First Energy Akron 1/2 Marathon – #10!!!
Sat, Sept 23, 2017
Whew – I did it! And that was the goal this time! The temp started at 57 degrees this morning at race start time, but got to at least 75 or 80, by the time I finished before 10am. We are in a crazy heat wave in NE Ohio right now for this time of year!
Perhaps it is only fitting that I ran my 10th 1/2 marathon on the 15-year anniversary of the Akron Marathon!! It wasn’t on purpose, of course, but it is cool that it worked out that way. I have to say again, that any race Akron does it so great – organized, fantastic volunteers and attention to detail. Great experience. My favorite race to participate in.
My training this cycle sucked – again. My longest run was only 7 and that run was split in two segments (a 5K and then 4 additional miles after a rest). However, rather than quitting, I was bound and determined to finish this race and not die. I knew that just running the entire thing and hoping for the best was NOT going to work so I has asked some of my FB Challenger friends for advice on run/walk interval plans. Based on their advice I decided to run the first half or about 10K of the race and then switch to run/walk intervals – run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute, etc. I just didn’t think I would have the patience to do run/walk for the entire race. I bought this Bondi band to wear for the race as it seemed to fit my mantra perfectly.
I got into downtown Akron really early at 5:30am and got a good spot in a parking garage. I decided to hang out in my car for a little bit and ended up making friends with the ladies in the car next to me (Mary and Karin from Cuyahoga Falls). This is one of the cool things about the running community – we are all in this together! I hung out with them (read: went to find the bathroom) until parting ways at starting line. We were in different corrals. They had the 411 on a good bathroom in a building (with running water and everything!) so this was the first time I did not use a portapotty before a race! Something just wasn’t the same without standing in the porty line with hundreds of runners.
I made another friend at the starting line who was running her first half. She indicated she would like to run together so we stayed together until about mile 4. It was fun to hear her excitement about the race, and all the people and neat to see the experience through a first-timers eyes again. I reminded her that she would PR today no matter what! Another highlight at the beginning of the race was that I saw my supervisor with a “Rock it Ramsey” sign cheering me on which totally made my day! I wish I would have taken the time to take a picture of the sign – so cool.
I stopped at all the water stops, drank one and dumped the other one on my head. I ran through the 10K mile marker and then made my plan to do the intervals. I had one GU at after 6 or 7 miles. It actually worked! I think that having something to follow and focus on (my watch) made the second half of the race go faster. Now mind you, I was not fast – don’t misunderstand me. I just mean I wasn’t hating life as I have in other races where I decided to “just walk some”. Having the plan to execute was good and kept me mentally and physically strong during the race. The planned walking breaks were just enough to help me continue through running. It was still really challenging at the end especially, but doing the interval plan helped me finish without being totally miserable! Sometimes I did 4/2 intervals and other times I did 4/1. I could feel my muscles starting to cramp at like mile 8 or 9 and I know I’ll be sore tomorrow, but I finished and that was really the only goal this time. One last hightlight from the race was meeting Erika, one of my fellow Challenger friends along the course! She was one of the ones who gave me the great interval advice and we have run many of the same races before, but never met. We first met on the course and then at the finish line party. So fun!
I ran into the finish line and felt hot, sore and little woozy. After a bottle of water followed by chocolate milk and sitting in some shade I felt better! My friend, Marilyn, who ran the Relay, found me at the finish so it was good to chat with her for a bit.
I have said that I’m done running halfs for awhile, but of course now, I don’t agree! I’m so fickle. If I could just find a good training partner for the long weekend runs. IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LONG RUNS!!! We shall see. Maybe I’ll actually ask some of the MRTT ladies if I can run with them. Meanwhile, I did it – #10 in the books!
Here are the official results:
Time: 2:41:04; 12:18/mile average (not my slowest!)
5.8M – 1:06:46