Thursday, September 15, 2011

Emerald City Quarter Marathon

Please forgive the delays in my blog life has been on fast forward and I've desperately been seeking a pause button. I've been crazy busy but I'm still plugging away at my athletic endeavors....including the Emerald City Quarter Marathon back on September 4.

I'm not really sure what I was thinking when I signed up for this race. It was one week before a big event at work. I signed up for it as a training run for the Air Force 1/2 Marathon which is this weekend (the weekend after the aforementioned work event). I think this race schedule is even crazier than doing the triathlon just 2 weeks before the wedding.

Despite the hectic schedule, I'm glad I did this race. All it took was one email to the always-up-for-anything, Lisa. She agreed to run the race with me to help me run the entire distance. While she's a faster runner, she agreed because she was doing an 18-miler with Team in Training on Saturday morning and knew she wouldn't mind slowing down to do a "recovery run" with me. That, and she's crazy. A 6.55 mile race the day after an 18 mile training run?

Anyways, I met Lisa and her husband at their house on race morning. Her hubby did the race also. We headed to the start with concerns that the race would be cancelled. There was lightening everywhere and there had been strong storms over night. We got to the start about 30 minutes early and waited for announcements.

Always prepared, Lisa brought ponchos for us to wear before the start. There was a light drizzle as we waited around. With about 5 minutes to go, they gave the all clear to start the race. The lightening had moved through and the rain seemed to stop at the same time the gun went off.

Looking darn good in a blurry cell phone picture, rocking out my poncho.

We ditched the ponchos just after we crossed the start line. And as the rain stopped, so did the air. I swear it felt like I was running in a sauna for the first 3/4 of a mile! Luckily we turned north and there was a slight cross breeze which helped cool me off. I didn't think I was going to be able to keep running with the humidity like that. My obnoxious shin splints came out in full force for the first two miles. I tried really hard to focus on my conversation with Lisa but I had to take a short walk break.

Once we started to run again, slowly but surely all of my parts seemed to start working together. It wasn't until we got to about mile 4 though that I really started to feel pretty comfortable. And this is why I suck at 5k races! I really was built for loooooong and sloooooow. Who'd of thunk it that this Gym Class Dropout was made for 1/2 and full marathons!

Lisa and I ran along and caught up with each others' lives when I made a huge mistake. We were in the last 1/2 mile and we could hear the finish line off in the distance. I had looked at my Garmin and casually mentioned that it would be great to finish in under 1:30. WHY would I say that out loud?? That's all Lisa needed to push the pace from 13:00 to 12:30 to 12:00....and then inching closer to that 11:00 pace that makes my stomach flip over. She told me that because I said it out loud, it was going to happen. I both love her and hate her for that attitude.

As we approached the finish chute, I thought I was going to die. But at the same time, it felt great to push myself as hard as I could....and we even chicked some guy right before the finish line. A little unnecessary but still a little fun because it doesn't happen often for me.

We crossed the finish line in 1:25:42! An automatic PR because I've never raced that particular distance but I was excited to be so far under 1:30. I was excited that despite shoddy training, I was able to run almost the entire race....and didn't throw up on Lisa's shoes. I know she was excited about that last part as well.

I felt pretty sick for a couple minutes after crossing the finish line but recovered quickly enough to enjoy some chocolate milk from me and The Pilot's favorite local dairy.....Snowville Creamery. I'm not even a milk drinker and I love their milk! That was the first time I had their chocolate milk and it was SOOOOO yummy. Normally when I drink chocolate milk as a recovery drink, I mix it about 1/2 and 1/2 with skim milk because it can be too rich and sweet. Snowville Creamery's chocolate milk though is pretty much just cane sugar and cocoa added to low fat milk. It's just the right amount of rich and sweet!

So anyways, it was a successful morning. The race was great. Well organized, lots of volunteers and a HUGE medal. I was so glad that I signed up and while I enjoyed the distance, I think I'm really coming to love the 1/2 marathon distance. It's a good thing because in less than 48 hours, I'll be doing a 1/2 marathon!


  1. Good luck on your half! And great job on your quarter!

  2. Great job on the 1/4 and good luck on the 1/2! can';t wait to read about it.

  3. I enjoy reading your posts because I think we are similar style runners - I'm becoming convinced I'm also built for long and slow. I am not a fast runner, but I can put in some good distance. I've only done 5ks so far, and I'm hoping to increase my distance next year.

  4. Great race recap! I'm being a slacker and haven't posted my own recap of Emereld City but I must have been right in front of you! I finised in 1:23!

    Good luck this weekend!

  5. Good luck on the half!! Love that pic of you cruising into the finish looking strong!