Sunday, April 14, 2013

Race Recap: Aquarium Run

A spur of the moment decision led to me this race.  It's a smaller local race (or at the least an hour drive for me) and it benefits the Oklahoma Aquarium.   I was excited about signing up for this one as it was the tenth anniversary and also because I could market this as a family trip.  Meaning I could run, the hubs and the little ran's could play and then we could spend the morning at the Aquarium after I was done.  

Of course, I wasn't really thinking that through because that part of it meant that my husband, my five year old and my seven year old would have to get up earlier than they do during the work week to ride in the car for an hour and then hang around for the time I was running. 

Needless to say we ended up leaving later than I had anticipated and then we got turned around going in the wrong direction.  By the time we got flipped around we ended up getting stuck in traffic while they were directed traffic and it looked slightly questionable whether I would get there in time.  After seeing several runners getting out of cars I decided I need to make a run for it and got to the start line with just five minutes to spare  So thankful that I did packet pick up the day before and that I already had my bib and D-tag on or I for sure would not have made it in time.

That was pretty much the drama for this run, and I'm thankful for that.  I was excited for two things going into this race, my husband found my Nano that had been missing since before Princess Half and I had my Garmin set to go. 

This race had a 5k that started earlier in the morning, a 10k that started at the same time as the Half, and then a fun run that started after the half.  I feel more comfortable starting towards the back, somewhat quirky of me but I'd rather start out slow and move my way forward than start towards the front and have people pass me later.  It's a mental thing I think.  Probably similar to why I moved from B corral to run with my friend in D corral at Princess.  

I started off really good with a nice slow pace and then worked my way up.  As usual I hit my groove and my fastest miles between 6-8 miles and then the IT band started hurting and I allowed myself to walk up and down the two larger hills. Once I did that, I found myself slowing down and not really getting back to a pace I was happy with until mile 12.  I did also walk around mile 10.5  to take time to text the hubs to let him know I was getting closer to finishing so in case they weren't by the finish line they could head that way.  

I have to say this was a long half marathon.  It just seemed to keep going.  There were not any diversions along the way.  No bands, no character stops.  Yes, I realize I probably did get spoiled by run Disney.  But even other local longer runs had some type of diversion along the way.  There were people cheering along the way and they had plenty of water stops but aside from that it was just me and my Nano.

I did see a girl along the way wearing a Raw Threads Mermaid shirt and she and I passed each other off and on at the end.  We spoke at one point and found out we were both at Princess this year, which was kind of cool to find a "kindred spirit".  

The last two miles seemed to drag and then I finally got within sight of the finish line. As I turned the last corner and people started cheering for those of us coming in at this time I was able to make that one last big push, and then I spied my husband and son standing right by the finish line.  My son was waving and jumping up and down as I ran past.  Which was a pretty cool moment for me, as it was only the third race my family has come out to watch and this was the first one that at least one of my children was at the finish line.  I briefly debated throwing him a kiss but decided to just cross the finish line and hug and kiss him in person.

I crossed the line at 2:26;15 by gun time.  By Garmin time it was 2:24:45, I had stopped for a moment for water and debated a potty stop so I stopped my Garmin since I wasn't moving.  Chip time had me at 2:25:25.  Obviously, I love my Garmin time a little bit more than my chip time, but I do realize if I end up submitting this half time for Princess, I'd have to go off of the official time.  I know it doesn't differ by much know how that goes.   

Love the wind blowing my skirt and bad fin placement  
I did something different for this race and that was to set two flexible goals and then that way if I reached one of the two I would be happy.  So that being said my two goals were to beat my Princess Time and the second was to have me under 2:30.  Which of course was my Princess goal.   My net time for Princess was 2:40:41. So I actually met both goals and was actually fairly pleased with myself.  By my 10k split time, I should have finished in closer to 2:15'ish but that's ok I still exceeded both of my goals.  Plus I ended up with a new PR for my Half, by a good 15 minutes.  Not too shabby for a second half.

My takeaways from this race, I am capable of running 13.1 miles.  Princess Half wasn't some kind of Disney magic induced fluke.  I actually like the distance, not too overwhelming or too long.  This time last year I couldn't even fathom being able to say that.  Takeaway number two, next half I either need to wear my Nano  on my watchband again, or find a better spot for it.  Clipping the Nano to my shirt resulted in a nice bruise and some scratches from the clip.  Still a learning curve.  

As of today I am two weeks out from my third half marathon in a little over two months time.  Watch out Half Fanatics, here I come!