Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cox Providence Half Marathon

This race was AMAZING

Of course being my first race of the year, I was so anxious to get out there.  I had compulsively checked the weather for over a week leading up to that morning, I had tried on what I would wear, and I set up my typical spread on the dining room table the night before.

The weather that morning was ideal for May in New England.  It started out cool, with a forecast to warm throughout the day.  A start time of 8:00am was ideal to be able to finish before the day got too hot.

The race started out awesome, I felt great and found my pace pretty easily.  Thankfully, the course was such that my boyfriend and family were able to move easily between mile-markers and see me several times throughout the course without much trouble.  The first "checkpoint" was mile 4.  I was feeling good, I had found my stride, I got my water bottle exchange from Randy and I was on my way.  The next was at mile 9, on the opposite side of the park from where I saw them at mile 4.  I slung off my running belt because by then I had burned through all but one of my Gu's, and I knew I wouldn't need my inhaler.  The next checkpoint was the finish line... piece of cake!

This was taken by the race photographers at Mile 11 - not too bad huh?!

Here is a brief rundown of my emotions throughout the race:

Miles 1-3: ok, here we go. Where is the pacer? I hope I don't have to pee soon
Miles 3-5: Hit my stride, I've got this. Piece of cake.. Wait is that a hill?
                 (Mile 4: See my family, get a fresh water bottle, now I can conquer the world)
Miles 5-8: This was a bad idea. Maybe I should walk for a bit. Nah, that's an even worse idea.
Miles 8: Hell ya! Only 5 miles to go... Wait is that another hill?!
Miles 9-11: OK for real, almost there!
Mile 13: all the above mentioned emotions at once.

Just after seeing my family at mile 9, a woman ran by me who started singing the song playing from my phone.  One thing you should know about me is that I really dislike wearing headphones.  So I place my phone in my armband and play my music on speaker as loud as it will go.  When I am training at home, alone it's never an issue.  But at races, I can never tell how people will react.  Sometimes they love it, other times I think they cringe, but oh well!  Well, this woman ran up beside me and was so happy to hear that song she started singing right along.  Come to find out, her name was Adrienne and she was chasing the same finish time I was!  So we ran along together for the remainder of the race.  Although I will say that the last 2+ miles she more like dragged me along.  But I was so thankful for her in that moment because without her, I would have slowed down.  I was feeling tired and I was already on good pace, so I would have eased up a bit. But she wouldn't let me quit.  We pushed hard up those last few hills and each got a PR!  

My new friend Adrienne! She is a rockstar!

It was a fantastic way to begin race season 2015!  Bring on the next one ;)

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