Saturday, January 29, 2011

London's Half Marathon Race Report

Woke up this morning at the butt crack of dawn.  Okay I don't think it was dawn yet, it was 5 am but that is early for this non morning girl.  Got dressed, carried kids out to the car in their jammies, packed quick bag of kid clothes, ate some toast with peanut butter and a activia yogurt.  Pulled out at 5:30am.
5:35 am Reece (5yo) declares he has to go to the bathroom.  Pull off into random office parking lot and he waters the asphalt while standing firmly inside the minivan.  Peeing for boys is so convenient. Boys have all the fun.  
Continue driving.  1 hour later moms' activia yogurt has kicked in and we make a quick stop at McDonalds' where mom uses the potty.  Yes, success!  Shouldn't be pooping having any trouble along the run today! 
Arrive at race at 7:10 am.  Make a B line to the packet pick up.  Get number, race chip, t-shirt, turn and make a B-line back to the car where I stay until 7:45 am.  
This is all part of my race strategy.  I seem to not do well mixing and mingling with other racers before races because they may say something to me that might bug me or throw me off during my race. 
 (I know, I know, I'm weak, I'm soft, I'm working on it.)

Dear other racers,
It's not that I'm anti-social I just don't want to talk to you.  Thanks for understanding,
 Sincerely, Adrienne
Travis thought it was funny so he took a picture.  I think it's hilarious.  Can't you tell by my face?
Sadie knows what I need.  She makes her way into my arms.  

 Eventually I did have to get out of the car.
If this little 2 year old could be surgically attached to my hip I think she would live happily ever after.

 Spotted my friend Julie who is also running this race.  

10 seconds to start of race and I try to find a nice spot near the back.  It's always nicer to pass people who started too close to the front rather than being the one that started too close to the front and having tons of peeps pass you.  At least that is the way I like to do it. Ready, Set, Go! And we're off.

 Meanwhile, back at the farm....literally, they had lots of fun activities for the kids and spectators
 (one of the reasons I chose this race)
Checking out a big turtle
....and alligator?  They had his mouth tied shut and let the kids pet him.  Yay for animal cruelty and kids keeping their hands!

 Seriously what 2, 5, 8, and 10 year old would not love getting a ride to sit in a police helicopter.

 Or ride a ferocious mechanical bull?

 Or rip it up on the bouncer?
Okay, okay, now that we have all of that out of the way let's get on to the Race Report.
Like I said I started out in the near back and the first few miles were okay and I was just going with it.  I was checking the watch to make sure I wasn't going too fast but I also wasn't trying to slow down too much and just let the energy carry me the first few miles.  I was also working on trying not to  hyperventilate and get myself too worked up mentally.  I think I did a good job with that.  I used Coach Dean's 3 R's A LOT during this race and this was one of those times.  Realize if your off task, Regroup, and Refocus. The first 2-3 miles of a race and last 2-3 always seem to be the hardest.  This race was no different.  The middle miles were great.  I don't remember too much about them so that is a good thing for me.  Since this race is in honor of London who lost her fight to cancer and the $$ they earn from the race is used to help local families in the community who have children who are battling cancer they had all these signs along the way with pictures of the kids and little sayings like "You can do it!", "Thank you for running!", "Keep going", "Hold on", "Be Strong".  Of course this immediately made me get emotional and I had to use the 3 R's again.  The first half of the race I honestly tried not to look too long at the posters because it would have taken my emotional energy and unfortunately I knew I wouldn't have any to spare.  The second half of the race I looked forward to these signs.  There really are so many hard things we all must face in life and running a half marathon isn't really on the list but it was inspirational that these families are so strong and move forward even if they have to say goodbye to loved ones and that is so much harder.  I digress.
At around mile 8 I had what felt like a rock in my left shoe.  Dangit.  I ran for a while but then finally just decided to make a quick stop, take off the shoe and free the rock.  I think it took about 30 seconds but I was annoyed I had to stop.  I didn't dwell on it too long and moved on.  Right about the 2 hour mark which was a little after mile 10 I started feeling really tired.  I had been checking my Garmin non stop so far and was trying to stay at a 10:30 pace but it was starting to slip.  I started talking to myself.  "Hey legs, I trained you to go at 10:30 pace so you better get your butt in gear" (bet you didn't know legs had butts)  "Come on neurovascular training, let's go."  They were handing out Gu, oranges and poweraid at the stations at 8 and then again at 10 and 12 but I have never used anything but water and so I was unsure if I should try it or not.  My thought was, if that is going to help me I think it should have been taken at mile 6 or 7 so I opted for the water and power aid and didn't go for the Gu or oranges.  Fueling is something I have wondered about but I didn't want to chance taking a Gu and then having it make me sick or something so I didn't.  I guess I need to learn more about that.  Do you Gu on a half marathon?  I was thinking marathon fuel, half marathon no. (I could be wrong, I have been before-twice)
So after the Gu, no Gu, dilemma I was thinking I had 2 miles left and was concerned because my right knee was starting to hurt and I was tired.  Then I almost lost it.  Another one of those signs came up.  It was a picture of London's family all together with her and I literally choked up and my mind went immediately to Kaylee Ann.  It took me several seconds to pull myself together after that one.  I just started chanting, Realize, Regroup, Refocus over and over. I swear, I'm such a freak!  My husband says my "emotions" and "caring for people" is one of my best qualities but I say "I'm trying to run over here stupid emotions!"  Next thing I know I see a sign saying Mile 12.  What?  I only have one more mile not 2? Yes!  I must have missed the Mile 11 somehow and maybe that is why I was feeling so slow and thinking I wasn't going to make my goal.  (Yes I have a Garmin but I was looking only at current pace and overall pace and wasn't paying attention to mileage or time)
I then checked my watch for time and I knew I was going to make my goal and I was a little stoked by that but wanted to see how much I could beat it by and tried to push harder but my legs were done listening to me.  They stayed at the same pace they had been going the last mile or two which was about a 10:45/11:00 pace.  The first 8 or 9 miles I was averaging a 10:20 pace so I was hoping the speedier at first would make up for the slower at the end.  My brain also stopped working.  I kept thinking I needed to run 13.6 miles instead of 13.1.  I don't know why, I guess I was getting delirious.  I kept saying things to myself like "just 4 more laps", when really I only had 2 (if I was on a track, which I wasn't but anyway). I saw my husband and the finish line and I saw he had a camera and I tried to look like I was running super fast and not shuffling but like I said my legs were done so these pictures are as good as it gets.  I also tried to smile and wave.

I hit my stop button as I crossed the line.  My goal was to try to come in around 2:30 but I was thinking my slower later miles and my "good as I could do right now, but not quite what I wanted training plan" was going to bring me in a little later but.......I came in at 2:20:28!
And I had the best fan club to meet me at the end.
Thank you to my family for all your support, especially my husband Travis for joining me for all my long runs and Landon for watching the little ones so much so mom could get her training in  AND of course all my peeps out there in bloggy land for all your kindness and words of encouragement.  They mean so so much.
Happy running (and Racing),


  1. You did GREAT! And what a cool event to have so many things for the kids to do - I always feel so guilty, like my kids are bored out of their minds. More races should do that!

    Congratulations! 2:20 ROCKS!

  2. Congrats on a great time! You did awesome.

  3. Congrats on the success and its nice to read your emotions, you are a very compassionate person.

  4. Great race report. Great pics. Great job. Soon you will be giving Adrienne #2 a run for her money.

    The Nice Blogger

  5. Great race, congrats, I love all the fun stuff for the kids! That's a fantastic idea for a family race.

  6. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! Those miles magically disappear and you crossed so much better than you though - that's a feeling unlike no other! Congratulations, incredibe day for you (and holy cow, that was quite the festivities for the kiddos to keep the busy! So cool!)

  7. way to go hot stuff =) Don't forget about that marathon I want you to run with me? if you do forget, I will just remind you again later.


  8. Great job! I think I would have had a hard time looking at all the pictures of the kids too, good job refocusing. I love the fun stuff they had for the kids though, that's great.

    As for "Gu-ing" I do usually gu in a half, sometimes twice if I feel the need, but everyone is different.

  9. I used sport beans during my half marathon and I think it made a difference. I ate them on my long training runs, too, though, as a test. I think it was very smart of you not to try gu during a race. It could have been horrible. You are so smart. And you got an amazing time. I don't know if you really give yourself enough credit. I think, from this point forward, I will only think of you as Awesome Adrienne - AA for short!

  10. I wonder who had more fun, you or the kids.
    Congrats on a great race.

  11. Congrats on your time! I've learned its best to just stop and remove the rock than to pretend it doesn't exist. It just becomes a bigger problem with time- you did the right thing!

  12. 1. Your daughter is the cutest thing I've ever seen (other than MY daughter.)
    2. That race looks awesome. The spectator activities look perfect.

  13. You.

    What an awesome family photo.

  14. Great run and report, well done! 2:20:28...way to go! I love that photo of you sitting in the car before the race. Starting at the back sounds like me. I like starting and finishing in the same place, ie the back. Sounds like this was a really good event. Rest well!

  15. Congratulations on an awesome race. You overcame some big mental game aspects getting out there. I'm so proud of you!

  16. Way to go Adrienne. Beating your goal by almost 10 minutes is pretty amazing and is a testament to your mental focus and associated techniques. You didn't say anywhere whether this was a PR. I assume it is - congrats on that too.

    Now the fun begins. You've set the hurdle. Time to pick another half and get another PR.

  17. what a great race! For the whole family! And nice run, I'd be stoked

  18. Great job. This looks like it was so fun for the kids too!

  19. are my HERO! you can.t call yourself a non.runner now my dear.

  20. Dang you are funny! I think I want to do that race next year just so my kids can have fun waiting for me! Great job on your time! I may not be running for awhile. I have a hairline fracture in my least that's what my dad who's a pediatrician thinks. No hard evidence.......just feel like collapsing anytime I try to run. SOOOOOO painful. So 4-6 weeks of no pressure on that leg. Bummer. Anyway, CoNgRaTs. Love Debbie Downer!

  21. CONGRATS!!!! 10 min faster than you thought on a HALF marathon!? that is some killer time.

    How do you look so...human before the start of the race!? As you remember, I look tired and cranky before about any race. :)

  22. You are awesome! I don't know who everyone is commenting above me, but they are all correct! You are incredible, compassionate, goal-oriented, and AMAZING! Maybe I will join you next year! All our kids can figure out how to free the dangerous animals! Love you Adrienne, Laura

  23. Wow! This was awesome to read. Congratulations on a wonderful race!

  24. Hey Adrienne, I ran a half on Saturday and I must say your pictures were far more interesting.

  25. Great job Adrienne!!! You did great! If you happen to be in Utah this summer in August, you should run the Hobblecreek 1/2 marathon with me!!! It would be a blast! :)

  26. What a beautiful fan club!
    That is a great place to race: good organization and a soft ground.
    Good job, another half under your belt.