Monday, April 28, 2014

Race Report: River Rat Half Marathon

Saturday morning I woke up over an hour before I had to be awake to trek to Yankton for the race. This is humorous because I had my mom pick up my race bib for me since she was going to be in Yankton getting groceries, so I could get some extra shut eye (race day packet pick up ended an hour and fifteen minutes before the race start, uff). Kyle and I loaded up and headed south. My stomach was super messed up the whole morning. Bad omen? Surprisingly, no.

These past are 12 years old this weekend. :/ Vintage Jerbear wardrobe.

Osmo nutrition selfie on the ride to the race. I look sleeeeepy.

We got to the race, met up with my parents right away, and my mom was concerned that I was going to run in a tank top and shorts because everyone else had on pants/capris/tights, longsleeves/jackets, ear warmers and gloves. I asked her if she'd seen me after a race and if I *ever* looked cold when I was done running. :)

After hitting the bathroom 37 more times, I finally headed to the start. No pre-race run, but I did have time for some form running drills (I've been doing these lately, and I think they're helping. Perhaps I shouldn't have stopped after track 12 years ago :/).

My race plan according to Jaseface: 3 @ long run pace, 2 @ tempo, 3 @ long run pace, 2 @ tempo, 2 @ long run pace, 1 @ tempo. AKA I only have to run hard for 5 miles. Awesome. Let's do this.

I lined up to start, and everyone flew by me. I glanced at my watch and realized I was running a 9:16. Oops. So I slowed down even more. And even more people passed me.

I didn't listen to my music until the hard miles, so I just took in the sound of footfalls and the views. My parents were at 3 different places in the first 3 miles. Impressive. I hit the downhill and focused on form so I didn't shred my quads. A+ for Jerbear!
1. 10:25
2. 10:33
3. 10:28

At the bottom of the hill it was time to start my faster miles and I settled in to 9ish pace without any trouble. It felt pretty effortless, so that was great, and I passed a bunch of people which helped energize me even more. At the end of the two pick up miles, I was actually bummed to have to slow down. I was feeling great.
4. 9:12
5. 9:13

My easier miles were closer to 10 than 10:30 for my next mile. The wind had picked up at this point (tailwind) so I let it push me along because I knew I was going to be smacked in the face with it very shortly. I leapfrogged with a chick for quite awhile during this time before finally ditching her. My pace easily settled back to the 10:30s once I hit that wind at the turnaround. Uff. At this point the wind was sitting at 35 mph winds with 40+ mph wind gusts.
6. 10:04
7. 10:33
8. 10:25

I was really excited for my pickup miles until I tried to actually hit 9 minute miles in that wind. LOLOLOLOLZ, not happening. Trying to run a 10:30 pace felt like way more work than it should, so I decided I would continue my long run paced miles and make my last two miles fast. Everyone was really struggling here, so I ended up passing walker after walker, which stunk because I really wanted to tuck in behind someone and use them as a wind block!

When I got to the bottom of the hill, I took a deep breath, cranked my tunes and started up it. Enrique's Don't Stop came on and I listened to it on repeat "Don't stop baby, don't stop baby!" Well, ok Enrique! I was running an 11:30 pace but that was still faster than everyone walking up it. The wind was brutal, and it was almost a laughable moment. I hadn't seen my parents for awhile, so I was expecting them to be at the top of the hill, read to take atrocious pictures of me. :)

And I was right, my mom was there waiting at the top, snapping photos the whole time. I waved to her and said a few things as I ran by, and before I knew it she was running along side of me! She laughed and said this might be the only chance she gets to run with me, and she ran with me the rest of the way back to the car. Perhaps there are some miles in her future!
9. 10:43
10. 10:48 (<--hill)
11. 10:42

Once I made it to the top of the hill, I was still going in to the wind, but at least I was running flat! As soon as my watch beeped for mile 11, I kicked it in. I enjoyed a marvelous two blocks of wind AT MY BACK, sweet sweet wind at my back, and my parents almost missed me. My dad said that since they'd seen me at the top of the hill to one mile later, I almost beat them there, while running. Go legs go!

And look! my form isn't total crap at mile 11.25 of a half! #progress

At this point I ran by the hospital my dad was at a year ago for a heart attack, and I started getting all weepy because I was so thankful that he's okay and out cheering for me, and then I realized I couldn't maintain a 9 minute mile and openly sob, so I made myself wrap that up asap and be emotional after the race if necessary.

Little Jer and Big Jer.

Wind at the back feels magical, even if it's only for two blocks.

When mile 12 hit I realized I didn't have much left in my tank. Running the faster pace into the wind was really wiping me out, and there was no one in front of me to try to catch, and no one behind me to catch up to me. Gah. I kept pushing but my pace slipped a little. I started counting down from 180 when I thought I had ~3 minutes left to run and that took my mind off the pukey-I'm-running-too-hard feeling that was a-brewin' in my tummy.

Go figure, I hit zero at the time I hit the timing mat and stopped my garmin. :)

12. 9:12
13. 9:17
.01 :06 (7:12 pace)

My final time was 2:11:49 which is about 3 minutes faster than my time in NYC when I was all out racing. Whoop. This race gave me some much needed confidence going in to this weekend's race!


My race entourage and me. TEAM GREEN! (Kyle had to jet back to work before the race was over.)

My mom thought it was cool that the design on my new Oiselle flyte tank matched the design on my hat. I was super confused as to what she was talking about until I realized that my hat was covered in salt. She didn't think it was so cool after that, just gross. Haha.

Oh, and then because my mom is super awesome, she agreed to take me back home-home so I could get in a shower (after our fam partook in post-race Mexi, a Megan and Jenn tradition) and THEN agreed to drive me back to MY home an hour away after some hang out time since I missed Easter, and then drive herself back home. Everyone, please award my mom 5 gold stars.

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