On Saturday, Colin and I ran in the 3rd annual Run for the Nurses half marathon. It is put on by a college in a nearby city and it is done to raise money for the The Lisa Purvis Allison “Spirit of Nursing” scholarship. You can read more here about the sad and unfortunate circumstances that brought about the formation of the scholarship. Knowing that the proceeds of a race are going toward a worthy cause always gives me more incentive to participate. The half marathon had 117 participants and the 5k had 98, which is a good size for our area events.
Friday night/Saturday morning went off without any mishaps. Unlike the night before the 10k. My alarm went off and I could hear my mom making coffee so I knew it was time to get up. I think I hit snooze once because I can’t ever get up when my alarm actually goes off. So at about 5:30 I rolled out of bed and started getting dressed. Colin got up right after me, but being a typical guy it takes him all of 2 minutes to get ready. I quickly put in my contacts, picked out an outfit (I had an idea in mind but I rarely lay out my outfit the night before) and gathered all my gear. I made a Nespresso for Colin and myself and toasted some bagels for everyone. I decided to put almond butter on one half and jelly on the other instead of my typical all jelly bagel. So much for the don’t try anything new on race day thing. We woke Brice up, got him all changed and were out the door at 6:18. The race started at 7:30 and we had about a 45 minute drive. We knew it was going to be a small race otherwise we would have left much earlier. So far, so good!
When we got there the parking lot closest to the race start was full but there was another big lot only an extra 50 odd yards away. Packet pickup was very straight forward. We told them our names and they handed us our bags with everything in it! Any by everything I mean our number, t-shirts, a plastic cup, pencil and some flyers for other races. I think that’s what the flyers were, I honestly didn’t look at them. The T-shirts were nice technical shirts which is awesome for the race only being $40. The race was put on my a college called ABAC and it started at their tennis complex. This meant there were REAL bathrooms for us to use! No, stinky port-o-potties for us! We had ample time to use the bathroom, chat a little bit, and take our obligatory pre-race picture.
Shortly after they called for everyone to line up at the start. The race started right at 7:30, which is always a plus, and also started with the 5k race. The two races ran together for about half a mile then we turned right and the 5k turned left. Just a few minutes into the race a lady in front of us tripped going over a speed bump and fell pretty hard. She was a rock star and jumped right back up and kept going! The first mile stunk. Literally. I mentioned it started at a college, an agricultural college and it smelled like horse manure! At around a mile we made another turn and then one more another mile later. At this point, I was feeling great. We were running faster than I was planning but I felt too good to slow it down. Colin and I said we’d take the race 3 miles at a time. By breaking it up that way we don’t focus on the whole 13.1 miles, just take it piece by piece.
Right before the start of the race I grabbed a bottle of water and Colin said he would just carry it during the run. This was awesome because 1. I didn’t have to carry it and 2. I could have a sip whenever I wanted to and not have to wait for the water stations. Miles 4 and 5 went by without my fanfare. 45 minutes in I ate a few peanut butter M&M’s which is what I always eat during long runs/races. The course was much hillier than what we are used to,but we powered through them and were feeling great! We ran through the countryside so it was beautiful views the whole time.
Right before the 7 mile marker we made a left turn which would loop us back to the start of the race. It was at this point Colin and I started picking out targets. We had passed a few people already and had a decent lead on them. It was about at this point where I started to get really excited. Only a 10k to go and I knew a PR was on the horizon! Colin kept me pushing on and that bottle of water was my saving grace. As we picked out a few targets and passed them one by one some people would slow down for the water stations, but thanks to my pacer/water boy I didn’t have to use the water stations. At mile 10 I was very excited, time wise we were at 1hr 26m and I kept telling myself only a 5k left. Thhheeeennnn there was an uphill. Not just a small uphill but 1.5 miles of hill. It was at this point that I put both of my headphone in and just gave it all I had left. Miles 10.5 to 12 were painful. At about mile 12 I did grab a cup of water from the last water station and dumped it over my head. The temperature was probably around 70 at this point but the humidity was around 95%. Thankfully most of mile 12 leveled off and the last .35 was downhill.
When I finished I really couldn’t believe what had just happened. I took off 6 minutes and 3 seconds from my previous PR. I know a lot of it had to do with Colin running with me. Could I have done this time all by myself? Probably. He never pushed me to go faster, but having him running with me kept me pushing a little harder than I might have alone. When things got hard I just tried to stay in sync with him instead of thinking about the pain in my feet or my heart rate that was creeping upwards. In the first few miles I knew that if I started fading towards the end he would be there to keep me going so I did start out faster than normal. He even let me cross the finish line first. 🙂
I finished as the second overall female and first in my age group. I little deja vu from my 10k! The girl who won finished in 1:42 and I always like knowing that the person in front of me was significantly ahead and not just a few seconds ahead. I’m sure Colin could have kept on going several more miles, but I sure was happy to be done! We made sure to refuel with lots of watermelon.
I’m pretty sure that Brice enjoyed it the most.
And even more watermelon.
Then we hung out on the curb waiting for the awards because I insisted that I got my medal. Oh yeah, there were some Goldfish and trail mix thrown in there with all the watermelon
We got our awards and Colin ended up getting 2nd in his age group!
After getting our awards we loaded up to head back home. The rest of the afternoon involved pizza, a nap and then even more eating. This race was very special to me because not only did I get a huge PR but it is the first race that Colin and I ran the entire course together!!
Does a good charity/cause motivate you more to participate?
What’s your next race?