So, all the stars aligned and I actually ran two races this past weekend. Right up until we got in the car to drive to Fredericksburg, I was pretty sure I was going to wuss out.
Girls on the Run 5K
I ran this race as a “buddy runner” for a girl at Jones’ school who does not have a family member to run with her. I had the pleasure of running with the same girl I ran with in December. She’s a third grader, so I may get to run with her for the next couple of years. The race was held about 20 miles from my house, so I got up at 5am to get out there by 6:20 am. The race didn’t start until 7:30, but with road closures and traffic, it can get difficult to get there. I was excited because I’d recruited tfh to run as well and I was looking forward to seeing her again.
Everything went smoothly. I got there in plenty of time, hit the potties, got my bib, etc. and spent a half hour or so hanging out with the moms and kids from our school and with tfh (who does have a real name LOL). Finally, it was time to start!
This race is unique in that the start is alphabetical by school, so you spend a large part of the first mile slogging through the masses of slower runners. We’re middle of the pack, alphabetically, so it was difficult to get going. The humidity seemed to really be bothering my runner, so we ended up going a lot slower than she planned and even walking a bit. I know what she’s capable of, so I tried hard to walk the line between letting her run her own race and pushing her a bit. I did manage to convince her to sprint the last quarter mile and she nearly left me in the dust at that point. We crossed the line together at about 34 minutes. Since the race is so packed and it’s a first race experience for many girls, times were pretty slow this year. I still managed to finish in the top 25 in my age group.
Since my legs felt great during the run and it was minimal exertion (except the end sprint), I decided to go ahead and do to the Marine Corps Historic Half on Sunday.
Marine Corps Historic Half
We headed down to Fredericksburg for the night. The race starts at 7am and there was no way I was getting up early enough to drive down the morning of the race. We got to the hotel and took the boys swimming. Then we headed out to Capital Ale House for dinner. Since I was running the next morning, I got to be designated driver. This did not, however, prevent me from drinking one beer. I had a Blue Point Cherry Imperial Stout, which was absolutely fabulous, but had 9% alcohol. Whoosh. Beer Geek had three awesome beers, including a Belgian triple that is almost impossible to get on tap.
After dinner, we headed back to the hotel, where the boys pretty much refused to go to sleep. We usually try to get a suite so that they can have separate beds, but the only hotel that was walking distance to the start line AND had an indoor pool did not have suites. I finally managed to get to sleep sometime after 10:30.
The alarm went off at 5 am and I spent the next two hours getting ready and obsessively checking the weather and looking out the window. Rain was projected, but it was just grey and kind of misty at race start. It was in the low 60s, but windy, so I had a hard time deciding on my attire. Finally, I decided to run cold and dressed in a technical short sleeve shirt and my Lululemon shorts.
I got to the start line about 10 minutes before the start. I lined up with the 2-2:30 corral. In retrospect, I probably should have lined up with the 1:30-2, as I had a hard time getting anywhere near a 10 minute pace in the first mile and passed a ton of people. While I was waiting, I chatted with a bunch of runners and met two guys who’d run the Marine Corps Marathon for something like 20 years. They told me that after you run it five years, the marathon contacts you to get you to sign up. Cool! It was still misty, but I was surrounded by people and not too chilly. Finally the race started and after about three minutes, I ran across the start line.
The first 5 miles were pretty uneventful. Despite an overall elevation drop, there were a lot of rolling hills. I managed to pretty consistently speed up with mile splits of 10:10, 9:30, 9:23, 9:10, 9:05. I had gone into the race with no real goal other than finishing, but at mile 5, I decided to aim for a 9:15 pace (approximately 2:01:30). Mile 6 was a little slower at 9:17, but that was due to taking a Gu. I was feeling good and just cruising along. I saw a sign at the halfway point that cracked me up – “You did a great job. Now do it again.” And then it started to pour. And I was freezing. And my shoes were so wet it didn’t matter if I stepped in puddles. And my shorts were so wet they were falling down. I finished mile 7 in 9:33. I wanted to walk some, but I was too cold and just wanted to be done.
Then, for the first time EVER during a race, I started chatting with another runner. The next two miles flew by, despite the rain. He managed to keep me going and I did mile 8 in 9:12 and mile 9 in 9:06. (If you’d ever told me that I could talk comfortably while running a nearly 9 minute mile while at mile 8 of a race, I would have said you were smokin’ crack. But I did!) I hit mile 10 (9:22) at 1:32:30ish and decided I had a chance at a sub-2. A huge shout out to runner 1966 for getting me through the rainy miles!
I was wrong. The hill at mile 11 is living hell. Seriously. Then there was another in the middle of mile 12. With a 10:11 mile and a 10:19 mile, I knew 2 wasn’t happening and set my sites on finishing under 2:05:00. I managed to sprint the end(including passing a woman less than a foot from the finish line) and finished in 2:04:3x.
Excuse me while I “chick” you and you and you, oh and you in the green shirt too.
I love this series of photos (sorry they are so small. If you click on them, they get a bit bigger). I’m in the white shirt and the photos were taken as I raced towards the finish. I was totally all about passing as many people as I could at that point LOL. I just missed finishing in the top third overall, but did finish in the top quarter for both gender and age. All in all, I’m glad I did the race, but with the nasty hills at the end, I’ll never PR at this particular race.
Now I’m REALLY going to take a step back from running. All I’ll be talking about the rest of the week is the awesome beer dinner I’m throwing on Friday.
14 thoughts on “Girls on the Run and MCHH Race Reports”
Two great races! That is so cool you are a part of Girls on the Run and can keep running with the same girl! Great half marathon! And in the rain. Yay for runner 1966 to keep you going! Love the pics! Congrats! And enjoy your much deserved rest.
Girls on the Run sounds like a GREAT event! How nice that you got to run with the same girl… I bet that means a lot to her. :)Great job on your half! The pics of you chicking those other runners made me laugh. Congrats!
Great job at the races! I’ll have to check out the colonial half next year! Good to know that it is pretty hilly. Great photos from the end! Enjoy your break from training!
Great job. How awesome about running with Girls on the Run. I bet that makes a huge impact on those girls to have a buddy.And you did a stellar job on the HM also.
Awesome reports for both events. Bummer about the weather for the half, but way to tough it out and run a strong race. Looking strong for the finish! Congrats!
Congrats on running the two races in one weekend! Enjoy your rest now!
Way to finish strong! Those pics are great!!
I ran the Historic Half last year! My goal was to go sub-2:00 and I did it. And OMG you’re right, that endless hill at mile 11 was totally killer, as was the one after that. Congrats on your half marathon finish!
If you’d ever told me that I could talk comfortably while running a nearly 9 minute mile while at mile 8 of a race, I would have said you were smokin’ crack. …It just so happens that while I was reading this report, I was smoking crack. So now I guess you’re gonna get all judgmental on me, sister.That hurts.Congrats on everything! The sub-2:05 half, the 5k, the BEER! (Teh ‘B. would probably frown at a cherry stout, if she knew. But, truth is, she never notices the cherry in a cherry stout, or the coffee in a coffee stout, or the chocolate in a chocolate stout. She just notices the stout. But she’d be opposed to it on principle. How does it feel when you’re the one being judged, huh? Not so nice, is it, sister?)Enjoy your beer dinner. (My invitation’s in the mail, right?)
I love those photos, too– you look SO speedy and have perfect form, which is pretty amazing for the end of a half. Now it’s definitely time for you to take it a little easy!
You rock doing two races back to back! Girls on the Run sounds like it is an awesome program. Great job on the half!
definitely hardcore. Well done on both races! Now go enjoy your beer and rest 😀
What a great weekend of racing. Love the idea of buddy running with kids. (And what a great female role model you are!)Awesome race the next day too. I’d have stayed in the car once it started raining. :o)
Great job on your races! Girls on the Run sounds like a great program.That’s a great time on your half, especially with the rain and hills!