Sunday, May 25, 2014

Marine Corps Historic Half

Last Sunday I didn't want to wake up.  I didn't want to put my running clothes on.  I was questioning what made me sign up for this race again.  But once I got to the race I was in running mode.  It was a perfect morning to run.  Not too hot.  I believe it was in the 50's at the start of the race.  

This race is not my favorite race.  I am not really into hills and this race has a few hills and one really big hill that bites me every year.  Why do I sign up for this race?  It is only 15 minutes from my house.  How can I stay in bed when a half marathon is happening 15 minutes away??  So this was the third year I ran this race.

Two weeks ago I ran Pittsburgh and I was hating life.  I jokingly said that was my training run for Historic Half.  I may have not been joking.  I knew that hospital hill (more like mountain) was going to be is every year.  I knew that I needed to just run slow and steady so I would not have to walk a bunch.  It is amazing how if I start off too fast it kills me for most of the race, but start off in my sweet spot and it is suddenly a great day to run!  Sunday was a pretty darn good day to run.

I didn't know what kind of day it was going to be when we crossed the start line.  I figured if I could finish Pittsburgh, I could finish the Historic Half.  Turned out that I was in for a pretty good day.  There was a slight breeze which felt really great as I was getting really sweaty.  I ran most of the first 10 miles.  And my 10 mile time was pretty on what my normal 10 mile time is.  So I was doing much better than two weeks ago.  I also ended up talking to a guy that I ran a bit with at Marine Corp Marathon last October.  Talk about a small world. We chatted a bit.  He was run/walking since he just got out of the hospital the day before.  (yeah not sure if I would be running)  When he started to walk I said my good byes and wished him luck.

As I said I felt pretty good up until mile 10.  I knew what was going to happen after mile 10.  Hospital Hill.  Sort of ironic that the hill that tries to kill runners happens outside of a hospital.  Every year this hill kills me.  This year it was not much different.  One of these days I will conquer that hill.  I walked the hill and the hill after that hill.  I was done with the run at this point.

As I approached the finish line I glanced at the girl running beside me.  Wonder if she is up for a bit of a race to the finish.  Turns out she was.  Without saying a word we start to run a bit faster.  I get a smile on my face as I try to ensure that she does not cross that finish line before me.  Some of the guys cheering are yelling don't let her beat you!  Run!  Not sure who they were cheering on (I'm sure it was me)  My foot crossed the mat a moment before her foot did.  Yeah that was a great ending to a race! 

For a race that I didn't want to run, I am so glad I put my running shoes on and crossed the start line.  It was a beautiful day to run!  I got to thank a bunch of Marines and run the streets of Fredericksburg, VA.  Also I always like to run races when mini horses cheer me on. 


Jennifer K. said...

I can totally picture you trying to race someone in to the finish. I usually try to find a spot where nobody is in my way so that I might potentially get a picture. It never works. There's always someone else there. Congrats on pulling through when you weren't really into it.

From Ice Cream to Marathon said...

Great job Pam! And good for you for conquering that hill too! (Believe me, I would be walking it too!)

Kim said...

HaHa - I love that you raced that girl and beat her!!! Great job on the race!

Kristen said...

Congratulations! Racing someone to the finish line is always an epic way to finish a long run - it probably means that you still had some juice in you even after you were finished! I'm glad that the race turned out well for you, even if it was a struggle to get there. Sometimes our bet runs are those that we don't expect to be good. Always a fun surprise.