The Race

December 27, 2007 at 5:42 pm | Posted in Books, Training | 2 Comments
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Well I’m a bit late on this. I got quite busy toward the end of training and then after the race I developed a stomach condition right as I was ending my recovery and starting to train for my Jaunary race. The stomach condition lasted until….well it’s still here. Currently I’m on medication and hopefully it will work this time. It appears as though I have some small ulcers in the end of my small intestine that may be causing my symptoms.

Due to the nature of this condidtion I have not been able to train since September 22nd. I miss it very much. Although I don’t currently run, running is still a huge part of my world. I’m reading “The Perfect Mile” right now as well as “The Courage to Start”. Both of which inspire me to get back out there. I’m hoping to go for a “test run” this weekend. I have missed the January race training and I’m considering a march race. I’ll certinaly do some 5K’s but I think I am going to fall 1 short of my goal of 5 5K’s for 2007. I’m considering the goal of 8 5K’s for 2008.

Apparently I never wrote a review of my half marathon.

Hmmm….

Well, here’s the course map…

And this is the metal I got at the end

2007 Finisher's Medal

So we will now continue to a 4 month overdue race report:

I arrived in Virginia Beach on Saturday before my race. I went straight to the race expo to pick up my packet and bib number. Being my first half marathon this was all very new to me. I also did some shopping at the expo. It was amazing and I found myself wishing I had more time (and money) to spend there. Next race I will arrive two days prior to the race so I can more fully enjoy all that the expo has to offer. There were lectures and clinics that I would have liked to attend.

From the expo I went on to the hotel. I found my room and my coaches. My roommate soon arrived and we chatted a bit. All of the Team In Training participants were staying in the same hotel, but we were not all from the same area. There were TNT members from 11 different states. We had a banquet that evening with guest speakers. One being my favorite author and Runners World columnist, John Bingham.

johnb
I was thrilled to meet him. He signed my copy of “Marathoning For Mortals”. I can’t tell you how excited I was to meet him.

The morning of the race began at 3:30am. We had to be downstairs and ready to leave by 4:30, so I got up with plenty of time to prepare. My stomach was a ball of nerves. I took some medication to settle it. After a bit I felt better and was able to eat some of my energy bar.

wholeteam

That is our team just before leaving for the race start.

We arrived at the start by 5:00am. The elite athletes went off at around 6:30. I was in corral 18 or so…there were 22,000 people racing that day. It was close to 7:30 by the time I made it to the actual timed start mats.

vtme1

I supported my school and our fallen 32 victims. I also met some of the Run for 32 participants. The organizer of this group was featured in this month’s edition of Runner’s World.

Once we started running, the race was rather fun. There were bands and cheerleaders all along the course. They compete for a cash prize with the winner being voted on by the runners so that was enjoyable. Around mile 2 the elite runners were on mile 8 and passed us on the opposite side of the road. It was truly amazing to see these people run past. Just to know you are literally following in their footsteps. The race winner ran the 13.1 miles in around an hour. Quite amazing.

Miles came and went, bands went by in a blurr. Water stations were a welcome respite. We enjoyed some gel packs as well to keep our energy up. Around mile 8 I caught up with my coach.

coachb

Coaches for TNT have to be highly visible. Coach Brett and his wife Edna had their hula skirts on so we could find them. The coaches for TNT stay out on the course until every one of their participants from their region has finished. They run the race twice, practically. They often double back to run with faster or slower runners.

Coach Brett also caught up to me again around mile 10 when I was really feeling the pain. Miles 11 and 12 were the worst. It was really helpful to have all the spectators along the way though. With TNT you have your singlet with your name on it, and many spectators know this and read your name and cheer for you. It’s really encouraging to have people you don’t know cheer your name. Often these fans are former TNT members or are cancer survivors who know the meaning and work of TNT. I was honored to be running for such a wonderful cause.

I vaguely remember somewhere in mile 13 Coach Brett being beside me and telling me I had .25 miles to go. I knew I was struggling but didn’t care. Somehow I find some extra energy in the last quarter mile and sprinted in. It was an amazing feeling.

I finished the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon with a chip time of 2:25:31 and a clock time of around 2:57.

I was very proud of my effort.

medal

At the end of the race was the worst part. You went from an all out sprint, to a dead halt while volunteers handed out metals, water, iced towels, and took your chips off your shoes. You could literally feel the lactic acid burning in your legs.

The best part about the end was the ocean being right there. It felt wonderful to go straight into the cool ocean. It really helped with the sore muscles. I was so excited that it was over, but sad as well. I didn’t have my family there to celebrate with me. Next time I’ll make sure I have a support crew. I did enjoy spending time with my teammates though. We were all really proud, as well as really tired.

Eventually it was time for the post-race party and then the drive home. All in all it was a wonderful experience. I hope to have many repeats of it in the future.

And on that note, I’m off for now!

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2 Comments »

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  1. Is that the penguin? who is the cover on that Runners world issue? In manila we get Runners world 5months late (yes, I run faster than our postal service) so I might still be able to get a copy. Cheers!

  2. Wow! I am impressed with your time for your half marathon! Congrats! I am registered to do my first one in San Diego on August. Wish me luck1


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