Mile 13- 9:12
Last .15- 8:36

Fastest pace clocked by Garmin: 6:57  <--woman on a mission

Whew.  This was long.  If you made it to the end, thanks for reading! :)


  1. AWESOME Recap! LOVE IT! Look at those splits! Love them, well done girl! well done girl!

    1. Thanks, Deanna! I'm still in disbelief...until I walk down a flight of stairs. ;)

  2. Awesome job Jamie! I bet if you started off a little more conservative & then increase your pace for negative splits you could rip your PR! :)

    1. Thanks, Jeannie! That will be my plan of attack for the next one! (which most likely won't be in 2012 as I've depleted my race funds for this year.) ;)

  3. You are going to have to send me the recipe for the long run cake. I need some of that Make you SUPER FAST food! Proud of ya!!!

    1. Thanks, Tina! The words "long run cake" in the blog is a link that will take you to the recipe. :)

  4. Great work Jamie! So proud of you and love the photos. Just gorgeous! The recap was beautifully told. What a great group of running friends and what an amazing PR. I am sure the high will last a week.

  5. Great recap! I think I'll have to look at doing this race in the future! Way to push it at the end and meet your goal!!!

    1. Thanks, Mandy! You should totally consider this race for next year! It ran so smoothly and you can't beat the price!

  6. GREAT JOB!!!! I knew you could do it! Can't wait to see what you do next!

    1. Thanks Anne. :) I'm not sure I could have done it without you. Oh, and "next" will NOT be a 4:20 at Cleveland. ;)

  7. Great job!! I knew you could do it. Loved the race recap,and it wasn't that long.

    1. Thanks Andrew! I'm glad you knew I could do it. I had a few doubts. :)


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