Saturday, October 13, 2007

RFE TR #37, World Wide Half Marathon

Total Miles Trained For Elijah: 289.1

Yesterday I finally decided, after three days of feeling awful, to go and get something from the pharmacy. I was hesitant to do so, since last May before the Soldier Field 10 the Sudafed I took dried me out like a bone. But I just felt awful and knew that something had to be done. The pharmacist recommended - what else - Sudafed. But this time I got the "high powered" stuff - the kind they make you sign for. Oh my!

I did not sleep well last night. Judging by the pile of... how shall I say... 'snot rags' by my bed, I must have woken up at least nine times throughout the night. So when my alarm went off at 5:30 AM, I definitely contemplated postponing the race. But I knew I'd feel just as poorly tomorrow, most likely, and next weekend my mother-in-law is supposed to be visiting... so today was the day!

My ipod is "in the shop," so I started my day by listening to the "Cheers From The World" edition of Phedippidations on the computer as I got ready for the race. That pumped me up! I woke Chasen up and told him I wanted to leave in about 15 minutes. He was going to drive me out to my starting point. I picked a course that would allow me to run on most of my favorite roads, plus it was almost all downhill or flat (except for at least one icky spot).

We arrived at the starting point intersection. I had never been to that particular intersection. It was right by a cemetery! The sun was almost all the way up. The weather was nice -- in the low 50's. I told him "OK, I am going to try to do this." He said "TRY? Nope - you are going to do this. You can do it." My ankle was 'safely' inside my "granny brace" and I intended to go as long as I did not experience pain. I have recently discovered the difference between pain and discomfort, thanks to Coach Terry. And on a side note, I had contemplated running a race three hours from home called the Fergus Snoddy Half Marathon. Chasen called today's race Susan's Snotty Half Marathon. HA!

Here I am walking up to the starting point.

Here I am pretending to be a track star. Ha!

And I was OFF! Chasen opted to drive behind me with his flashers on. I felt like a celebrity... sort of. I was proud to wear my race bib and Pray For Elijah reminder band. This is for you, Elijah!

Before I even got to mile 2 Chasen pulled up beside me and said "You're looking good. I have to go use the bathroom." And he sped away! So I was on my own -- and he had my "fuel" in his truck. I thought I'd get it during mile 3 where I anticipated a few dogs. I was looking forward to his escorting service! But, due to our wires getting crossed, I didn't see him again until about mile 7, where my tank was absolutely on E. I was doing well, but not feeling fabulous. My ankle, by the way, was feeling A-OK. Thank heavens!

I felt a bit better after eating, and we agreed to meet again at about mile 11. Well, at mile 10 or so I went up THE HILL. It was just past the hospital, and there were three smoking hospital workers sitting at the top. I wanted to impress them. It was 90 degrees, I'm telling you! So I just did the best I could. By the time I got to the top, I was ready to collapse in the grass. But I didn't. I knew that Chasen would be a few blocks away.

I met him and ate some more. I was "feeling it." We had a 4-year-old's birthday party to attend this morning, so as motivation he said "You've got a little blond-headed girl waiting on you!" That helped.

Here I am exiting downtown (downhill!) heading to the industrial district.

More of the same - downhill!

He took this photo while driving. I was happy to be almost done, yet feeling fatigued.

My ankle was STILL feeling fine. Can you believe it? Just two days ago it was absolutely making its presence known. Today - no problem. If I walked a bit, it felt stiff as I resumed running. But that's about it.
A bit past mile 12 I really didn't think I could keep up the pace (read: I wanted to walk home). I told Chasen I was going to try to run all the way to the service road, which would be a stone's throw from the finish line. I was really, really thinking about Elijah and his bravery at this point.

Here I am proclaiming that I am going to make it to the service road. See my yellow band?

You know how sometimes we are able to find energy that we didn't know we had? Well I made it to the service road and that was past mile 13. Hallelujah! I zig-zagged through parking lots to avoid the service road itself. Chasen followed me through it all!

Hallelujah - I am done! 2:39:01!

After the victory pose I went to Chasen. I looked spent, I know.

Oh thank goodness I'm done! Now when can I do it again?

FYI, here is my half-marathon history:
First (Nov. 2005): 2:53:27
Second (Oct. 2006): 2:47:09
Third (today): 2:39:01

Here are today's splits.
Mile 1: 11:38
Mile 2: 11:30
Mile 3: 12:07
Mile 4: 12:14
Mile 5: 11:52
Mile 6: 12:25
Mile 7: 11:55
Mile 8: 11:34
Mile 9: 13:04 (killer hill)
Mile 10: 12:21
Mile 11: 12:55
Mile 12: 12:07
Mile 13: 12:07 (I managed to do this three times today!)
Mile 13.1: 1:05
Total: 2:39:01
Average: 12:08 per mile, 181 beats per minute

Today was GREAT. I'm so glad that I went through with it. It gave me great confidence for St. Jude's! As always, thank you Chasen!


ShirleyPerly said...

What a terrific report and I love the photos!! Congrats on completing your half marathon. I hope I look as great as you did at the end of my marathon next week.

Maddy said...

Congratulations on an amazing race!

Wonderful report (as always) and you had a great support crew as well!

Your time is getting increasing ly better!

You rock, my friend!

Arland said...

Great job in getting it done Susan! You can bet money you will have another PR in Memphis, especially with the crowd support and other runners.

Katie said...

Excellent work - now get better!

peter said...

Very nice run, Susan. You're getting better and better. I love to run "virtual" races, I run two or three a year.

Road Warrior said...

Congrats! Always a great thing to best your time. I really enjoyed the blow-by-blow report. Great job!

Petraruns said...

Susan honey - wow! great report, great photos and you are looking amazing! And after all your various "things" this past week - ankle and cold - it is truly amazing that you've pulled off a PB as well! What an achievement! You're wonderful!

MarathonChris said...

Fantastic job!!!! And way to go with sticking with it - in spite of the cold :-) and a PR to boot!!!

You are going to be SO ready for St. Jude's. Now rest up :-)

Hope you are feeling better soon!

CewTwo said...

Great report! It seems as though you were very prepared for it!
Good support! You not only set a new PR but you had fun doing it!

Thanks for sharing!

PLANET3RRY said...

Awesome! Sounds like it was a good run from head to toe, or at least nose to ankle.

That was great that Chasen was able to follow you. Too bad that you missed him for those 4 miles, and not got your food. But that's why we train!

You'll want to be careful for your next run. Your ankle may feel okay, but it might be a little weak since the long run. Just something to be cautious and aware of for the next run.

Excellent, Excellent work!

Jamie said...

Awesome awesome run Susan!!! I'm sure Elijah is proud of you, like the rest of us are! And it sounds like the ankle was doing great... That's great news!!!!!

Happy for you and your PR!!!

IrishBlue said...

Wow, look at how much your times have improved. That's awesome!!

I love the race report and pics and your husband is a saint.

lizzie lee said...

Susan, I loved your story about the race. How nice. I loved the pix and the comments. I am so happy that i got to know you and others. It has helped me to understand better why we do what we do.

I was surrounded by those high performance runners that say their 7:30 min/mile is slow, and those that told me: 12 min/mile? God! you're slow. But all that is behind, I can feel AND understand your happiness and your courage because is my happiness and my courage. Our fans are our Chasens, our Randys, and our kids. We feel like a star, because we shine that way.

jeanne said...

congrats!! great job!! I did this last year and it was so much fun! i loved the phedip cheering podcast. so motivating. i might still do my little virtual half mary in a week or so, if i can fit it in. Good work!