Monday, April 5, 2010

New York 13.1 Half Marathon!

Running season has officially begun and my first race was a huge success! After weeks of training it all came to a climax at the beautiful Flushing Meadows Park in Queens New York. (Home of the 1939 and 1964 World's Fair) The course took us around the Arthur Ashe stadium (venue of the U.S. tennis open) passed the New York Hall of Science, the Queens wildlife center and finished in the shadow of the Unisphere.

The night before the race I had nightmares that I slept through my alarm and missed the start. They were so vivid that when I woke up I seriously thought I had missed the race! Luckily it was just a dream but I was definitely nervous getting ready.

Why do I get nervous for races? I have no idea. But my stomach was in knots and I had to use the bathroom like 50 times before it started. Anyway, I woke up and ate my favorite race day breakfast, a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Then Laura and I caught the shuttle over to the stadium to pick up our packets and get ready. We pinned on our numbers, tagged our shoes, stretched, and visited the port-a-potty's. Soon it was time to line up in the chute.

There were about 3000 runners on the course so it took us almost 3 minutes to cross the starting line. That first mile was so congested, I must've gotten elbowed like 5 times! My goal for the race was to finish under 2 hours and I knew I needed to keep around a 9 minute pace to do that. It was really frustrating in the beginning trying to weave through all the slower runners. At one point I glanced down at my pace on my watch and freaked out when it was 10 minutes +! I used up a lot of energy spurting ahead, getting stuck, weaving around, and navigating the crowd on that first mile. I lost Laura in that big shuffle but was thrilled at mile 2 to see Taber and the girls cheering for me on the sidelines! They were shouting "GO MOMMY!" and I heard a lady behind me say "Wow! That would definitely keep ME going!" And it did.

I also got a chuckle seeing how the kids looked knowing that Daddy had gotten them ready. Teya was donning Tabers jacket and Hat and clutching onto her Elephy. Seriously put the biggest smile on my face : )

By mile 3 the congestion had cleared and we were back in business. At that point I turned on my iPod and pushed my pace to around 8:30 to make up for lost time. Miles 3-6 were pretty fast
Taber and the girls were at mile 5 (where this picture was taken) and it was great to see them again. But by mile 6 I was starting to feel it. I knew I was close to half way there but the fast pace I'd been keeping was taking it's toll. I slowed down at the water station and took a gel. Nasty! Then I went back at it. The gel helped with my energy but by mile 8 I was really starting to get tired. We had to go climb a big hill to get over a bridge and it really sapped my energy. Halfway through mile 8 I looked at my pace and it was 9:30. I kept trying to push it back to 9 but I just couldn't. It was really disheartening knowing that I still had 5 miles to go and I was already so tired. At mile 9 I hit a wall and just really starting giving into my doubts. I was running around a 9:15-9:20 pace and I just felt like my chances of reaching my goal time were gone. I felt like giving up and just walking at that point. But then I snapped out of it and thought, "You know what, I may not set a new PR or even break 2 hours but I'm NOT GOING TO WALK!!" So I stopped looking at my watch, forgot about my pace, and just focused on running. Who cares how fast I do it?! I'm just going to do it!

I saw Taber again at mile 10 and he took this lovely unflattering video. I like it though because it shows how I felt. He asks how I'm doing and I can hardly talk but I give him a big fat 2 thumbs down! (yeah, really nice right?) It's sweet though because he is so positive and encouraging. After I left him I DID feel more motivated and was so happy he was there cheering me on.

video

Mile 11 I was still just plugging along when I totally rolled my ankle and almost face planted! I caught myself before I fell but I let out a big yell and limp jogged for a few feet before I realized I was okay and kept running. I'm sure I scared the people around me though. : )

At mile 12 I looked up and saw that my gun time was just over 1 hour and 50 minutes! I could hardly believe my eyes! I only had 1.1 miles to go, surely I could do that in 10 minutes! Knowing I still had a chance at cracking 2 hours motivated me like nothing else. Even though my legs were super tired and I was so done running I forced myself to power through. I kept saying, You got this, you got this, you got this!

That last mile was SO long, I kept thinking, it's gotta end soon right? Finally I saw the finish and Taber and the girls were there cheering for me! I used everything I had left to kick it in to the finish and when I looked up at the clock I knew I had broken two hours!!

They gave us water, gatorade, bananas and bagels in the finishers chute. As I was coming out I saw Taber jumping up and down and pumping his fists saying, "You did it! You did it!" Seeing how happy and proud of me he was was probably one of the most rewarding parts of that whole experience.

He took this picture right as I came out of the chute. iPod dangling off my waist, banana in hand and sweat all over my face, but at least I'm smiling!
After I got done I stretched and ate and then we went to watch for Laura to finish. We cheered extra loud when we saw her. This was her first half and she did awesome!

Once we were all settled I started getting really anxious to know my official chip time. I sent Taber to go find out and when he came back I was dying from the anticipation.

"WEll?!" I asked
"Well," he said, "I saw your time."
"SO WHAT IS IT!!"
"I sent you a text" (little devil!)
I scrambled to find my phone opened it up and there was the text: Official Time: 1:57:48!!

I let out a big WOO! and gave him a hug! I guess the fast miles in the beginning made up for my slower miles at the end. I also think it really helped when I stopped looking at my watch and just ran. I must've been going faster than I thought!

I was so happy that I set a new PR and finished strong. Here are my stats:

Official Time: 1:57:48
Average pace: 9:00 min pace
675 out of 2103 finishers overall
237 out of 1180 females
65 out of 302 in my age group 25-29

So there you have it! After a winter off of training I was able to work hard, come back and have a great race. LOVED having Taber and the girls there and the girls really loved my pretty new "necklace" : )

33 comments:

Rachel Uda Murdock said...

HOLY COW! You are so incredibly AMAZING! Way to go on beating your goal. It just boggles my mind that a human body can run for that length of time. My record of straight running time is a measly 12 minutes. You are Super Woman! Way to go Bec! You inspire me. I'm gonna try to run for 20 minutes now :)

rebecca said...

Yeah! Nice time, Becca! Congrats on your PR. I'm so so excited for my first half in June. Your race report is so motivating. Congrats!!

Sistahood said...

HUZZAH! You are awesome! Loved reading about your race - brings back so many memories! I'm totally motivated to keep kickin' my butt back into shape. YAY!!! You did it! And you PR'D!!

lisapenn said...

Seriously have been waiting for your report all weekend!! You did amazing!! I am so proud of you! Great time, and yes you motivated me get off my lazy rear TODAY!! Trainging in the winter has been SO hard.
You look amazingly hot too! ; )

Gaylon, Crystal, Chenoa & Tristan said...

You are soooo MOTIVATING! And you look great! It must've felt awesome to see that you reached your goal! I love that Taber is so supportive...what a great husband he is;) And looks like you all had fun in NY! Loved your post:)

lisapenn said...

AND... kudos to Taber for taking such awesome picures and video! It is hard to get to so many diff. points in the race to take pics, not to mention hauling kids around with you. Great job Taber!

Camie said...

AWESOME!! Congratulations on making your goal!! So inspiring--I'm just a few months behind you and hoping to accomplish the half in such a great way as you did!

Ioane said...

Way to go Becca! I knew you would totally kill this race. You look awesome racing... like a real professional. The kids look so cute too. I'm wondering how Taber got them to all the different spots in the race. That was awesome that you could have them there cheering for you. Congratulations!

Helen said...

YOU ROCK BECCA! And so does Taber--how cute is his excitement for you!? You guys are awesome.

Hilary said...

This brought a tear to my eye. You are so inspiring! You go girl. Woot!

Elizabeth said...

DUDE! BECCA YOU FREAKING ROCK! CONGRATS MY LOVE

Naomi Hanks said...

Becca! I'm so proud of you! I always knew you would rock the race but it was cool to read about all the feelings you overcame to finish strong. You ARE a runner after all!!!

The Ferrins said...

Awesome job!seriously a rock star! While you were out running a 1/2 marathon I stuffing face with Giacomos :( Too bad we missed you guys by a couple of days.

Cameron and Wendy said...

You never cease to amaze me with your running stories! You did awesome! So sweet that the girls and Taber were there cheering you on the whole time!

Jennie said...

Awesome Becca!! You've totally inspired me to set a goal for under 2 hours in my next half! You looked amazing and I'm so proud of you :)

jamieschip said...

Becca, I loved reading your post. I was glued to every word, knowing exactly those feelings you were going through. So awesome! My last half in August was 2:05 and I really want a sub-2 next time. You've inspired me! Wish you were out here. You would be a great running partner. And your hubby was so cute, cheering you on the whole way. Great job!

Jamie (Call) Schipaanboord

The Peters Family said...

YEA! Congrats on a PR!
I loved the comment about seeing the girls from Taber getting them ready :-). He did a great job!

Kristen said...

Yay! You go girl!

Tara said...

Wow that was so vivid and real, I feel like I ran the race myself! You did amazing, especially considering this is your first race right after a long, cold winter!
I've always wondered what one of those congested starts would feel like. Doesn't sound fun. Drives me crazy trying to weave around people. But it would be worth it to be part of such a big event. How fun Becca, thanks for sharing that.
By the way, I L-O-V-E the thumbs down in the video, it made me laugh so hard! Just epitomizes the running your guts out feeling that we hate/love so much.

Mel said...

Girl you are hot :)

Ayllon Planet said...

Freaking awesome!!! And what a great sweet support system you have!!

Nicole said...

Congrats Becca! That's so awesome! I was totally tearing up reading this and then watching the video - having Taber cheer you on - that's so great! Way to go!! You inspire me! (not to do a marathon or anything, just to not give up hee hee)

Joanne said...

I don't know if you'll even see this at the bottom of all these comments! I've been a little out of the blogging world these days, so I got way behind - I just wanted to tell you I've been trying to catch up and I just read all the posts you've done over the last few weeks, and I loved every one! Your girls (and you) are so adorable and fun - I loved all the cooking, counting, and New York fun. Especially the New York fun!! I'm so jealous! (well, except for the part about having to run a half marathon). You're so amazing, and it looks like the trip was a blast - I love all the pictures of your girls there.

rebecca said...

Hey, Becca. So glad you found my blog. Now we can obsess together. :) Thanks for all the comments.

Melynne said...

wow, that sounded a lot like a birth story!! so worth it in the end, right? you are such a great example to your girls! love the "necklace" photo of brinley. you rock!

K. West said...

Becca, you look so cute with your pigtails. And your stats are dang awesome. Right up there in the top tier. What a girl!

Adrienne said...

Hey there, nice job on your race! Awesome that you finished in less than two hours. Awesome.
I have to admit, a peanut butter and honey sandwhich is my favorite pre-run breakfast or snack too. :)
Way to go.

Munro Murdock said...

Lots of great comments...cool. Way to go Becca! WE are proud of you and knew you would do excellent. It is such a great feeling of accomplishment to do something like that, I'm sure and to reach a goal and set a new PR on race day. And way to go Taber and the girls for being the ultimate support team :)
Ro

Pae and Guy said...

awesome run Becs!

Natalie said...

Congratulations! You are so awesome! I'm so glad you stuck to it and accomplished what you set out to do.

Tau said...

What the 30 comments...I'm Becca everyone reads my blog. Hahaha. Why don't you all read my fam's blog? Probably because we don't update to much. Oh yeah, congrats Becca. Good job on the running stuff.

Jennifer and Clay said...

Here is another comment for you...just in case anyone's counting;)

You are awesome...

I could stop there and everyone would agree!

If I didn't have bad knees and stuff, I would totally do this. Instead, I will be content with the elliptical at the Y...

You rock!

Brooke said...

I'm sure you already know this, but you are amazing! I really will do one someday, I just wish you were up here to train with me. My hubby and I are going to start running in the summer. (Thanks for being an inspiration)