Wednesday, March 25, 2009

OK finally a (short) race report and TONS of pics!

Sorry it took me so long to get back here to post about the HM. I am still in the process of taking an online nutrition class, and we had part of a project due today, so that took up a lot of my spare time. But I got it done and can now get back to blogging. Heck, I've only managed a pair of elliptical workouts during the past 10 days now and absolutely no running, although I hope to fix that this weekend. *sigh*

Anyway, the Shamrock'n Half Marathon in Sacramento, CA was totally freakin' awesome! Of course, I had to take the obligatory shot of my running duds the night before. The lovely new pink tech shirt had to be covered the entire race by an old long-sleeved tech shirt, because it was just too chilly to not have real sleeves! The orange thing on my bib (notice my name? I was TOTALLY geeking out over that!) is the disposable timing chip, which I have yet to dispose of and probably won't, LOL:

My dad drove me to Raley Field, home of the Rivercats baseball team (not sure what they are -- AAA, AA? Who knows?). The sign was all lit up at 7 a.m.:

I had never been to Raley Field before. The inside was bigger than I imagined (this was before the masses arrived):

Before long, the stadium was filled up with runners, walkers and their supporters. I was glad my dad stayed with me because I seriously hate being a lone wolf at these things. :-(

Anyway, the start was divided into three waves. The fastest runners took off at 8 a.m., followed by those who expected to run at a 9- to 11-minute/mile pace. The last group was made up of the slow people (those who predicted they'd be slower than 11 minutes per mile -- totally me, but whatever). I didn't really understand that, because they gave you 3 1/2 hours from the start of the final wave before they started reopening roads and whatnot. So basically the fasties (my new term for fast runners) got an extra 20 minutes to finish that the slower runners could have used, but I digress.

Here are the fasties taking off at 8 a.m.:

The rest of us waited in our corrals until it was time to approach the starting line. Finally, before 8:20, we were herded down to where the magic was to begin:

After a few minutes of nervous fidgeting, the countdown started and we were off!! Of course, in a race this big, being "off" means you're just walking at the beginning. My dad took this pic of me, being silly:

Soon enough I was running and enjoying the scenery. Some of the landmarks included:

The historic Tower Bridge, which we ran over twice (yes, I ran the race with my camera in my pocket, and sometimes in my hand):

The state capitol:

Old Town Sacramento:

The Sacramento River:

So I was feeling really freakin' awesome until mile 8. That's when the lack of training started kicking in. This is me at mile 7, right before the fire in my shoes began:

So yeah, around mile 8 was when I noticed my feet, especially my right foot, felt like there was a damn flame under them. And the flame got more and more intense the longer I ran. It was pretty stinkin' awful. I now know that I really need to stick to my long runs on the weekends while training for a HM. It's not that I didn't want to, but I had been battling illnesses and injury and the long runs just weren't happening. So my feet paid a price during the HM.

But I trudged on, basically running from fuel station to fuel station near the end. Eventually, an awesome thing happened: I could see the finish line, located on Raley Field, which was totally cool:

Here's the pic my dad took as I crossed the finish line. See the big screen in the outfield? They showed everyone who finished on it! And they called out every finisher's name on the PA! Good times!

And check out this totally rockin' medal that I got. It's definitely the best one I own (and it's really heavy)!

So that's about it. :-)

I think I've talked my dad into running this one with me next year. It has a HM relay, where the distance is split into two halves and one person runs each half. I think that would be fun, don't you?


Non-Runner Nancy said...

YEAH - loved the pics. Sorry about the feet. Still, another great accomplishment!

J~Mom said...

Congratulations!! Great medal!

Mary Gee said...

Love the pics. Looks really like a fun race - and you look great! I got horrible blisters from my last hm... think it was lack of training. See if I do that again!

Caren said...

So proud of you Michelle! What a good job you did. I don't think I'll ever aspire to do a half marathon...I'm freaking out about an upcoming 5K! I would also have been in the "slower than 11 minute mile" people group and I agree that really doesn't make any sense why they go last, I guess just to keep the slowies out of the way of the fasties! ha ha!

Congratulations on a great accomplishment!

Sonia said...

Awesome job Chicka!! The medal rocks!!!